Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 48 - Alligator River, NC

18 May 2012 | Docked at Alligator River Marina, NC
Fri 18 May 2012
Docked at Alligator River Marina, NC

[photo: We have a new foot warmer in our V-berth. Clyde has decided he likes it there now.]

Even though it was blowing hard all night, and we don't have great wind protection, the lack of wave action made it a restful night. Duane was up just before 0500 and used the time to look at options for the next few days of travel, whenever they may occur. The winds are pretty strong from the wrong direction for crossing the Albemarle Sound. Being "stuck" here is not so bad. The marina is a gas station/convenience store/grill restaurant in the middle of nowhere, but the docks are sturdy and the bath house/shower/laundry facilities are decent enough.

There are two other sailboats here and we met them at the counter when we were picking up a few items and they were finishing breakfast. They are very nice and we have plans for cocktails at 1700 and then dinner at the grill. Supposedly, the food is good.

The morning boat chores were to clean the fridge and find the source of the nasty odor. It turned out to be spillage in several of the plastic baskets that Diane uses to keep things easy to find and well-stowed. With that done, she got laundry started and we got a bag of ice for the refrigerator. Here is where another "issue" has returned: the refrigerator compressor/fan started "short cycling" just the other day. It usually happens only when the evaporator coil is covered in frost, but there is no frost this time. The compressor and/or fan come on for minute, and then shut off, and then within 3 seconds the cycle starts all over. I need to contact the manufacturer to see what this might mean. In the meantime, a cheap bag of ice is allowing the compressor to stay off for a while.

Clyde got some "shore leave" on the large expanse of close-mowed grass. He actually seemed to enjoy it, although it coincided with a break in the cloud cover, so he wasn't thrilled about the bright sun.

I had been postponing the change-out of the existing 500 gph bypass cooling pump with the 800 gph unit due to the contortions needed and in consideration of my sore back. Today was the day, however, and within a half hour it was done. We will see if it helps the next time I need to push the engine beyond a "low cruise" power setting.

Next, was some trouble-shooting of the occasionally recurring refrigeration problem. I checked the voltages at various points from the battery, through the circuit breaker, through the switch, to the compressor itself, and found more voltage drop then I thought acceptable. I then cleaned every connection and retested and there was a significant improvement. With a bag of ice in the box, however, it won't be a good test to see if the short-cycling is fixed.

A nice hot shower ashore followed, and then we had the other two sailboat crews over for cocktails and snacks. It was a very enjoyable conversation, although half was dedicated to the weather forecasts and the strategy for timing the numerous bridges on restricted schedules in the lower part of Virginia.

Owing to the schedule of the grill, we broke up the party at 1740 to go order supper. Some of the food was remarkably good for the price and location, and some was just OK, but dining with the group and meeting two other boat crews in the "dining room" were enjoyable experiences. We had our second dessert treat of the cruise with some butter pecan ice cream as we strolled back to the boat. The chilly N winds made us wonder, however, why we ordered ice cream.

We have decided to stay another day since the winds are likely to be no better tomorrow than today. We plan to leave Sun morning to head for the Coinjock Marina (no good anchorages that we could see), and then on to Portsmouth (adjacent to Norfolk), where we hope to get space on the free dock/wall and spend a full day or more there.

The best news was saved for last; Diane had a brief bout of disorientation a few days ago before getting out of bed, and since it passed quickly we were not too alarmed. When she went to read her book later, she noticed she could see well enough with just her normal eyeglasses that she did not need the large magnifying glass she had needed since the stroke. We were both elated at the news, but she wanted to see if she could read a newspaper, as that was her biggest challenge. With the paper delivered today, Diane found she could read it pretty well. So, it seems official that her brain has done another "rewiring" to bring her lost visual acuity closer to normal. We feel very blessed and thankful for that improvement.
Vessel Name: Diva Di
Vessel Make/Model: PDQ MV34 Power Cat
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, FL
Crew: Duane and Diane

Diva Di Crew

Who: Duane and Diane
Port: Punta Gorda, FL