First rain in 6 weeks
09 April 2021 | 09 22.025'N:79 56.642'W, Shelter Bay Marina, Cristobel, Panama
09 22. 025 N
79 56.642 W
Weather; dull and overcast, wind n/a, waves n/a
MANY HAPPY RETURNS OF THE DAY TO JEAN, WE HOPE YOU HAVE A LOVELY DAY AND A GREAT YEAR TO FOLLOW. WE WILL MAKE SURE TO HAVE AN ADULT BEVERAGE IN YOUR HONOUR TONIGHT!
We were saddened to hear the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, this morning. We were rooting for him reaching his century in June this year so that he could receive his congratulatory telegram from the Queen, sadly this wasn't to be. I'm not a fanatical royalist but something has to be admired about Prince Phillip and his life which has been in the spotlight since the day his wife became the Queen of England and the commonwealth. I'm sure that many of my generation would have been involved in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme during their school years - just one small part of his legacy to the world. He was never shy of speaking his thoughts aloud and calling a spade a spade, even when, at times, it was seen as a big gaff that could embarrass the royal household; he will long be remembered for a wicked sense of humour which was often at the expense of those close to him. Rest in Peace Sir, your duty is done.
On to other stuff. Day 2 of our quarantine period, only a further 3 days to go (we are assuming that our Covid tests are negative, not that we have heard the results as yet, interestingly the dock master told us yesterday that since March 2020 they have had 3 boats where the crew have tested positive and they all arrived into Panama from Colombia - uh oh keep those fingers crossed for us). It was dull and overcast yet again when we got up today, we know that we are in that central American tropical wet zone for certain now! Although we had slept quite well both of us were feeling a bit under par today - nothing serious, just the sudden relaxing and coming back down to earth from the excitement of our passage across to here. It was hard to get any motivation to do anything even though there is stuff that we can do whilst imprisoned on our boat. Gerry asked what I wanted for breakfast, he didn't like the answer of champagne and orange juice, fruit salad, a full cooked breakfast and toast with freshly gathered honey, gallons of freshly ground and brewed coffee so he just went ahead and put coffee and egg on toast with bacon and sausage in front of me - which was what he wanted, not that I was going to complain, anything would have done. I jumped in the shower in time to miss out on drying the breakfast dishes, I'd like to say it wasn't deliberate but I won't go there. Gerry spent a couple of hours on his electronic devices, I had no idea what he was up to but he had the brush from the Auto pilot on the table in front of him, a pair of digital callipers and a diagram with dimensions of the brush and pump on it which he was referring to. I was stupid enough to eventually ask what he was doing and got told that it was looking like the brush was the culprit of our George's spitting the dummy. The brush that he had sitting in front of him can be seen in the photo, it might not be obvious but there is a metal wire that runs inside the coil and is supposed to be attached to each of the end blocks - this brush isn't attached at the carbon end of the brush which has probably been caused by wear and tear - it obviously needs replacing. The pump has two of these brushes which transfer the power to the motor, making it run and this pumps hydraulic oil in a certain direction. The computer, that controls the pump, switches rotation pumping the oil in opposite directions giving you both port and starboard movement. (Note to David - this was Gerry's explanation and I take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information, I'm sure he thinks he knows what he's talking about!) anyway back to the 2 brushes - one seems to be broken and the other is OK which may be why we were getting the intermittent failing rather than an outright fail where it didn't operate at all. Gerry had apparently "phoned a friend", well texted is probably more exact, to help with the diagnostics of this. Brad, who worked as Gerry's electrical engineer in Africa, to the rescue - from England no less, deserves our thanks for his help and input. All Gerry needs to do now is source replacement brushes and fit them - yes he will be replacing both as we can only guess that the pair of brushes are of the same vintage so if one has failed it might be only a matter of time before the other brush gives up the ghost and causes another failure. Next was the searching on line for replacement parts, there is an assortment of brushes to choose from apparently but getting the size right might be the next hurdle as we don't know if our brushes are the "unused" measurement or if they have decreased in size over the course of their lifetime of use - it's a conundrum! It looks like we will be ordering a new pump as well as the brushes in case the size is different and the brushes don't fit the pump when they arrive then we can just change out the entire unit. If by some miracle the brushes do fit then we will have a spare pump - which we will never need of course!
Eventually Gerry got himself moving and went outside to start hosing down and washing the deck, I went back to my dust bunny hunt in the salon but quickly decided that I wanted to do a bit of cooking instead, the dust bunnies are safely in hiding for the moment. So I made up some brie and balsamic caramelized onion tarts and a turkey hotpot so we have a choice for dinner tonight. Gerry came down for some lunch and whilst he was below it began to rain, the first rain we have seen in 6 weeks, putting an end to his cleaning of the deck - he had completed one side and now the rain was washing all the dirt and dust off of the mast and sail bag onto the newly cleaned deck. If it rains enough maybe we will be able to get rid of most of the grime from the entire boat with just a small amount of effort on our part. Back in the nav station for the afternoon and Gerry has been further researching the replacement brushes, I'm loath to ask how that's going, I'll see the bill when they arrive!
The clock is creeping towards the witching hour oops, I mean cocktail hour so I'm going to end here and hope that we have something more to tell you tomorrow.