Pump has arrived! & Radio checked out
17 July 2010 | Port angeles, WA
Ray here - warm and sunny out!
Our three day wait is over and, as promised, our fuel injection pump has returned from the doc! It looks brand new! The surgeon said that some time ago (in the boat's history before us) evidently, water got mixed in with the fuel or there was bad fuel added... as there was a lacquer build up inside the fuel injection pump ports. (Of course this means that now we'll have to get our fuel tested and double check our filtering system). Anyway...The good news is, my son-in-law James, is here to help (in his other life he was a diesel mechanic!)...so it looks like we have a good shot at installing the pump and getting the boat ready for the left turn toward California and Mexico! We still have a lot to do but things seem to be falling in place.
The Radio Story....
The other good news was from my radio guy. Cruiser people (that's us) usually have at least two different types of radio's on board. Well, our HF radio (think of it like long distance calling) wasn't working well at all. It was on the boat when we bought it; we could receive stuff okay, but could only talk very short distances...like...the boat next to us. Nothing made any sense. We even brought "experts" out to the boat to help...and still no joy. (Can you hear me now..."No"..."Can you hear me now... "No") ....so...yesterday, I packed it up and took it off the boat to a radio repair guy who specializes in this equipment. He plugged it into his equipment (and set up a whole batch of electronic ICU-like test equipment (ha!)...anyway... We plugged it in and turned it on... Ho-La! Perfect reception and even more perfect transmission! It was putting out like a gazillion watts! We could even hear God on the thing...anyway... It was like the radio had been asleep for the last three years! (We were really happy about this working so well as these things aren't cheap). Evidently, the problem had to do with the antenna and grounding system on the boat. It was designed to put out about 100 watts, and in the right conditions... reach several thousand miles...but evidently the previous owner had beefed it up a bit as it was putting out 150 watts in the shop! Very relieved...we'll be putting it back on the boat along with a new antenna system, so aside from Internet, it will give us Weatherfax at will, and ability to phone link out pretty far...hopefully, this will increase our capability for long distance communications when Internet and phone service is not around.
There are only two or three other projects and we should be off. Saying it that way makes it sound so simple...when in reality, these are huge, time consuming, and complicated projects like attaching the Monitor Wind Vane (a self-steering device that goes on the back of the boat), and re-wiring the masts for both lighting and radios = going up the masts...not fun!)......This, stopping-to-do-repairs-before-departure-stuff, literally took the wind out of our sails...at least in terms of the driving momentum to go south. It did give us a chance to visit with friends and family and that has been the "makes-it-all-worthwhile" part...but right now the boat isn't moving like it was when we we're out cruising the San Juan's and Canada....and when it isn't moving, something gets lost in the translation. On the other hand...I suspect we'll get our fill of travel and movement in the upcoming days as it's 15 to 20 days to get down the coast...then three months on the hook in San Diego waiting for hurricane season to end...then the next year or two in Mexico.
Ray out for now...