The Transition to Land
30 June 2018 | Pension Tiare Nui
With the boat in "project mode", stuff everywhere, it's not a reasonable place to live. To reach anything or anywhere, boxes and piles of lines, or tools must be moved..well, cursed and moved. It's a trying time for us and it's why we move off the boat when we can. Luckily for us, Pension Tiare Nui awaits.
Yesterday, at the appointed time, someone from Pension Tiare Nui arrived at the Carenage and we were ready with our night's supplies. On arriving, we dumped our stuff and went in search of beer, wine, and baguette, all of which we had done without for several days since we had no vehicle and had drained our supplies. Back at the Pension, we enjoyed the evening cool, sipped some wine with our crazy neighbor, Marie, and enjoyed our hor de oeuvres. It was delightful!
Ah, Marie... Marie is a 72-year-old French woman who has been given permission to live in one of the bungalows here since she knows the owner. She pays no rent but probably has no money, either. She's more than a tad overweight and suffers from many ailments: bad knees, bad back, sciatica, etc. We met her here several years ago, and her penchant for non-stop talking about her health issues usually means that we avoid her when we can. She is an interesting person, actually, when you can get her to stop telling you about her declining health. She was born in Alsace just after the WW2, so her section of France was one of the first to be overrun by the Germans and one of the last to be liberated. Some local healer has introduced her to various juice cocktails that seem to help her feel better, so she hobbles to the local market every few days for the latest round of juice. Last night, though, we gave her some of the wine that we were enjoying, a good French Rosé. Tonight, she hobbled over from her bungalow (interrupting our dinner, mind you...as were eating!) and asked what the name of the wine was. It was a miracle cure, she said! Well, duh! Alcohol works! She was so grateful to us! We do plan on taking her to dinner at the nearby Italian place, Napoli, sometime this week.
Busy day on the boat. We got the dinghy out of the water, hosed down and cleaned, hoisted to the deck, and stowed. I flubbed and change the oil before I rinsed the salt from the engine, so we'll add the cheap off-season oil and I'll have to change the oil filter. Dummy.
While I was doing that, I found a nice piece of bolt. Note the phrase: "piece of bolt". It was sheared from something and I knew that it probably came from the alternator. A quick inspection validated my thought. Who knows when it sheared? After some knuckle-busting work, I removed the old bolt, an M8, and replaced it with one of my spares. The problem is that there is too much play between the alternator bracket and the alternator foot, and no one has been able to get the right spacers into the system. If the alternator isn't tight, the rotation makes it vibrate a bit, and through the hours, it does so enough to shear the bolt. A new engine should solve that! I've done the job enough times to understand the process, so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I took the opportunity to change the alternator belt, too.
We counted engine hours when I changed the oil: all of that is put in my engine log, of course. We have 160 hours of motoring on this crossing! At an average of 4 knots, that's 640 nautical miles! We did sail most of the time during the crossing, but the seas were so bad that the engine helped when we hit a wave and slowed.
Our starboard fuel tank needs cleaning again, so I'll take the same advice and care as before to clean it: none-metallic tools and lots of care. Again, thanks, LaVerne and Kelly, for that advice on staying safe while cleaning a diesel tank.
Most large tasks are complete but the big issue is trying to stop the leaks in our chainplates. The stainless steel cable that supports the mast are called shrouds. They connect to stainless steel bars bolted to the hull and that protrude through the deck. Those bars are called, "chainplates" and of course, they originally were plates for chains to attach. The constant working of the mast is transferred to the chainplates, of course, and that loosens all but the most perfect sealing job, and we've had much less than that perfect job the past few years. Even the professionals have done a poor job, although not an expensive job. We can't find the recommended caulk or the recommended preparation solutions for them, so I suspect that we'll use what we can find and have to re-do the job when we return.
We're still planning on the engine replacement next year and have been working on that task constantly.
By the way, we're both clean, cool, and dry. We're fed and we've had a beer each. Simple pleasures.