Dodging the Rain
11 August 2020 | Raiatea Carenage
William Ennis | Soggy
Thank you, friends and family, for the wonderful birthday wishes. I enjoyed reading them way out here in the far Pacific. It reminded me of your importance to me.
Conni and I worked on the new engine instrument panel. As we mentioned, it was something for which we had planned so had performed measurements and made templates. Still, the reality of doing work with all hand tools makes slow going. We had create a template for the adapter plate for the panel. The cutout in the cockpit was, naturally, a different size and shape from what the new panel needed, so we knew that we needed to cover some of the old hole. The fabricator did a fine job, but we had to create a new cutout in the adapter plate to mount the new panel, and even with an oscillating saw, it required patience, time, and careful measurement. After cutting the hole, I'd grind a bit of plastic and hand the plate up to Conni for a fitting. She'd make notes on where to grind next and pass it down to me. I was working off the boat, of course, to eliminate a huge mess of plastic chips and powder resulting from my work. Finally, we decided that the instrument panel fit well and we next went to fit that assembly of panel and plate into the pre-existing cutout. After 3 hours of work, we now have a usable new instrument panel for the new engine.
I have tried to post pages to our site, as you know, but the slowness of our Internet here has been overwhelming. I simply quit last night, disgusted that I couldn't even reach the web at all! My site host's nearest usable website is in Singapore, and I never even got to it. I tried this morning with complete success, so perhaps that's the key: early in the morning here.
We worked the remainder of the day, with Conni working on the cap rail during the rain squalls and I worked on connecting the engine control wiring. Since the work for installing the depth sounder and fairing block were below the boat and inside the boat, we were able to finally get that project complete. We planned the entire project, discussing who would do what, and I still forgot to wear the protective gloves to keep caulk off of my hands! Have I mentioned how I detest working with caulk? It required all four hands and both brains to get the various pieces in place and tight, but we finally got the main hex nut tightened just as the caulk began to cure. Whew! I cleaned a bit of caulk from the fairing block and we installed the core and connected the unit to our NMEA2000 network. Done! We've not installed every piece of new electronics that we bought, and when we used the engine key, the lights and buzzer sounded, so that system is also working.
All in all, it's been a successful day, having completed the installations, leaving the remainder of the maintenance to complete. I'm still working on the chock re-install, I've got to paint the hull bottom in antifouling paint, and I've got some engine maintenance to do. Conni's got 2/3 of the cap rail to complete, returning to the masthead to rescue our main halyard, and a multitude of other tasks.
Nevertheless, we're getting there.
I have forgotten to mention that we have a pair of Mynah birds living close by. They are beautiful birds but their singing and mimicry are surprising. We've enjoyed their contribution.