As I write this we are still in Vancouver, Washington putting together the final items on our list for going south again. We have the house sitter lined up and the motorhome will be getting the oil changed in the coming week. When I think about all the “stuff” completed last year it makes me think that this year we will actually be making it at least as far as La Cruz de Huanacaxtlé. At least, I think we stand a pretty good chance of it.
|What Faith looked like before she left Portland|
|What Faith looks like now.|
Last season we added the new auto pilot, a new fresh water driven toilet in the forward head, a new water heater, the new arch with two more solar panels and a wind generator, a new seat cushion in the cockpit, a variety of small improvements and the use of our XM radio, along with other smaller adaptations. This year we are replacing the aft toilet, fresh portlights and gaskets, installing the new controllers for the solar panels and wind generator, have new mounting attachments for the grill, a new antenna for the XM radio, a new (to us) 55# anchor, new hallway carpeting (yes, I know, long story to follow) and generally bringing the boat up to cruising snuff (I picked up a new LED bulb for the anchor light). We are taking down several LED lights to experiment with for the cockpit and salon. There are things that will be put off for a bit too but we likely will need a fresh coat of bottom paint and, hmmm, probably a few things that I cannot foresee at the moment. We picked up a new handheld VHF radio too and we may be able to have the old one repaired when we get to Guaymas. I have also been toting around a type of radio/internet connection for the past 6 years that I might get around to installing this year.
|Arch in process at the welder's shop|
Where am I going with all this? To point out that cruising is about constant work… even when you are not, strictly speaking, working on the boat you are thinking about working on the boat. Even though our list is shorter this year it still involves doing a number of things.
Last season, at the tail end, we had an incident that forced us to have work at that time too. We had replaced the motor mounts and a carrier bearing for the propeller shaft (oh, didn’t I mention that before?) and it led to a problem on the last day. When we sailed into San Carlos we had anchored, finally, in a bay just outside the marina entrance (long story over on Sandy’s blog about that) and backed down on the anchor as we always do to set it. In the morning we got set to leave and take our slip in the marina in preparation for hauling out. As I raised the anchor Sandy put the boat into gear and raised the throttle on the motor fully expecting to go somewhere. Hmmm, no sign of water churning in our wake. Hmmm, no going forward. Hmmm, put the anchor down and go investigate.
It turned out that the propeller shaft was not connected to the transmission. There are two bolts that, combined with a cotter key, that hold all that together but they were no longer functioning. I found the key, fortunately, directly under the transmission coupler and reinserted it. There wasn’t much I could about the bolts but, I reasoned, if we only went forward the shaft would stay attached and we could limp into the slip. Cautiously and slowly we did just that and on hauling out had the plan of redoing the attachment before putting the boat away for the summer. Yes, it worked fine but thankfully that had not happened during any of our much longer passages that year. We will be looking the fix over carefully before departing this time!!