Yesterday my folks, having heard that we'd changed plans and would need to get to Silverton, dropped everything and drove down to Charleston to pick us up and give us a ride. That's like a 5 hour round trip just between their home in Eureka and our new temporary home in Charleston. And, to make the deal even sweeter, they then gave us their truck to use. We'll have use of it while we're here at our daughter Cody's house and then will drive it up to the family reunion in The Dalles where we'll turn it back over to them, they having gotten a ride up with my sister and her husband. Pretty sweet parents, huh?
We could absolutely not believe we were in the same state when we got out of the truck in Eugene. It was actually WARM! It felt and looked like summer is supposed to. Off came the long johns and hooded sweatshirts and on went the shorts and t-shirts. Get thee behind me double-pairs of socks. Welcome to my feet, Mr. Keen sandals. It feels so good. I realize that the weather that feels so good here is largely responsible for keeping us in Charleston as it's a big cause of the high winds and resultant waves, but it sure feels good.
Of course, the trip was not without some drama, else why blog about it?
Were cruising along between Coos Bay and Drain (nice name for a town in a rainy state, eh?) when my cell phone rings. It's someone at the marina in Charleston. Oh, this can't be good. Seems someone came up to the office and reported that "the alarm on your boat is going off". Alarm? What alarm? Other than the alarm clock, the only alarm I can think of is the low oil pressure/high temperature alarm on the engine. But those only sound if the ignition key is on. She said she'd have someone go down and check again and call me back.
Todd Snider's song rolls through my brain as I wait for her call:
"Tension, tension, tension it's all that I know..."
The phone rings. It's her again. Yes, it's definitely coming from my boat. We talk a bit and she puts me on with Richard, the head of maintenance. After talking to him a minute or so, he heads down to the boat and will call me back.
Richard calls back in just a few minutes and, in the background I can hear the annoying chirping whistle that I'd had to endure for hours on the trip down from Newport. It was the low oil pressure alarm. WTF? How is that even possible?
I give Richard the combination and he climbs below. First I try an easy fix that I know going in isn't going to work. I have him turn off all the breakers (except the fridge). Doesn't work, as expected. How comfortable are you with pulling wires, Richard? I can handle it. Great.
I explain to him how to open the engine compartment door (first remove the companionway steps) and then try to explain where the wires are that terminate on the oil pressure switch. Of course, now that the breakers are off, he has no light so I tell him where to find a flashlight. This is when it's really nice to know exactly where everything is on the boat. Of course, from past postings you know that I don't really know where everything is but fortunately I didn't need to try to explain to him how to find the torque wrench. But I knew how to direct Richard to all the things he needed.
But, I digress. Amid much grunting, Richard finally gets all the wires disconnected from the oil pressure switch. Ah, blessed silence. I WISH! No, that damned horn is still sounding. Double-WTF? Next step is to remove the back from the engine control panel and remove the wires from the horn itself. I explain to Richard where to find a screwdriver and how to proceed. Partway through the procedure, things suddenly go quiet. SUCCESS! Right, Richard? Richard? Oh crap! I lost my signal. I try calling back but I've got no signal.
Then, miraculously the phone rings. It's Richard's assistant who said she accidentally hung up. But now it IS quiet in the background. The operation was successful. Whew! I thank him and tell him not to bother putting anything away. I'll take care of that when we get back. Just lock up. I thank him and he rings off.
I'm sure you remember the problems we had with the oil pressure alarm coming down the coast after we took water in the cockpit a couple of times. But this is just weird. How could it possibly get energized with the key turned off (not even in the switch)? And then, unless Richard pulled the wrong wires or my interpretation of which wires were the right ones was wrong, how could the horn get juice with the wires pulled? Good thing I have a wiring diagram on the boat. I've ordered a new oil pressure switch just in case but this is going to be an interesting mystery to solve when we get back to chilly Charleston.
Oh well, I know the boat is safe and in no danger of sinking or anything so I guess I'll just relax, enjoy the warm weather, help Cody & Scott get a few things done for their wedding and then go to the reunion. PLenty of time to stress about things that need fixing when we get back to the boat.