Lulu stayed behind at (daughter) Cody's to help get the place ready for the wedding on the 28th. But I needed to get back to Siempre Sabado to make some repairs so she's ready to go as soon as we get acceptable weather after Cody's wedding.
So I set out bright and early in the pickup that my folks are still letting me borrow. I stopped off at Norvac in Salem to see if I could get a DC-to-AC inverter. I wanted one of about 1000W that I could hard-wire in on the boat. All we need it for is recharging the computers, the cell phones and occasionally running the vacuum cleaner. Well, Jim at Norvac didn't have one but he directed me to "Batteries Northwest" with a "tell them I sent you". I drove over to the store and was sent into the back room where the inverters were kept. They had smaller ones from 100W up to 800W. Then they jumped up to 2000W. Well, since even 1000W is a bit of overkill for me, I decided to go for the $79.95 800W model over the $279.00 2000W unit. Then I dropped the "Jim from Norvac said to tell you he sent me" line. Well, I'll be damned if it wasn't good for another 10% off. And, when it was finally rung up, the 10% turned in to $9.95 so I got the 800W inverter for an even $70.00. Not too shabby.
Then I had to divert to Newport as my friend Jay from s/v Wind Raven had their friend James pick me up a really big dry bag with shoulder straps and a padded waist belt from Costco in Eugene and they were holding it for me. After getting the bag and visiting for a few minutes, I headed back to the truck via the transient dock. I was pretty sure I spied a Westsail 32 over there. Sure enough there was a very pretty W32 named "El Gitano" (The Gypsy) from Sedro-Wooley, WA. The companionway was open so I knocked on the hull and was invited aboard. I explained that my name was Steve and that I had a Westsail 28 that was currently sitting in Charleston, OR and was interested in how the weather was coming down the coast. The owner, Doug, told me a little about his trip (it was rolly) and then asked my last name. I said, "Yoder". His eyes lit up and he said, "And Lulu, right?" I told him he was right. He said he's been following the blog and even said he was "stoked" to have run into me. I felt like a minor celebrity. You just never know who's out there reading this stuff. Anyway, I'll probably see Doug and Jody again soon as they plan to leave Newport tomorrow morning bound for Coos Bay, or, probably more accurately, Charleston.
I finally got back to the boat about 4:00 PM. It was in pretty good shape except that the dirty harbor water is leaving a scum line on the new bottom paint. That and the cabin just felt sort of damp. When there's no one living on the boat, it just seems to "dampen up" a little. Maybe because there's no one turning heaters on and opening the companionway and so on.
There was also this weird ticking noise. At first I thought it was outside but whenever I stuck my head out, the noise went away. I tracked it to the engine room but was a bit bumfuzzled since nearly all the breakers were open (OFF). But I kept following the sound and finally found that it was coming from the glow plug relay on the engine. The only way I could find to stop it was to disconnect the plug on one of the engine wiring harnesses. Then I tried hooking the alarm wires back up but, as the alarm started to sound right away, I disconnected the other engine wiring harness and everything was quiet. Guess I know what I have to tackle first tomorrow. I believe that at this point, the most likely culprit is the engine control panel. It's a common denominator and also took a couple of not-quite-direct hits during the trip down. Guess I'll pull it out and then take the heat gun to it to see if I can dry out any moisture that might be acting as a switch. I'll also install the new oil pressure switch as long as I'm in the engine room.
My other jobs this week are:
-Refasten the forward base on the bow pulpit and then readjust the lifeline tension. Something lifted the bow pulpit (could have happened when docking as I have a tendency to kiss pilings with the pulpit), pulling the forward screw about an inch out of the bowsprit platform. Doesn't look like I can through-bolt it so I'll have to use a fatter and/or longer screw instead.
-Install the engine compartment access door hold-downs that I'm designing as I go along. If they work I'll post some photos in case some other Westsailors might want easier cockpit access to their engine rooms.
- Install the inverter.
-Run heavier power cables to the new VHF radio so it'll quit giving me "Lo Battery" alarms.
Well, that's about it for now. Sure feels good to be back on the boat. It'd be better if Lulu was here but she's not. It'll be nice when we're back on our regular schedule, such as it is.