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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

11/3/2010 - On the boat day

We stayed aboard almost all day today. My knee has been giving me problems as it sometimes does. Best remedy is lots of ibuprofen and let it rest.

We were a bit behind in our electricity balance. It was so cloudy the first day or two here that the solar panels never quite caught up. Since then they've been successfully replacing what we've been using every day, but that's it. Nothing extra. So, since we were going to be aboard anyway, seemed like a good day to run the Honda generator for a few hours. It's so quiet that I don't even feel too guilty when we run it. And, in a semi-crowded area like this, I set it up in the cockpit where it'll be most annoying to me. Always bugged me when we'd be in a campground somewhere and some hoople-head would set up his noisy generator. Invariably it would be as far away from where he was sitting as possible. Then, more often than not, it was sitting in a box that had been soundproofed on 3 sides and the top. The one side was left open so the generator wouldn't overheat. Guess who the open side faced. Not the owner of the generator, that's for sure. Anyway, I try not to be that guy.

While the generator was charging up the batteries, Lulu took advantage of the situation to break out her Singer and sew up some new cockpit cushions. I just sat around in the cockpit reading and dozing.

About 1:00 PM, we both donned our wetsuits. Sorry, no pictures. Man!, wetsuits are a stone bitch to get on! Especially when you're already a bit sweaty. But once we were in the water, they felt really good. This is the same water that Lulu got into yesterday wearing only her swimsuit and said it was so cold it took her breath away. Today, properly attired, we were completely comfortable. Armed with a mask and snorkel, I checked out the bolt on the propshaft that looked like it had backed off. Turns out it hadn't backed off at all. The reason it was standing proud was because the zinc that it holds in place was completely gone. I put a new zinc on when we were in the yard in early July. That's only 4 months ago. We must have been in some nasty marinas (stray-current-wise) since then as a zinc lasted us well over a year in Newport. While removing the bolt, I also noticed that the big bronze nut that holds the prop in place was loose. It would be REALLY bad to lose that since, other than friction, that's the only thing keeping the prop on the shaft. I didn't have a big enough wrench handy to tighten it. I could have found one but it was in a different toolbox which is squirreled away either in the engine room or the quarter berth and we were both way too wet and salty to go searching. Besides, I doubted my capacity to properly tighten it under water. I had to wedge my foot in between the prop and the keel just to keep from floating back up to the surface. The wetsuits added an amazing amount of buoyancy. So there was no way I was going to be able tighten the nut as tight as it needs to be to meet specs and, more importantly, to put my mind at ease when the engine is running. Besides that, I was so nervous that I'd drop an important part, that I had everything tied to me in such a way as to make the repair nearly impossible. So, I contacted Discount Dive and Marine and they're sending a diver out tomorrow afternoon (after he gets back from his first-ever swordfishing trip) to tighten the nut and install a new zinc.

Even though I wasn't successful with the repair, we still had a good time out in the water. It is so clear. Today it was a wee bit cloudy but still very clear. Got to get used to the wetsuits as well as the mask and snorkel. And, we figured out how to get back into the dingy from the water and that's not a task taken lightly. Now we're pumped up to go snorkeling.

After we got out of our wetsuits and rinsed off with fresh water, it was still plenty warm enough to air-dry in the cockpit. It was supposed to get up tom 85 today and I bet it did. What a pleasant day.


Samantha Bryner AKA SammyJo said...

Sounds like a lot of fun in the sun! Isn't rubber amazing??? Wow a zinc gone in 4 months? Does that happen in warmer weather or what? (I know it is electrolosis or some such) does it work faster in warmer water? Mine last at least a year here in Friday Harbor!
Keep us posted we love it!

Are you going in the water w/the diver to watch???

Anonymous said...

Tip for wetsuits. Go to a dive shop and get a dive skin. It's polyester and works just like a wetsuit. If you put it on first the wetsuit will just slide on easy as pie. If it's hot where you are going it will provide enough cover to protect you underwater from fire coral or scrapes on rocks and such. We found that we always wear a wetsuit with one and often would dive with just the diveskin. They are much easier to clean and rinse the salt water out of and dry quick. Ken

Anonymous said...

My marina eats my prop zincs almost as fast as I have them replaced. Must be a SoCal thing.

Terry Shoup