Swing Set

Apr 20, 201308:19 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

A Milestone

Today is April 20 and marks one year to the day that we have been living full time aboard Swing Set, and it's the one year anniversary of Rosie's retirement. When we reflect back on all that has transpired in the last year, we cannot hardly believe it.

We've been at anchor here just across from Fox Town in the Little Abacos since last Wednesday. We had intentions of going into shore on Thursday, but didn't see any activity at the local restaurant, Da Valley, at all. We didn't see any point in sitting in a bar or restaurant by ourselves, so we figured we'd wait until the weekend, as the weather forecast has dictated that we'll be here at least until Sunday afternoon.

The trouble with having windy conditions that warrant staying put is that those same windy conditions make dinghy travel wet and uncomfortable, and make other water activities less than enjoyable, too. So, while we're waiting for the wind to calm down some, we've been reading and doing some chores but are still enjoying the fabulous view from the boat.

Some woodwork in the galley had come loose, so yesterday I used Gorilla Glue and fixed that, using some creative methods to clamp the repair while the glue dried. Having clamps and ratchet-type strapping available is great for these type of projects, because finding ways to put pressure on glue repair jobs takes some doing if you need to do them while the object is "in place."

Holly also got a haircut. I scalped her this time, but Rosie says she still looks cute, and I have to agree. She does very well at holding still when I'm trimming her face, what there is of it, but she still fidgets a great deal when I trim her feet. We think it tickles her. When I use the clippers around her private parts, she just about falls asleep in her reverie. Even telling about it makes me uncomfortable.

Just as we were finishing up with Holly, we smelled something burning and both figured it was just the trash burning in Fox Town, but upon further inspection, we found that a GFI receptacle in the day head had burnt. Really burnt. I'd already replaced two of the three GFIs we have on the boat, as they'd ceased to function. I didn't worry about the one in the day head because it's Holly's room and we don't use that receptacle, but the line feeds a receptacle in the master stateroom. All bets are off when conditions are such that the boat is bucking and bouncing, although it's a natural condition for a boat, but GFIs do get old and fail. This one may have tripped, or tried to and couldn't, and it took me some time to ascertain the problem, resetting the inverter three times during my diagnoses, probably exacerbating the overload condition. I replaced the melted GFI with a new fancy one that has a light on it to show there's no overload. Good to have spare GFIs around, too.

I also found a worn-out cable ferrule on the dinghy harness and replaced it with a stainless-steel cable clamp. I say "ferrule," but I'm not really sure what it's called. All I know is I had used some aluminum ones when we built the harness initially, not thinking of the saltwater it would eventually be in. Aluminum really has no place on a boat, especially in a high stress area. When we get back to civilization, I'll rebuild the harness system for the dinghy, as I have another idea about how to make it better. There's always room for improvement.

On the subject of improvement, the wind generators have really come into their own in this steady 20-plus-mph wind. We're keeping both battery banks charged up with ease and are able to operate the watermaker on just the wind generator alone. I thought I had a problem with our recently rebuilt wind generator, but we're experiencing wind conditions that we have not had on a steady basis as of yet, and the unit is operating just like it's supposed to, going into "regulation mode" once the battery bank voltage reaches the cut-out voltage, only to start up again once voltage drops again to operating mode. The generator feeding the inverter bank typically doesn't enter this mode, as the load from the refrigerator is always on it, but the 12-volt system doesn't have a constant load on it unless the water maker is on. I hope I've not just jinxed ourselves.

Our Friday was just about shot. We took showers and got dressed a bit, and were heading for Da Valley, but the wind was really kicking up and we figured to be drenched before getting to shore if we went, so since we had no pressing reason to go ashore, we decided to eat in yet again.

While heating up dinner and checking our mail on the St. Brendan's site, we saw a bill from the Community Health Center in Marathon, where I got my physical recently. Even though the doctor there was in our network, we still got billed as though he wasn't. Not being where we can spend lots of time on the phone to rectify this error turns a small issue into a large one. We try to keep our ducks in a row but continue to be sabotaged by the incompetence of others. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, but I hate it when other folks are gunnin' for us.

After a brief rain shower, we watched another glorious sunset and then put one of our DVDs in and watched that before turning in. "Rainman" wasn't any better the second time around.

Our sleep was a bit restless, as the harbor here has not offered the wave protection I thought it would. When the wind shifted more to the south, which I knew it would, I could've reset the anchor closer to the shore of Fox Town, but I don't like to pull anchor in a blow unless it's absolutely necessary, and two other boats in here that are anchored closer to the shore are bouncing around anyway, so it's best to stay put.

If you read the comment section on my last post, you will see that an anonymous reader had questioned my use of the term "rode." My use of the term has only been applied from what I've learned from seeing how the term was used in other places. The best thing is that I'm not getting paid for this blog and I don't have to answer to anyone. I may even make up some words occasionally. If any comment needs to be made regarding my writing approach, it should be about my use of punctuation, as it is abysmal. I do try to keep the content mainstream, more or less, because two regional websites contain a link to this blog, Riverbills.com and Heartland Boating, and I only owe it to them to behave myself as much as possible. But it's not easy.

We're going to try to make it into town again this afternoon, as the wind is predicted to settle later on. Our short-term plan is to leave here tomorrow afternoon and head for Allans-Pennsecola Cay, not very far away, but the scenery will be different. Next week looks good to start island hopping to the southeast, perhaps only staying one night in each place. We still want to find a calm anchorage with enough wind protection to allow good snorkeling conditions. A nice white sand beach to look at, as well as walk upon, would be nice too. I bet we find one.

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