Swing Set

Oct 29, 201212:08 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Some Maintenance Issues

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I had been contemplating getting our transmission oil changed, and having never done it before, I was a bit uncertain about it. The procedure calls for replacing the oil sump filter, plus the drain plug is in a hard to reach area. I got online and found out how to do the job, and I decided to give it a go, saving a few bucks.

After breakfast yesterday with Gary and Judy at our favorite restaurant here in Cape Coral, El Mambos, we stopped by our favorite hardware store, where we bought a small drill-powered fluid transfer pump so I can remove the transmission oil with no mess. I found out that just cleaning the sump filter with mineral spirits and reinstalling is the common method, so I'm going to tackle this job myself on a day when I don't have anything to do. (This is a joke.) I paid a little more for the pump at the nearby hardware store than I would have paid at the further away Harbor Freight Store, but I told Gary that keeping that hardware store in business is a good idea and he agreed.

The other night, we went to the Monkey Bar for happy hour with Gary and Judy and had a pretty good time, although when the one-man band struck up a tune that had some older folks in attendance up doing "the bump," I think I saw one or two colostomy bags burst. Welcome to the geriatric state of Florida.

I mentioned El Mambos; for $3.50 you get three eggs any way you like them, a very generous helping of either sausage or bacon, Cuban bread and a mug of delicious Cuban coffee. You can't beat it. The refill of coffee alone is $3! Last time we visited Cape Coral, we went to El Mambos four days in a row. Geriatrics save money this way.

I think if it was up to our friends here, we would go out to eat three times a day, but we have to consider our budget and our livers, so during our two-week stay here we've taken a few "breaks." Today is one of those days. I'm going to piddle around, perfecting my dinghy safety harness system, and also pull our four sea strainers and put some pennies in each one. I got this idea when we were staying with Carl and Greg in Panama City. Carl installed copper tubes on his raw water lines, and I asked why. He said it was because the copper leaches into the intake water and inhibits some marine growth. The copper will eventually disintegrate, is what I thought, and I wondered if just putting some copper into the strainers would work just as good, not causing a leak at some point. (Think about the reasoning behind the method of including copper into bottom paint.) So, after always leaving pennies at the sales counter anytime we got them as change, I found myself purchasing 50 pennies at the hardware store yesterday. It may not work, but it can't hurt anything, plus I'll always know where I can find my last 50 cents if we need it.

We woke up to the calmest morning yet here in Bimini Basin. The water was nearly smooth as glass, as this picture I took at daybreak shows. I decided to try an experiment this morning; as soon as I got up, I let Holly out of her "room" and took her outside. The transom door has been left open lately and I told her to "go potty." After sniffing around a bit, she stepped down to the swim platform and peed. She has been doing this throughout the day lately, but this was the first time I tried letting her out in the morning first thing. Big deal, right? There's more. During our breakfast, Holly was left to run rampant around the salon, playing with one of her toys, and at one point she went over to the screen door and began pawing at it. Rosie let her out and she went back out to the swim platform to poop. This is monumental. We spend between 25 and 40 cents for each potty pad that we use, at times using two or three per day. We're talking about some serious cash here. I think I'll call Gary and Judy this morning and tell them we can afford happy hour on Wednesday now.

Meanwhile, we are forging ahead with paperwork regarding the sale of our condo. It's nice having a scanner and printer here on the boat. Any form that cannot be DocuSigned can be printed, signed, scanned and sent back, making this an easy experience so far. This being Monday, we expect to have documents and forms flying back on forth via computer all day long. I may have to take a rest before I start my self-appointed chores.

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