At the Boat

Hello all,

Well, the car got fixed, sort of. There is still a problem with the alternator but it will be addressed in the spring. They had to order a part from Europe! That may take a day or two.

So, we left on Wednesday, Nov 5th after spending the night at Steve’s. It was just easier to leave from there as we wanted to turn off the water, drain the waterheater and generally winterize the house as if it might freeze. That shouldn’t happen but if the power is off for a few days, then there is no concern about pipes bursting etc.

The first day got us as far as Tennessee, near Pigeon Forge or Dollywood. Motels were inexpensive there which was a pleasant surprise. For less than $50 we had a very nice. clean room. In the morning we headed off early again. About 100 miles down the road, Murray said “I have a new warning light on the dash”. Upon checking the book, we discovered that it was a bulb failure. Then, just a few moments later, a warning light for the brakes flashed on. Then another, indicating a serious brake failure. We pulled off at the next exit. The brakes were working ok and the brake fluid level was just fine. But, both headlights were burned out. We debated whether to find bulbs now or keep going and try later. Now won out and, following directions, we found a store selling the correct replacement lights. Nearby was a grocery store with a good supply of boxed wine in 5 litre boxes ( not available in Florida where only 3 L is sold ). So, with only a half hour delay we headed out again. No extra warning lights showed on the dash.

We tried a different route down from Columbia, South Carolina that took us off of 95 and through small towns. I enjoyed it very much and there was much less truck traffic. But, it was slower traveling.

Staying near the boat that night was much more expensive than TN. In fact about $40 more! But, before 9 am, we were at the boat. In just one short hour, they lifted us into the workyard and life on the hard commenced.

As there had been 28 inches of rain this summer in the two hurricanes that went over this area, I had expected to see a lot of mildew in the cabin. But, there was very little! In fact she was in great shape. I will still wipe each locker out with vinegar and water before putting anything away.

The batteries were dead, so Murray got the cords out and plugged us in. The inverter/charger hummed away and the batteries were soon being charged. Murray checked fluid levels and added a lot of distilled water. When we climbed into bed that night, I noticed that the wall between the cockpit locker and the head ( bathroom ) was very warm. “No worries” Mur said ” there is a temperature sensor that shuts down the charging if the temp gets to high”. Well, that sensor didn’t work and we were lucky that the boat didn’t burn down with us in it. The batteries were almost melted in the morning and so hot by evening that Murray still couldn’t touch them. Needless to say, they will need replacing. We thought that the inverter/charger had failed somehow but, checking with another battery, it seems to function just fine. The other batteries must have shorted out.

So, work goes on. There is very little space on the dock so we will probably be on the hard for two weeks and do most of the work before launch. It will be a pain to carry all of our supplies up a ladder but there may be no choice in the matter. I will check with the office on Monday to see if we can schedule our launch for the 18th and see what they say. Even that is longer than normal. We have to take the transmission out and get it repaired but I am not sure if we will do it here on the hard or wait. Murray said that the easiest way to get the transmission out was to pull the engine. We have done that before and it is easier than it sounds. Our cockpit floor comes up and then the boom is right over the middle of the engine. Using halyards and pulleys, we lift it out. Of course, it isn’t quite as simple as that as all wiring and hoses must be disconnected first. Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.

That is all of the news from here. Write when you have time. Hugs to all,

Heather & Murray