Sunday, December 20, 2015

Contemplating.... leaking boats and beautful sunrises.

So, here I am in my little house on the waves, bobbing about on anchor in Lindberg Bay, waiting for morning and the flight that arrives at 8:30, carrying my gal to visit me. It seems so long since I've seen her and yet it is less than ten days. Hard to believe that just two weeks ago I was bundling up and taking the dogs for sunrise walks on the cold Cape Cod beaches.

I guess the days have been really full, but with what?

Well, I've certainly had my share of tribulations..............

I pulled the ancient and rusted refrigeration unit (yes, it was empty of refrigerant, but filled with rusty water), cleaned underneath it, and managed to find a very slight leak that I quickly exacerbated, finally calling Peter over to help lend an extra hand. I could have done it myself, but a level head and good mind is helpful and I hoped he would provide those. Anyway, it hasn't leaked a drop since, but I really should pull the boat and patch the hull there.... hmmmm..or should I? Alternatives swirl in my mind!

I figured out how to install the masthead lights and, at the same time, run the radio antenna and new wire in the mast wire channel so they don't clang all night... or clang far more gently. Unfortunately, I'll need ot climb the mast at least three times.

I wired up the engine and now can crank it with the key! The bad news is that I then found diesel in the bilges, so had to clean that up well and will need to track down the leak. Oh unmitigated joy!

A large area (18” square?) of the plywood core over the entrance to the aft stateroom seems to be missing, almost certainly decayed. Now I need to track down the source of the water, dry out the core, and fill it with epoxy. No wonder the teak handrail was rotten and loose and the dodger foot rusty and wobbling.

It rained for a couple hours today and water dripped in through multiple screws that punctured the void (see above) and from hatch handles and ancient portlight seals. At least I have seals coming tomorrow!

So many more, but who has time to list all troubles?

Plenty of good stuff, of course.........

Coffee in the morning with my neighbor Peter and occasional visitors: a nice way to start the day: good coffee from a French press, a bit of conversation and contemplation, a nice sunrise, then off to another day.
A few walks to hunt lionfish and exercise and explore. Got four more: confirmed kills are now up to 58, I believe.

Making progress on wiring, engine, etc. Very enjoyable.

My experiments with preventing rust on my stainless steel is working pretty well, although certainly not 100%.

I tested the park service assertion that boats do more damage to moorings if the boats are moored backward. It turns out that with my boat, the stern produces a strong, steady force and the bow swings from side to side, producing far larger momentary forces. I think that means that, for my boat, the park service should prefer mooring it backward!
Stern mooring leaves some slack in line
bow tension pulls bungees until line is straight

I experimented with adding a layer of styrofoam to a cooler. Now it holds a bag of ice for three or four days rather than one! More experimenting to follow...

I found weevils in a bag of oatmeal. “How is this good?” you ask. Well, the weevils are out of the boat rather than spreading to other foods (Yes, I KNOW I probably didn't get them all, but many are gone). And the wild chickens were a delight to watch in their excitement over a pile of oatmeal (“With bugs? Cool!”)

I dumped my composting toilet for the first time! Smelled like peat moss, I'm pleased to say. And I think I'm getting a handle on making it all work even better.

Both water tanks are full, as are four buckets in the cockpit. Showers and laundry!

I have lots of good, meaningful, adventurous repair to perform on my boat. I like doing things that matter!

Last and far from least: my gal is arriving tomorrow!


  1. Its all good adventure Skip, and your continued progress is a delight to share online. Have a wonderful time with Cynthia - Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas Skip and Cynthia! Happy New Year too.

  3. Sounds like fun Skip! I have some projects going in my house too - making shelves, dresser and a closet (thanks to what I learned frm you). Say hi to Cynthia :-)

  4. Good work, Skip. I can understand the satisfaction of tackling these tasks, plus you have such a cool life with the nicest friends.