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Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

Someone read that and they would never go cruising and enjoy one of the most wonderful things you can do in your life. This is a trip through paradise and you get to push along the way. Makes you slow down and smell the ros…, tropical flowers. This is a hoot. Those of you that dream about it, make it happen. Those that think your dream is beyond, reach for it.

Any way, what have I done this week. What I told you last week, but it got worse, and better. I did put a ring of stuffing into the rudder shaft stuffing box. Then ran the rudder back and forth and discover the hydraulic ram seal was gone and I was pumping hydraulic fluid into the bilge. Ok, that one is beyond me, call the mechanic. Yes I could do that, but I do not have the tools to do it.

Well I was going to call the mechanic anyway. We have been chasing a active oil warning light for over a year on the outboard. Well we got it down to a glitch in the computer. What the hell is a 10 H.P. outboard doing with a computer. Ask the EPA. This is a 4 cycle engine that runs clean. It does burn less fuel then its 2 cycle brother, and is quieter. It also has a $400 computer with glitches. It cost about twice as much to buy, and God help you if you need to have anything major done. There are certain states in the US that require you to buy only a 4 cycle engine. You could not give one away in the rest of the world. In fact you would have to pay someone to take it. They won’t even steal them. They weigh a lot more then a 2 cycle. You could use it for an anchor. Look up what these things cost and then compute the percentage cost for a sick computer and labor to replace it. A big percentage of the total cost.

That’s right, I was calling the mechanic for stuff I could not do. My generator…, if you remember the one the bearing went out on a year ago and destroyed the generator side of the genset. Well it starting making a ringing sound when running. I could not figure out where it was coming from. I always thing the worst, so I am using my laser thermometer to look for hot spots in the engine. All is well temp wise. The mechanic comes and, WAHOO, it is not a journal bearing or other expensive part. It is the tensioner pulley bearing. So the score board is one for Ralph, the genset. One for the mechanic. I do have a seal kit for the hydraulic ram. Still labor intensive. And one for the future. The outboard computer.

Other wonderful things. Bright work. You knew I was going to say something. Since there is no Bristol in this part of the world, I will make do. That’s what you do in these parts. The taft rail has 4 coats of varnish and 3 coats of Bristol. That’s all it will get till the Bristol shows up at the same place I am. I pulled the masking tape on the rail this afternoon. The boat cap rail has 4 or 5 coats of varnish. If we have a nice day before we leave, it will get another coat or so of varnish. 7 coats max. Then it to will wait for Bristol. I had ¾ of a quart of Bristol. I had 4 coats of varnish on the cockpit cap rail. Today I put on 3 coats of Bristol starting at 6:30 a.m. That took me till 9:a.m. The sun was then to hot on the wood and I could not help but get shrinkage. So the next time it is not raining at 6:30 a.m. and does not look like it will rain for 4 hours, I will put on the last coat of Bristol. Till then it will look like somebody did not know what they were doing, did the work.
The boat cap rail looks fantastic. I can still lay on a great coat of varnish.

The mate wants to leave. Thinks we will not make the Bahamas by April 1, the start of the grandkid’s spring break. The appointed time of meeting of grandkid and grandma. The earth will shake. That is a thousand miles away and there are things to do and places to see. A zoo, a fire works display, hopefully some great down wind sailing. Good restaurants and bakeries. Back through the French Islands.

We are ready. Hope the mechanic and the weather cooperates. Then we will be out of here either Friday of Saturday. Eager to go sailing, more than very sad to leave this part of the world.



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