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Posted by sailingnightwatch in Uncategorized.

We hit 50% last week. The mechanic came a day late, had to go back to the shop and return, then removed the ram, and the bearing and left again for the shop. It is lunch time. 3 P.M., he is back. Not only does he have the ram, but the bearing assembly. Oh, it is also local Cruiser Halloween. That will become more important as time moves on.

5 minutes and the bearing assembly is in place. Start the generator and it runs smooth as a baby’s butt. Shut down the genset put on the belt guards and on to the ram.

The ram goes together as easy as the bearing assembly. 2 Pins, 2 cotter keys, 2 hoses and it is ready to be filled. The return trip in the morning was for the mechanic to get plugs to stop up the assembly where the hoses attach to the rest of the system. With out plugging the system can drain a few quarts of hydraulic oil. The system raises about 6 feet from the ram to the wheel and if drained would be a bear to refill and bleed out the air. Besides loosing a paper thin “O” ring all went together and adding a quart and a half of fluid with a turkey baster was pretty easy.

Did I mention Cruiser Halloween. It is a holiday that is not celebrated in all countries including Grenada. One of the Cruiser moms has taken it upon herself to coordinate getting 50 kids into dinghies and hauled around the anchorages to get candy. All without drowning anybody’s kids. Ages range from those that almost can sit up by themselves to mid teens. You know how it is getting your candy into those grasping hands standing on your stable porch. Here you have 6+ kids in a bouncing dinghy reaching up the 4 foot side of our boat to the lady of the boat looking at the invasion of kids and thinking, “I don’t have enough candy”! The Captain is taking pictures that may be seen on our Facebook.

Oh, do not forget the mechanic and his baster filling the reservoir for the steering. You have to see the invasion to believe it. So every once in a while he sticks his head up with his smart phone and snaps a couple pictures. The invasion lasts about 5 crazy minutes. Only miss step, one of the dinghy’s got the mechanic’s painter (the line you tie your dinghy up with. Like the rains of a horse and the hitching post) in his prop. No damage.

The Trick or Treaters are off to another boat. We sit down and realize we have 2 candy bars left. It was a great success. The mechanic is done charging the system and I turn the steering wheel from lock to lock while he bleeds the system of air and checks for leaks. This takes a little longer then the invasion, but is equally successful. Of course we will not really know until we are at sea in good size seas that can put real pressure on the system. One of the things about cruising, you do not really know until you know.

Ready, get set, wait…. What about the weather, Customs and all that stuff. It would be Saturday when we would be ready to check out and leave. On weekends you pay Customs overtime. Another word for tax. So one waits till Monday. Oh yea, it is suppose to be squally and stormy starting Sunday. We also would be anchored at an open roadstead. That means your anchored off the beach or in a bay that only has 3 sides. Not the best of situations. So here it is Monday and we have been sitting through beautiful weather punctuated by squalls and building seas. It has been a while, but remember, the Mate does not like, not only building seas, but any seas over 3 feet. Let see, Tuesday and Wednesday seas to 6 feet, Thursday dropping to 5 feet, Friday and into next week 4 feet. Those are doable by the Mate. The goal is Christmas in Antigua. Ho, Ho, Ho.



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