Tuesday January, 3, 2017
6 am came awfully early! I was still in my at-home pattern of staying up late and sleeping in. No longer!
By quarter after 7, we had things ready to go, and some of our dock neighbors showed up to help us cast off. All that remained was to start the engine. I realized that this was a bad time to consider that the engine hadn't been run in a month, and I really should have checked it out yesterday. Oh well...
As the first step, I always run the blige blower for 5 min to remove any fumes. Our bilge blower is quite loud, louder than the engine at idle. I flipped on the bilge blower switch and was greeted by ... silence! I knew that our blower motor was on its last legs, and had even repaired it once. This time I was able to beat it into submission and get it running one last time. But I knew I would have to replace this important piece of safety equipment today. Fortunately, I had ordered an exact replacement (HA!) spare, and had it bagged and padded, and stored in the back of one of the sail lockers. We would just have to make this a shorter day, so I would have time to do the swap at anchor before it got dark.
So we set our sights on a place called Hobe Sound, next to Jupiter Island, which had some sections where there was enough space and depth to anchor. It was only about 30 NM away, which would let us get there early.
The sun quickly burned off the morning fog, and we had a lovely, if uneventful, trip there (sorry, didn't take any pictures). Once we arrived, the anchor set on the first try, and the location was quite pleasant and fairly isolated. Then I got to work.
First, we had to empty out most of the cavernous sail locker on the starboard side, as the blower is mounted all the way in the back of it. Then with stuff scattered all over the cockpit, it looked like a small rainshower was headed our way, so we had to hastily shovel everything into the cabin. Of course, this insured that the cloud passed over us without raining! ;)
Then, after much crawling, squeezing, and a little cussing, I had the old blower in hand. I laid it and the replacement side-by-side, and one of the four mounting flange holes didn't line up! I ended installing the new blower with only three screws. (I later found out that fourth screw hole had been put in the wrong place, and the old blower's flange had been enlarged to compensate).
Meanwhile, Joanie was bored and hot. I had the cockpit torn apart, and the cabin stuffed with locker contents, plus the chaos of tools and parts that seems to accompany any project, so there was nowhere to go inside. So, she decided to scrub the front half of the boat, figuring the water would be refreshing. But, while trying to adjust the handle of the deck brush, she accidentaly ejected the brush head and it bounced overboard! Although it floated, by the time she got a net it was too far away.
But it wasn't moving fast, and the current wasn't much, so she decided to go in after it. The water was cold, but by the time she got the brush and came back, she said "This is actually pretty nice!"
I think it was all a ploy just to go swimming. ;)
Afterwards, when all was clean and put away, and tested, we fired up the grill and had a wonderful dinner of grilled marinaded porkchops, applesauce, and seasoned cauliflower. Once again, life is good.