Saturday, January 06, 2007

Dispatch 19 New Stuff on the Boat

Nov 8 to Dec 15, 2006

What could we possibly have been doing for a month plus in San Carlos many of you are asking yourselves? Well, we too have wondered how the time passed. Here are a few of the new features on Qayaq to explain our long stay in gringoville.

First, we commissioned a new table for the boat. She had a table when we bought her, but, somewhere around the time we went to Alaska we figured out that the boat felt much roomier without the table. We lived without a salon table for 5 years and then decided we wanted a surface to eat off of when we arrived in Mexico. Garth, our fishing expert friend also happens to be a woodworker and took on the challenge of creating a table for us that would be able to be tucked away to keep the roomy feeling of the salon, but could be erected for evenings of company or, for just the two of us, could provide two eating surfaces. Voila, the work of art created from an unusual wood, Silver Bali. The table is unique, custom and beautiful. Richard did a lot of the work on the table too, so that accounts for almost 2 weeks of the time in San Carlos.

We also purchased a new solar panel which we picked up in Colorado and now have installed on the side of the boat across from the other solar panel. When it was first hooked up we saw the batteries being charged by 4 amps. Then the refrigerator turned on and the electric panel showed 0 amps this means the panel was keeping up with the electrical use on the boat—perfect! We are thrilled. Give us a windy, sunny anchorage and we will be able to charge the batteries without using fossil fuels.

We carry jerry jugs for diesel and gasoline fuels. The diesel is for the boat engine and the gasoline is for our dinghy outboard engine and our little portable generator. We made boards to carry the jugs on deck before we left Seattle the first time. However, we’ve seen a design we like a lot better and, with the wood we brought back from Seattle this trip, we created new boards, epoxied and painted to be weather resistant and now installed. We like the look a lot better.

When we returned to the boat this fall, we found a leak coming from the deck down a factory installed drain that is 27 years old. Of course, as is true of most factory installed parts of the boat, removing and replacing this part required a lot more work than to just unscrew the old and install the new. In fact, the only way to remove the old drain was to break it. Then we re-designed the drain pipe, reinstalled the electronics that lived nearby that drain and voila, that leak is fixed—only 3 days, 2 marine stores and much cursing later.

Naturally, as planned, we had the broken fiberglass on the bottom repaired by the work yard (as they were the ones who broke it) and we had new bottom paint put on. We re-rigged the boat, put all the equipment back on we had taken off in June, had the outboard serviced. We inventoried every locker on the boat (about 20 different spaces) which was a good project for the x-mas season as we felt like we uncovered all kinds of “presents”, stuff we had forgotten we had. We cleaned all those lockers and re-organized spaces as we stowed the new and old stuff. We cleaned the outside of the boat, badly needed after months in dry storage and the time in the boat yard.

That’s all the excuses we’re going to give for our time here. Trust me that projects expand to fill the available time.