Strange Electrical Issue
1 day ago
This is where I capture all the posts from my "Life Afloat" blog in the Annapolis Capital-Gazette newspaper, before they evaporate.
|Water life pre-sailboat: canoeing with friends at Ruby Canyon on the Colorado River, sometime in the early 1990s.|
|Bassackwardz, our first boat, 1975 Erickson 27, Northport, Michigan|
|Up to the top of the mast with a can of wasp spray!|
|Improvised safety gear: foulies so the spray wouldn't contaminate skin, and mosquito netting that normally keeps critters from coming down our hatches draped over a wide-brimmed hat to prevent stings.|
|We have at least a little bit of every kind of music imaginable on our 160 GB ipod, from "Zulu Men's Singing Competition" to Baroque recorder, jazz, rock, reggae ... and some disco. (Image, and a link to purchase your very own disco ball, here)|
|Country music on the porch of one local shop.|
|There's a group in town who get together to play the ukulele, purely for fun.|
|Bluegrass at the old hotel. The guy in the black shirt (2nd from left) is our carpenter Ken. Man of many talents -- and as I commented before, half the fun is seeing people in their alternate context.|
|Small-town America, children and puppies -- just as wholesome as it gets. And I don't mean that in a snarky way; this town really is just that sweet.|
|Ken again, showing the insulated ducting he's using to route the cold air from our relocated a/c. There are other improvements too -- instead of gravity-draining the water that has condensed onto the coils into the bilge, there is now a clever device that uses the Venturi effect to suck the condensation water out of the pan and discharge it overboard.|
|The engine hoisted up a bit, suspended while the old mounts are replaced with new vibration-dampening ones. Why do we need to do this? Long ugly story, the short version is that when we replaced the old Westerbeke engine that was original to our boat with the present Yanmar about 10 years ago, the installer asked Dan to cut down the stringers so there would be enough height for the mounts. Dan did so, laboriously, in the unheated engine room, in January, with hammer and chisel. But when they then went to install the engine, the installer said, "Oops, never mind, I measured wrong, it won't fit after all, fill it back in and we'll just use regular mounts. It'll just be a little more vibration, that's all." Well, of course it was more than a little vibration, and all that vibration equals more wear and tear on everything. The change-out was going to be expensive, and in the meantime the boat was running okay, so we delayed. Until now, when we had both money and time to do the job. Plus, we would get to redesign the stairs to a more ergonomic style as a side benefit. This year I had a decade birthday (the big 6-0) and we're both thinking ahead to be able to continue to live on the boat for many more years.|
So this is the downside of our living on a boat and traveling.
We've been living in a construction zone for the last month. Our bedroom (v-berth) is trashed, full of displaced possessions from the lockers in the areas they are working. So is the starboard half of the main cabin where the air conditioner is going. We are living in what is left -- rather less than half of our already tiny living space, about 70 square feet, (6.5 square meters) sleeping on the equivalent of a foldout sofa in the living room, and we can't even go outside for relief, it's just too hot. The air conditioner works, but it's sitting open in the main cabin and it's a constant noise in the background, we can't play music without having it at stupid volumes, and have to raise our voices to converse. We haven't had hot water since April, our "hot" water is the temperature of the harbor water we sit in (glad it isn't January!). Everything is chopped up, torn apart, disassembled. I am going crazy. Once the boat projects are further along, there will be lots for us to do, sewing, and modifying the sofa cushions, and finding storage space for the things that were displaced for the new air conditioner location. But right now there is nothing but waiting. Dan can't do much either, he had surgery on his hand while we were in Annapolis in July and he's not allowed to use it for six weeks after the stitches have come out. He's frustrated too. We got snappy at each other, and thought we were drinking way too much. We stopped drinking anything stronger than lemonade ... and we were still snappy at each other. Dan pointed out, it's not about the alcohol, it's about our restlessness and frustration. I told him I wanted to go home to Annapolis, or rent a cabin in Michigan, or buy an RV and go back to Colorado.
This is the worst its ever been for me, in 13 years on the boat its the closest I've ever come to wanting to give up. I won't, I know myself, and I know that even good lifestyles have bad days. "Counting my blessings," and posting gratitude challenges on Facebook, and reminding myself that others have less than me, and that "It's soooo hard getting good timely service on our yacht" really counts as a first-world problem, none of that works for me. Knowing that we're in good hands, and we're doing smart things to make our boat better, works for the long term, but not for right now. Just posted a photo of a glorious sunrise over Lake Michigan on my Facebook page. Deciding that the good times are so good that they are worth the bad times, yeah, that works for me.
Okay, rant over. Other than Dan, only you would understand. Thanx.
|What keeps us going, remembering the good times are so good they are worth the bad times.|
|Anchored boats near Miami|
|The "Black Box" Theory (image modified from Stanford.edu)|
|A simple fix: protective cover over the breaker in the lower left corner keeps the unit from being shut off accidentally while preserving our battery management scheme integrity|
|Developing a 33-item list|
|Sixteen tops. I can tell you the stories behind many of these, from the one I wore to my father’s funeral that still reminds me of him every time I put it on, to the one my BFF Karen said she bought because it made her think of an art project from our sophomore year in college, but … where did all this pink come from?|
|Three pairs of pants and one pair of shorts that made the final cut, and a pair of NQR khaki pants that'll do until I get something that fits better, because I needed something to tide me over until the next laundry day (and now I'm inspired to seek a better-fitting pair). Even with that concession, I'm two pants/shorts under my plan.|
|You get an exemption to the 33-item limit for jewelry that you never take off, and this necklace came with a story. My grandmother had a pair of diamond earrings, and two sons. As each young man met the woman he wanted to marry, grandma gave him one of the earrings to have reset into an engagement ring; my dad presented his to my mom in 1950. Some years later, my mom replaced her ring with an eternity band, and had the diamonds from the engagement ring reset yet again into a necklace. I have photos of her as a young mother in a white shirt with this pendant dangling from her neck, posing with baby me. She passed the necklace on to me, along with its story, in 1995, and I’ve worn it ever since.|
|I finally cut myself some slack for earrings, but demanded that they all fit in this tiny case. (The black and silver swirls on the bottom outside the case are the ones I thought I could wear as my "only" ones for the 3 months of the challenge, but I burned out on after 6 weeks. The silver squares on the upper right were removed so you could see them better, folded, they fit into the empty compartment in the case, )|
|The air conditioner is behind the square vent panel below the top step; it's new home is under the bolster on the left.|
|Same settee with the cushions removed.|
|Here's a closeup of the space at the aft end of the settee. The drawer has been removed, this is the "box" that it slid in. Look at all the unused space around the outside of the box. Inevitable when trying to fit squares and rectangles in the irregular curves of the hull, but wow -- empty space is like gold to us longterm liveaboards!|
|Behind the stairs. Can you see the boat's engine? We can't either. But it's in there. It's behind the air conditioner -- awkward to access. Thank goodness we haven't needed any major repairs while this system was in place!|
|It just looks like a jumble of parts, but here it is moved into its new location. Before he left Friday afternoon, the boatyard's ace refrigeration/air conditioner mechanic Steve made sure the system was running so we'd have a comfortable weekend. This obviously isn't its final configuration but it's in there, and working. Our bottom pan was horribly rusty so he set the whole unit inside another, larger, plastic pan so that if our old one leaked it would be contained. No ducting or vents yet, that will be done on Monday. The mechanic didn't have time to install the drain for the condensed water so just for the weekend we have to bail it out of the pan with a turkey baster. (Small price to pay to be cool and comfortable, I think!) We pulled out about 7 cups of water from the pan in the first 4 hours ... a good illustration of just how much the human body produces while breathing.|
|Having wheels has made such a difference for us while we're in the boatyard this summer! (BTW, the car is for sale available at the end of the month; 2010 Civic with only about 35,000 miles for $13,500, message me if you're interested and I'll put you in touch with the owner. I can attest that its in excellent shape and drives great!)|
|image from here|