Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sunshine is a good thing

Wow!  It's already been another month...where does the time go? Does it look like we just sit around doing nothing at all??   Anyway, here's what's been going on with us during these past few weeks besides hauling water, fuel, more water, cleaning bottom of boat, and so forth....

Had lunch with Ron & Judy Kent at the Bali Hai restaurant on Shelter Island right at the corner of where America's Cup Harbor and San Diego Bay entrance channel meet.  Ron was shipmate of Hal's on the nuclear fast attack submarine, USS SNOOK (SSN-592) which was home ported right here at Ballast Point.  We had hooked up during the Snook Reunion back in October and made plans to get together once we got the boat down here.  Since we were able to take the dinghy to the restaurants private dock, Ron and Judy rode back with us to tour Shakedown.  We had a nice visit and finally had to dinghy back to the restaurant dock and say our “see you later's”.  Plan on visiting them at their place in Jumal in the near future.

Ordered 4 more containers of NOFLEX.  We haven't found a better product for our holding tank.  Had Chuck Masters over for dinner.  He is living on his ketch-rigged sailboat Project just two boats to our port side.

Chuck relaxing onboard
Went to Vern's house to work some more on the master bedroom shower tiling.

Repaired oil drain hose on Norpro GENSET.  It had rubbed against the oil drip pan while engine was running, causing hose to be cut.  Had major oil leak there so drained the oil, cut the hose back about one inch, went to Marine store and picked up a couple of clamps and reattached hose with two hose clamps spaced so rubber would not rub drain pan edge.  Also bought spare 36” 3/8 dia drain hose should the original get any shorter.  Consider this a scheduled oil change (300 Hrs.).  Had a chance to row the Walker Bay to the dinghy dock near the Marine store.  Nancy had opportunity to row it back to Shakedown.  What fun!  Tonight we'll know how much fun, I'm sure.

Filled water jugs from “new” filling station between Point Loma and Sun Harbor Marinas.  Much easier than at the fuel dock.  Then, after offloading water, took 4 diesel jugs and a gas jug over to the fuel dock to get fuel.  Was followed in by a Harbor Police boat blinking his blinking lights.  As it turns out, he was after me!   Was informed that I did not have “CF” numbers on the dinghy.  This number is the registration number, which in our case would be a “WN” number, since we're registered in Washington State.  Anyway, got a Warning Notice and was told to get our 8.5' dinghy in compliance with the law.  Rowed the Walker Bay dink over to the dinghy dock (motorless dinks do not require registration numbers, as it turns out) and bought a set of placards and two sets of registration numbers at the local marine store.  We continued on to visit the doctor that took care of us back in Feb. to ask if he could be our primary care provider at least through October.  They said “sure”.  We also got backdated authorizations from our insurance company for the treatment, so we'll get money back (always a good thing).  Then, on the way back to Shakedown, decided to stop in at Miguel's Mexican Restaurant for lunch on the upstairs balcony.  Nice food, good view.  After returning to shakedown, spent some time peeling the backs off and sticking the registration numbers to the placards.  Now we're legal, I suppose.  Filed 2013 taxes this evening and completed them by dinner time.  Refund coming, so good news twice in one day, offsetting the bad news from this morning....

Began sound-proofing project in the Engine Room today.  What a pain.  Completed about 20% of the project. Had to get into my Rubber Man outfit to squeeze and twist my way in and out many times.  Have another roll of material waiting yet, then we see how much more needs ordering.  NJ sanded a portion of the cap rail to prep for some much-needed annual Cetol application.

Bug Man ready to spray adhesive
Engine Room Port Bulkhead now has sound foam
NJ and her best friends, the kneepads and paint brush

Getting the Cetol down
New ”WN” placards installed on port and starboard bow today.  Also now have the WN placards (portable) hanging from sides of dinghy.

Found area where suspected leak over Nav Station was coming from.  Spent day removing soggy wood and prepping it for repair.  Spent next day Working on repair job.  Looks like rain may be upon us for a short time.

We took a walk to Liberty Station, which is a shopping area built on the grounds of the old Naval Training Center, where a great number of sailors got their initial basic training (Boot Camp), including the Skipper.  We stopped at the Von's grocery store, Ace Hardware, a jewelery shop to get battery for Nancy's watch replaced, walked right past Trader Joes (our shopping bags were full and getting heavy).  Hal commented that 44 years ago, he was in his seventh week of Boot Camp....Got back to Shakedown, unloaded groceries, and relaxed after a nice long trip on our feet....

Went to Vern's house todayfor the weekend. Worked on his shower some more. Shower project at Vern's is complete!

Vern rips off masking tape and newspaper protection

The finished product

The workmen celebrate a job well done!

Spent day raising bottom of cabinet over refrigerator 3.5” to make room for a new fridge that we ordered.  Figured the current one has served us valiantly these past eight years, and it was probably time to replace it before we head further south with a bit larger one that is a bit more electrically efficient.

Took a long walk (because we needed it) the length of Shelter Island, which ends at the Harbor Police/Transient Docks and back.  Will have to bring along the portable GPS to see how long of a walk it actually is.  Guessing about three miles.  Forward head refused to flush.  Got on the knee pads and began the process of finding the problem.  Finally found the culprit at the 90 degree elbow at back of toilet base where flushing water is drawn into bowl.  Pulled out chunks and pieces of a small fish with curved needle-nose pliers.  Finally got most of it out, including the rather large head, and reassembled the plumbing.  Back in business!   Pulled fridge off the elevated “shelf” and dismantled the shelf which consisted of three chunks of 3/4” plywood over two 2x6” legs.  This would provide sufficient vertical for new (bigger) fridge.  Put the fridge back into it's spot, which made it a lot lower, thereby creating an unwanted “bend-over” challenge, but it also sat smack dab in the middle of the access hatch to the fresh-water pump.

Found out this morning that our guy providing our pump-out service had a good reason to miss our scheduled pump-out yesterday.  His work-boat got flipped over by combination of high winds and a wake from a large harbor cruise vessel.  He lost a lot of gear, and will be out of action for a bit.  He will ask one of his friends to cover for him during reparations.  Our new Avanti fridge arrived at brother Vern's house this morning and he called to tell us.  Apparently yesterday's fish had a close relative who decided to check out the other toilet inlet back aft, because the aft toilet refused to flush this morning.  Immediately suspecting a wayward fish, shut off thru-hull, pulled hose between that fitting and the strainer 5” downstream, shined flashlight into hose and saw the little rascal.  Lowered hose, thumped it against the inside of the hull a couple of times and out it came.  Held up my catch-of-the-day proudly, gently carried it topsides and unceremoniously threw it overboard for another fish's breakfast.  We are once again in operational toilets heaven.  Took a walk to Ralphs and loaded up on some more groceries.

Fishing under the floorboards
It's a Whopper! (not)

Took another walk today along the same route as Wednesday (Shelter Island).  Forgot the GPS.  Perhaps next time.  Emptied 20 gallons of diesel from the Gerry jugs into port fuel tank so neighbor could borrow the jugs.  Port tank is now about 5 gallons short of being completely topped off.  Decided the raised “floor” had to be put back, which happened, but now the cabinet bottom needed to be raised seven more inches.  Went through another couple of hours measuring, cutting, unscrewing, cutting some more, re-screwing and double checking measurements.  Think new fridge should just fit, and access to hatch restored.

Went to Vern's house for the weekend. Did some shopping at Costco and Home Depot.  Made plans to move new refrig down to Shakedown.  Next morning, Skipper and Vern loaded up his Montero with new refrigerator to swap the out.  Unfortunately, our expected 0800 departure was delayed due to issue with the coolant in the vehicle was leaking white foam...we checked it out, cleared the white foam, checked level in radiator, and since everything appeared ok, we headed to the dinghy dock, arriving some 40 minutes later.  Drove dinghy to Shakedown, removed back half of dodger/bimini, manhandled old fridge up into cockpit, rigged it up for hoisting via mizzen halyard into the RIB, which would be the “trailer”.  Amazingly, it went just as smoothly as can be.  We lowered ourselves back into the Walker Bay, tied the tow line from RIB around the 2hp Honda, and made our way back to the dinghy dock.  Got the old fridge unloaded and carried it up the ramp to the parking lot (which belongs to San Diego Marine Exchange).  We then pulled out the new fridge, still in it's original packaging, removed the rigging on old fridge and loaded it into vehicle.  Carried new fridge down the ramp, rigged a hoisting strap, loaded it into “trailer” and headed  back to Shakedown.  Hauled fridge up and over, and down into galley.  Removed packing material and lifted it up onto the platform.  Fit like a glove.  Instructions required letting unit rest in vertical position for two hours prior to plugging it in.  So we headed back to dinghy dock to grab a bite of lunch and a “job-well-done” beer.  At the appropriate time, drove dink back to Shakedown and plugged new fridge in.  Then headed back to Vern's house.

Vern dropped us off early this morning (0800), and after saying our farewells, headed back to Shakedown, where Nancy expressed real joy when she saw the new fridge.  We went from a 4.4 to a 7.4 cubic foot fridge.  Quite a step up for us.  Decided to pull Tohatsu outboard off the RIB to clean the “beard” off it's bottom.  After getting the motor up on it's mounting bracket, moved RIB to front starboard portion of boat and secured it because it was too windy to hoist.

The new Fridge!

Lots of room
A place for ice cream....maybe...

This morning, the wind was non-existent, so hoisted RIB with main halyard up the side far enough to be able to scrape and clean bottom from other dinghy.  Worked pretty well.  Wind came up a bit later, making the process a more difficult, but got enough off to drop RIB back down and secure it.  Nancy's been working hard on sanding and applying Cetol to port cap rail, and now is looking sweet.

Took a ride over to dinghy dock, walked to H&M Landing and booked a half-day fishing charter to celebrate Vern's birthday, which is tomorrow, but the fishing will be Friday.  Received our tax refund today.  Pump-out service not fully restored yet, but we did get pumped out Sunday, so we're in pretty good shape.

While making coffee this morning, main propane tank let us know that it needed a refill.  Genset is providing power for the water heater and we're taking showers this morning.  Empty propane tank removed and back-up put in its place.  Another small, but important, task completed.  Coffee perking again.