Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Technical Difficulties

At this point our 'sailing diary' and our 'ships log' begin to overlap, so I'll be trying to compile our storyline with exerpts from both accounts. This overlap continues until about midway through the summer, when an event suddenly creeps up on us just after the fourth of July which puts a damper on all the maritime enthusiasm for a while.

May 19 - Got antsy and worried about whether or not the boat was sinking at her slip, so we headed out for a look mid-week for a couple hours. We installed the 'counter top rails', and tied up lines for the aft lazarettes, emptied three buckets of water from the bilge (after using disposable diapers to clean up the oil). We checked the fuses for the bilge pumps and they were both blown so we replaced them and they both immediately blew out again when tested. Must be a short somewhere. Another disturbing problem is the manual bilge pump doesn't seem to work either (we would later find out that this only works when the water reaches a certain level). I got curious about the engine, so started poking around looking for the oil dipstick. Couldn't find it anywhere on the engine. Finally found what I at first thought was a 'spare' dipstick in one of the drawers. Finally found out where the oil came from. Nobody had ever put the dipstick in the engine, and then when it ran, it simply sprayed out from the dipstick hole. Not sure how much escaped, so we topped it off a bit with some additional oil. Still no sign of the boatyard workers having done anything after our call on monday regarding the bilge pumps and furling gear. ... getting antsy to get her out SAILING.

May 22-23 - Tim & Keenan went ot to the boat late Saturday night. Weather is wet and rainy, with thunderstorms overnight. Did not take the boat out for a spin as the weather looked way too nasty. Got a pizza on the way and watched Futurama episodes on Keenan's laptop and played some cribbage before falling asleep. The ROLLER FURLING IS FIXED! Huzzah!. Sunday morning we used more disposable diapers to clean up the bilge, getting it 98% dry and cleaned out in the process. We also hanked on the headsail & rolled it up. Very difficult in the stiff breeze, the sail kept flopping around mercilously. 2 objectives met. It looks as if someone were aboard inspecting the bilge pumps. There are new fuses in the pump switches (didn't test them, they look like the wrong kind?) We should try to get some help with our rigging before this weekend. Maybe we can sail on Memorial Day weekend - wonder how crowded it will be on the lake? We drove home, where Terri had come home from Traverse City in the early afternoon. The day started to look really promising in the afternoon, so we headed back out to the lake. But foiled again, the weather turned crappy again on our way over, and damn it all the bilge was full again. Got more diapers, soaked up more oil. Keenan put on the headsail sheets, Tim hooked up the mast lights, the spreader lights seem to work, but the anchor light does not. The VHF antennae perhaps needs replacing as the radio doesn't seem to work either. Tim tightened up the thru hull in the head and slowed down the leak a bit. Noticed a bit of a leak over the aft quarter berth from the cracking on the deck, especially after last nights thunderstorms. Could this be the source of the water? It sure seems to be a lot of water for a little roof leak - down the mast perhaps when it rains? 2 weeks in the water now and we haven't had the sails up yet. But it does feel like we are making SOME progress, and let's face it, the weather has been damn crappy this spring RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN RAIN.

May 27 - Tim came down alone to get a tutorial on the sail rigging from Peter the salesman. There was a repair dude there working on the boat at the time, working on the bilge pumps and other misc. work items. Kind of bracing ourselves for the 'BILL'. Learned how to tie the outhaul, how to rig the sheets, where to stow the extra halyards. He seems to effortlessly whip together elaborate knots to tie things down with - will we ever get that confident? Well, now that most of the major problems seem to be taken care of, for the most part, we may actually be ready to sail by Memorial Day.

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