YES, it snowed. Throughout the evening we were disturbed by great thumps above us as the snow fell in big clumps off the spars. HB managed to get hit directly by a pile off the mizzen as she sat in the companionway smoking: serves her right for letting all the warmz out.
Apparently, it’s also predicted to snow tonight, which is a bit much. It’s not a problem per se, but it does make everything else all a bit harder. I’d really like to get the sails laid out so they can dry and be inspected, too.
I was going to start caulking the decking on the top of the forehatch today, but the teak deck fitting for my Fein Multimaster was the wrong kind. I am currently letting the hatch dry inside so I can put a coat of varnish on the headliner.
HB was cleaning out the car so we can sell it, when the alarm, which has been dead for years, decided to go off. It’s a crappy aftermarket thing that the previous owner put on in the last century, and we don’t even have the fob for it any more. I tried cutting the wires to the alarm horn, but the immobiliser was still on. It was a giant pain, but eventually I found the brain and pulled the fuse.
I did get to act out something that must be a fantasy for anyone who’s lived in an urban area: opening the bonnet and literally ripping out the alarm and hurling it to the ground, ending the racket forever.
IT’S a bit wet today, as a winter storm passes through. The forecast is for ‘significant’ snow starting this evening, but for the moment, only rain. Lots of rain.
This is our chance to get some feedback on our initial efforts to waterproof the boat (from above). So far, I’d say we are getting an F.
Actually, it’s not that bad. True, water is pouring in through several mystery deck leaks, but we haven’t tried to tackle the deck yet. Also true is that the new mast boots are completely unsealed. Water is running in rivulets down the side of both masts. We haven’t sealed those with any caulk yet (we will be, as soon as it dries out), but I was hoping for a better seal from the boot itself.
However, we did stop the leak over the VHF radio, the one in the port forecorner of the coachroof where the stereo is, and the skylight is finally dry (miracles: I has it).
THE old gal is finally fully dressed, with all her sails on. Yesterday, among a few other tasks, we bent on the genoa . . . three times. The first time, we forgot that we had to wind the roller furling line first. The second time, I wound the damn thing the wrong way. Sigh. She’s up now, and BOY, is she manky! There’s some serious Mexico dirt on that poor sail. Time to Google “How to wash sails.”
We also ended up dragging out every single frakking thing from the forecastle to inventory the sails (seem to be missing the hank-on storm jib), whereupon we discovered, after six months with the boat, ANOTHER secret compartment filled with spares. Most of which were for the wire rigging we ditched.
Today, it’s disgusting out – sleet this morning, rain now, and 5-8 inches of snow predicted for the afternoon. I’m going to give my poor, weary muscles a break, scan boat documents and make bread. Philip is finally getting his hair cut.
BACK from a lovely weekend visiting our godless-daughter and her parents, HB and I split our efforts today. HB drove off to do assorted errands, and I worked on the Nissan 8 outboard for the dinghy. I’d begged a horse and bucket (‘horse and bucket; they go together like a horse and bucket’) from the yard, so I could run it–you have to run outboards with a supply of cooling water, which they normally take from the sea.
As you’d know if you read more diligently, I tried starting it a bit over a week ago, and determined that the carburettor needed cleaning. Well, I think I did that by accident over the last week. When cleaning a carburettor, one uses petrol (gasoline) to dissolve the varnish that is clogging things up. In the process of trying to start the engine the first time, I pumped petrol into the carburettor, and then left it. I am sure it did the work of clearing the nozzles for me. So, yah. Totally started second pull this afternoon.
The water pump impeller was buggered, of course, from 5 years in the desert, so I did have to pull the lower unit and dismantle the pump to change it. Not a big deal though–the bolts weren’t even seized.
I should still break down the carb at some point, but it’ll wait for warmer climes.
LAST Friday, HB and I spent all day setting up the running rigging. It was very satisfying and tiring. We got the mainsail bent on, the mizzen boom hung, the various travelers, topping lifts, and so forth in their proper places. Fortunately, it was a calm day, so we could hoist the mainsail and put the full-length battens in without endangering the rest of the marina.
I mentioned that it was tiring, right? Because the last thing we attempted before calling it quits for the night was to shackle the two bow anchors to their rodes and pull them up into the rollers on the bowsprit. This didn’t go too well. In my head, I’d thought through a whole process that would get them into place with minimum fuss and risk–they weigh 45lbs each and are less than wieldy. We were able to warp the Picaroon forward a few yards so that her bowsprit actually hung over the finger pier ahead of us. Perfect! A nice stable platform right where we need it. Unfortunately, the part where the anchors were always attached to something to prevent losing them overboard slipped my mind in the fog of exhaustion, and, well, one of them fell off the pier into nine feet of murky water and promptly settled into the foot of ooze at the bottom.
With the light waning, we tried various methods of locating and then retrieving the anchor, including magnets, boat poles, longer boat poles, tuna gaffs lashed to boat poles, a grappling hook, all to no avail. We gave up at dark and went off to visit our lovely godless-daughter Eleanor and her parents for the weekend.
Monday came around, as it always has (so far), and with fresh vigour, and the able assistance of Thomas the Carpenter and Aaron the Yard Manager, who quickly dropped their highly important work and very kindly volunteered to stand on the sidelines and make unhelpful comments while I finally retrieved the anchor (two long boat hooks lashed together). Fun was had by all, and we don’t need to buy a new CQR.
PICAROON is not a hulk! As of 1600 this afternoon, we have motive power.
It was a beautiful day out today, which makes it so much easier to get work done. HB and I got up at dawn (not that early at this time of year) on the promise of an early start to the engine work.
Billy the Mechanic was out again today, so Mike the Boss Mechanic took over reinstalling the fuel pump and injectors. It took him about seven hours. At about four this afternoon, we cranked her up and she started, eventually, and is now running smoothly.
A couple of things came to our attention that need to be dealt with:
- Two of the engine bolts are missing. This is a problem I’m glad Mike spotted. They aren’t at all obvious, as they are behind the alternator, and they aren’t one’s I would have looked for–the normal leg mounts are fine. Presumably the bolts are on the bottom of the Sea of Cortez in a baggy of weed.
- The throttle was restricted from going more than halfway forward by one of the compass mount bolts. When I say restricted, I mean there was no way it was pushing past that bolt. Bill & Stef: Did you guys have any problem getting power? If you were getting more than half throttle ever, I can’t imagine how. When we backed out that bolt, we could get 3,500 RPM at full throttle.
- The rev-counter is miscalibrated and won’t go below 1,000 RPM. I knew about this, but Mike tells me it’s correctable.
- The engine stop cable is buggered in some way. We’ll see about getting a new one, or fixing this one.
Otherwise the engine is in fine fettle, and I am no longer inclined to dump it overboard.
Tomorrow, if the weather is clement, the Riggers will step the masts.