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Old 01-05-2015, 08:13   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Shake and Break, part 7

Shake and Break, part 7 - Sunday, April 26, 2015

We left you when a minor issue arose - we can't change our diesel's oil at
the moment. If you've been with us for some years, you know that originally
we thought we were doing a shakedown when we left the boatyard in January
2013. Instead, EVERY time we moved the boat, whether it was after the
anchor was down, or just before it came up again, something occurred which
required solution before we could go on. Some, as you saw recently, were as
short a time as an hour before departure. Others, if you've been following
the saga, were just after we'd dropped the hook.

But in no instance was there any risk or danger involved. Despite the
frustrations of shake-and-break-down, we are entirely blessed, and there
were nearly certainly directed reasons we were kept in the various places we
found ourselves.

Now, it's the Bahamas, where the weather is warm, the breeze refreshing, the
sun shining, and life is like you may have had as a child, where kids were
free to roam, and ride their bikes anywhere at any time, and aside from some
expensive powerboat thefts, crime is nearly unheard of.

Here, as I write, the wind has been piping all day long, and the sun has
been brilliant. It is thus that our battery bank has replenished itself
greenly, with no dead dinosaurs involved, exceeding the consumption of my
and Lydia's computers and the voracious refrigeration system and reducing
the overnight deficit.

But, again, I get ahead of myself...

Thursday was our 12th anniversary. We've been carrying on for nearly 19
years, but got married when we did to enable my shoulder surgery (which
turned into 2 surgeries) necessitated by a freak waterskiing fall which
massively dislocated my right shoulder. Anyway, we went to town, again, to
continue our exploration.

While we were doing that, we chatted up a guy who was obviously shepherding
a family around town. We'd seen him on Monday, when we had lunch, doing the
(apparent) same thing with a different family. While the family was
exploring a shop, I and he compared our understanding - we both have size
14s. He's another big guy, but probably 40 years or so younger than I. We
stopped to chat with him to see where we should go for our anniversary
dinner. When we explained our interest, he exclaimed that HIS anniversary -
his 10th - was that day as well. He's Captain Ron; he runs a boat (perhaps
doing boat tours of the island, too? - we didn't ask), has some rental
apartments, and does these tours. He's a very well-possessed young man,
and, should you ever find yourself here, you'd do well to ask for him should
you want a tour.

Anyway, we decided to go over to White Sound, to explore Green Turtle Club.
As we climbed out of the dinghy and up the ladder on the dock, we saw a
couple sitting on the bench. Local knowledge rules whenever you're
cruising, so we asked about the club. And, of course, we talked to them
about cruising and swapped sea stories long enough that we offered to have
them join us to continue the conversation. They were already committed, but
said they'd be there Friday; we agreed to meet up then.

Off we went to look, and the special, reaching into 3 decades of dollars,
convinced us to check out the Bluff House across White Sound. Their prices
were a LITTLE more user friendly, with a very ordinary hamburger at $15. As
we waited for our order to arrive, we noticed the sole other occupant of the
veranda. He looked familiar...

Sure enough, as I mentioned last time, we're forever running into people
we've seen in other locations. This one was someone who'd been present for
Greta's near-drowning (see past logs), in St. Augustine, near the end of the
initial shakedown which resulted in a new refrigeration system. We caught
up on all the gossip of the marina in which we'd berthed to get the
refrigeration done, and parted fed and happy. Again, we left in time to
beat the sundown, this journey being far longer than the one from Black

Thursday night saw a promising squall, so we cleaned the deck and opened the
fill to catch water. Unfortunately, it was short-lived, but it was a nice
lagniappe on a wonderful anniversary day. And, overnight, it started again,
resulting in an early-morning addition to the tank. Knock on wood, it's now
been more than 3 weeks, the usual time of the forward tank's emptying if we
don't catch water. Next week's forecast, should it hold, will contribute
enormously to our water supplies, but already we have proven its worth. We
look forward to weather which might allow us to be water and electricity

Friday, as we were relaxing in the cockpit, Greg, our St. Augustine dock
mate, stopped by to say that we'd best get to town if we wanted to take
advantage of the mail boat's having arrived that morning. Already the
dinghy dock was full of cruisers on the same mission. Here in the wilds,
any fresh food is relative. First it has to get to Nassau on a boat, then be
unloaded and sorted into orders for the various islands to which the mail
boat goes. It may well have been a couple of weeks since it left Florida...

So, we again went to shore in New Plymouth, to return two books I'd read
already from the ones I'd taken on Monday. We went first to the groceries
and bought some fresh veggies. 8 ounces of mushrooms, 8 ounces of bagged
carrots, one red cabbage and one red onion was over $14... As always,
everyone we met was friendly and supportive of our presence. Including
Terry, on the dock, as we made ready to return to the boat...

When I'd been tearing in to town to do clearance into Customs and
Immigration, a conch or lobster salad vendor kindly pointed me in the right
direction. When I returned, paperwork in hand, and stopped to thank him,
Terry said to be sure to bring my wife for a lobster or conch salad. I'll
make it right before your eyes...

He wasn't there on a couple of other trips, but this Friday had him out
doing his thing. We ordered a conch salad, and got a tutorial in how to
remove a conch, and clean it. No pounding or flattening, just minced
carefully with a special knife. In fact, all of the knives he used were
separately functioned. Lemons, tomatoes, peppers, conch - all had their
own. I'd observed (having sold cutlery in the past, and a user of
sharpening stones and steels) how sharp the tomato knife was. "Never let it
touch citrus - it will ruin it instantly - never be sharp again." I can't
vouch for that, but I can say for sure he had sharp knives, and "the best
conch salad in the islands." If you ever get the opportunity to visit Green
Turtle Cay, be sure to seek Terry out!

Back to Flying Pig, that conch salad was big enough to serve us both dinner.


Saturday morning brings some concerns about the weather, in that it's
supposed to include some high winds, as well as potential squalls to over
75MPH, and we just hang out on the boat, reading and watching a movie.
"Cruisers' midnight" is roughly dark - which in this area, is, completely,
by 8PM. Watching movies makes for a long night :{)) But...

Overnight the wind piped up. By morning, it was getting a bit bumpy.
We're in an area of water 9' deep at low tide. With our 5' rise on the bow,
the anchor chain in its roller is 14' at the minimum from the bottom. After
our 73# Rocna had bitten, I'd laid out 125# of chain, about 25' at a time,
letting the anchor bite yet again as the mass (in our case, 44,000 pounds)
of the boat straightened the chain with a small jerk. That was ample scope,
normally, but it was really blowing.

So, the waves built up, and we were pitching. There were times when the
chain went tight. That put stress on the boat and gear, so I went forward
to let out more. We're now on about 250' of chain, and when a wave comes,
lifting the bow and pushing the boat backward, that extra 125 feet (and
pounds) of chain make it such that the weight and length combine to a slow
rise and fall. Much better.

Last night, when the wind started up our KISS wind generator started pumping
amps back into our battery bank. By morning, we'd gained on where we left
off last evening. That was the good thing. The bad thing is that our KISS
is turning off more than it should be (heat protection shuts it down if it
gets too hot), and when it IS making amps in a breeze, it's noisier than I
think it should be. We're dealing with that as we would if we had a gale or
similar wind. That is, via a line to the tail of the unit and to our arch,
we can rotate it on the pole, wrapping the line such that the unit is facing
45 off center. That reduces the effective wind speed to one which can be
used without a heat shutdown - about 10 amps continuously. That's not
nearly the usual capacity of this unit (30 amps continuous), but it's a far
cry better than none.

So, we're making amps, but a rebuild is in my future which will involve
removal from the arch, where it's located about 10' off the water. I think
I may have inadvertently placed the heat sensors too close to the part which
gets hot in my last rebuild - and I'd be able to inspect (and replace from
spares, if needed) the bearings and balance the blade again at the same
time, both of which would reduce noise. It's not really a breakdown, but
it's certainly of somewhat urgent issue. Every extra amp we can get is one
we don't have to generate with the Honda 2000 suitcase generator - the
cruisers' standard; nearly every cruiser has one - that we use in place of
shore power, and to charge our batteries.

Well, the KISS is back to free-swinging, because wind has died down (not
that you'd notice; I get that way). That's a good place to stop, I think
:{)) Until next time, Stay Tuned!



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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