Dispelling the Notion

Even the hair dryer serves a dual purpose aboard

Even the hair dryer serves a dual purpose aboard

As many of you know firsthand and others suspect, living aboard and cruising is not always fun and games; although drinking rum is routinely involved.

As we neared the Bermuda Triangle aka the Devil’s Triangle, that’s when our temperature troubles began. I’ve already mentioned how the temp disease infected the isotherm cooler box and our house freezer; and we foolishly thought the freezer would continue on the wellness path. No such luck. Every few days Russ needed to attack it with the hair dryer since one of its maladies was miniscule amounts of water freezing in the tube. Lord knows how and when it got in there.

The faux Engel’s service was switched from freezer duty to fridge duty, then back to freezer mode on Christmas Eve when we played Chinese fire drill with the food in the dysfunctional house freezer. Since then I’ve lost track of the numerous times we’d get the freezer working, only to have it stop the next day, then the stoppings got closer together.  Russ found additional info online and after a noisy hammer and screwdriver session one morning, the freezer sounded healthier than ever… until it quit. As of Jan 13 we said, “uncle” and moved the freezer contents into the isotherm and shut down the house freezer until back in the States.

The repair is not an easy one and while we don’t think we can find the solution in the Bahamas, we’ll do some checking while here in George Town. And to think I’d been bad-mouthing our isotherm cooler box; now we are 100% at its mercy. If we hadn’t bought it though, talk about being up the creek with no paddle and no rum!  Dare I even mention that our four aging house batteries need replacing? Where and when we tackle the freezer repair would be ideal to get new batteries; they weigh 162lbs each- yikes!

Throughout this time, the igniter unit on the stove played games with us but lately, I’m happy to say, it’s been behaving after a major adjustment by the resident mechanic. And that dependable temp probe we use when grilling meats (pork tenderloin primarily) you know, the kind with the remote display- well the unit crapped out so now we have gut feel and an instant read. The grill-meister is feelin’ the pressure! Maybe he needs a rum drink.

Crossing the Tropic of Cancer, lying approximately at 23 degrees north these days, may have influenced our head (toilet) troubles I teased you with in the Jan 3 post. Benj had reported that his muscles were no match for a handle that would not budge- uh oh.  Not sure if toilets or refrigeration problems are the most frequent boat repairs, but we’d been very lucky so far with no major toilet issues. We’d arrived at the serene and empty anchorage by Hog Cay near Joe’s Sound after our brisk sail back from Conception. A late afternoon sun held promise of the pretty sunset to come and provided pleasant surroundings for the unpleasant and ultra-smelly repair.

I was happy to see the instructions appear from their storage folder as two able-bodied and intelligent men began the process.

Checking the instructions first proves to be a wise move

Checking the instructions first proves to be a wise move

 Just because you have the product/equipment info doesn’t mean that the installation was done properly or as shown in the diagram. This time it was close enough. First, the door between the head and the bow got removed. Next step was to remove the back cover and shelf section (the surround) that is attached to the other side of the wall next to the toilet. Doing so exposed the pump cover which would spill its guts when opened.

Exposed pump cover with shield and slide in place

Exposed pump cover with shield and slide in place


Ideas and solutions were discussed; I have to say that I’m always impressed by how well father and son work together to problem-solve. My job was go-fer and photographer; easy. Benj suggested that we use plastic sheeting to create a combo shield/slide into our largest flexible bucket. My stomach is getting lurchy just writing this!  This worked very well and oh the pee-u smell was nearly gagging in that confined bow space. The first clean out wasn’t up to Roto-rooter standards, but with a second try and Benj cleaning the pump cover while Russ did further extractions, all seemed to be ship-shape.  Got it all reassembled, lots of flushing then dug out our mint holiday candle in glass to light for some air freshening. Done by 5:30 and guess what? Rum time!  P.S.- Cathy please note we spared you this story (and potential worry) during your visit 🙂

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