When the weather is crappy and we are stuck in one place for a few days, we catch up on Tyler’s school work and work on “boat jobs.”
So, What are boat jobs? Here are a few projects we have worked on the past few days.
Our freezer has not been working as well as it should be and really hadn’t worked great since we moved aboard in October. The bottom two shelves kept items frozen, but the top two shelves worked more like a very cold refrigerator. So, this is where we kept our beer. We couldn’t make or keep ice.
We heard of a local sailor, named Stinger, who was good at fixing refrigeration units, so we contacted him via our VHF. He came over later that afternoon and took our freezer apart. He discovered our circulation fan wasn’t working. He also topped off our freon.
He told us that we needed a 5″, 12 volt fan and exactly where we could purchase one. He charged us $20, + a beer. Best deal ever!!! Our entire freezer is staying around 16-18 degrees now and I have ice cubes for the first time in over 4 months.
Ice cubes!!! Sometimes the simplest first world items can mean so much when living on a boat.
Since we now have an extra cold freezer, we are going to try to save energy by turning it off every night before we go to bed. The way the refrigerator/freezer is currently wired, we have to open the freezer to turn it off. When we open it the tempurature inside the freezer increases about 2.5 degrees. Rich decided to rewire the units so the freezer switch is on an external switch and we won’t have to open the freezer to turn it on and off.
Success!!! It worked, now the freezer won’t run overnight when we don’t have solar power to replace the energy it uses.
2.) Deep Clean our Grill.
We use our grill almost every day. It has not had a deep cleaning since we moved aboard in October. It was time to take the entire grill apart to clean and service it.
All the parts looked good, so luckily we don’t need to replace anything yet, but it did need a good soaking and cleaning. We filled up our big cooler and soaked all the parts in soapy (Dawn) water. Then we scrapped off all of the baked on grease, food and rust.
It’s all back together and looks almost as good as new.
3.) Check and Clean out the Bilges
The bilges always get some water in them, but if there is a lot of water we have to track down where it is coming from. First, we have to smell the water, to make sure it’s not sewage and then we taste the water to see if it’s fresh water or salt water. Once we know what kind of water is in the bilge we look for the leak. Usually it’s just a simple leak like a loose connection between hoses, but it could be more serious like a thru hole or seal. So, we check our bilges regularly.
4.) Wipe down all Surfaces.
As you can probably imagine, when living on a boat in the tropics things can get moldy (and smelly) pretty quick. We open up all the windows to get a good breeze going through the boat and then spray a bleach/water mixture on everything, wipe it down and let it dry. Then we spray everything with a vinager/water mixture to prevent any future mold from growing. Everything inside the boat is wiped down with this process including the the bilges and inside the refrigerator and freezer.
The boat smells so fresh and clean afterwards. 😊
Once this weather front clears out of the area, we are going to continue our trek South down the island chain. From what we’ve been told, everything is much less expensive in St. Martin, so we need to stock up on things now because our next large scale shopping will not be until we reach Grenada sometime after July 1st. We have to think about purchasing everything we may need, including spare parts, toiletries, paper products, etc. for 4 months!!! What makes this an even bigger task is that we do not have a car and most stores are about 1/2 to 1 mile walk from the dingy dock. So, we can ONLY purchase what we can carry on each trip. This means we have to try to make a couple trips each day to be able to purchase everything we may need for the next 4 months.
Unfortunately, a trip to the store is not as easy as jumping into our car and running to the nearest Walmart. This is what a trip to the store is like:
We all pile into the dingy (our car) with our shopping bags.
We drive the dingy to the dingy dock.
Squeeze the dingy into a parking spot.
We walk to the store. Most of the time we see some fun things on our walks. Today we saw a big lizard up in the electric wires.
We walk back to the dingy with as much as we can carry and head back to Sail Pending…. and do this over and over and over again.
By the time we get back to Sail Pending we are usually soaked!!
Working on boat jobs is definitely not as much fun as exploring new islands or relaxing on a beautiful beach, but they are fun in a different way. Everything we do is an adventure. These items and a ton of other boat jobs must be completed to keep Sail Pending in good condition, so she can continue to take us to scenic and exotic locations.
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