May 15

Today the weather improved somewhat. It did not rain, much. And that was in the late evening around dinner time. In the morning we lazed around till about 10am, it being Saturday and so not a school day. Kate and I then started emptying the cockpit lockers to gain access to the generator. We had determined right away that in fact the problem with the generator was the drive belt. As I have written in these pages before, unpacking the cockpit lockers is something we do rather more often then either of us would like. For those who have not read about this ordeal before, let me just say that each locker is about 6ft by 5ft and is packed with about 2 tons of gear.

Yesterday I described partially the contents of the starboard (right side) locker, now I will describe the contents of the port (left side) locker. One spare jib sail, one storm mainsail, one mizzen staysail (a very small sail in fact), two anchors disassembled in nylon cases, one smallish one for use from astern when needed (which is very rare) and one large bag with 200ft of anchor line and chain for use with the stern anchor. The other anchor is a full size spare which we have never used - in fact, most of the gear in the port locker has never been used and is carried for some eventuality which we hope never occurs. Along those lines there is also a drogue (which is a huge line 600ft long with little nylon cones sewn onto it which is dragged behind the boat in very bad storms to keep the speed down), a parachute anchor which is exactly what it sounds like and is also for use at sea in very bad storms and whose purpose is to hold the bow into the wind and arrest the boats motion. Next we have 2 beach chairs folded in cases, one "boogie board", several 50 or 75ft lengths of " nylon line, one bicycle (disassembled of course in a wet bag used for canoeing). One collapsible dock cart, a huge awning and poles for shading the main part of the boat, one smaller awning for shading the cockpit, several 50ft coiled garden hoses, boxes of spare engine parts, buckets with cleaning supplies and brushes, a big canvas bag with our snorkels, masks and other various items, and several other miscellaneous items.

As you can imagine, removing all of this gear is a lot of back breaking work. It all has to be stacked on the deck and cabin top and then repacked when the job is complete. The actual work of replacing the drive belt is fairly simple and though a bit grimy and sweaty not all that hard. It took about an hour after which we changed the generator oil (since we had good access already and it was due) and then repacked everything. I am sure the problem with the breaking drive belts (this is the third time it has broken in the last 12 months) is caused by bad alignment of the drive pulley and the generator pulley. I tired very hard again to get things lined up right and perhaps this time I have got it right. I emailed to the manufacturer this morning to order 2 new spare belts (at $65 each no less).

The afternoon was spent reading and relaxing. Kate and Jonah went ashore to visit the village and look at handicrafts. She bought a really nice basket, very large and well designed. In the afternoon I made dough for pizza which we had for dinner - it was excellent (we even had pepperoni). It is now about 8:15pm and Kate is reading to Jonah. Even though he has read three of the Harry Potter books (he finished book 4 today) he still likes to be read to before bed. He is starting the fifth book tomorrow he says - it is almost 900 pages long (the 4th book was about 750 pages and he read it in about 10 days).

I am reading an interesting book called "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. Very interesting and captivating, though I find the characters a bit unreal. Kate is almost done with "The Confusion", the latest Neal Stephenson book which I discussed yesterday in this journal. Speaking of which, I erred yesterday in this journal when I called his series of 3 books the "Baroque Series", it is called the "Baroque Cycle". Fascinating books.