June 14

This morning we slept till 7am (late for us) and after Kate had her coffee we got to work on some pending boat work. Repairs in fact; the watermaker was our first target. It had been leaking and I was very distraught about it because I knew I had just got a new pump for it in August, last year, and I thought for sure I had installed it in Australia a few months ago. And of course, I had not, it was still sitting in its box waiting. And of course the pump was leaking, just as it had last year when I bought the replacement! I even wrote a complaint e-mail to the company about my new pump that was already leaking!

My relief was complete when after finding the new pump I installed it and it worked flawlessly. Tight as a drum, and, now that our pressure is back to normal our product water output has increased from its anemic 5 or 6 gph to its normal 8gph. Big difference considering we use and make about 40 gallons each day. We needed to run the system close to 9 hours a day to make our water compared to the 4 or 5 it normally takes.

Next I addressed our new, but still not-functioning shaft-lock we had installed in Australia (see logs for November, 2002 for more info). This system simply described is a round hub mounted on the shaft with slots in it and a pin suspended above it which is lowered into the hub which then fetches up on the pin and stops the shaft. We have never been able to actually insert the pin at sea, while sailing, which is what it is meant for (to prevent the propeller and shaft from spinning while the boat is sailing and the engine is off).

I found that the mounts were loose and it was no longer aligned properly with the hub's slot, so of course the pin could not easily slide into the slot. I could force it, but when the shaft is spinning under sail the movement makes it impossible. Long story short, I adjusted the alignment and put some loctite on the threads and tightened it up good. I am hopeful it will work next time we try it!

After that I turned my attention to the autopilot hydraulic ram. Lately I have noticed that there was a clunking noise coming from under the cockpit sole (floor). After inspecting the ram I took it in both hands and shook it and sure enough it was loose on its mounts. I managed to tighten the mounting bolts with no little difficulty. It seems that the studs which are apparently screwed into a big glass block under the sole had vibrated loose. It all seems nice and tight now but it will warrant checking on a regular basis from now on (every few months perhaps unless it makes noise again then sooner).

Finally, though it was not on my list, I noticed that water pump belt on the generator engine was loose. I had to loosen the pump from its mounts, slide the pump thereby tightening the belt then re-tighten the mounts. Just like tightening the belt on a car alternator except with less space and more skinned knuckles. All that done by 1pm! I am getting pretty good at this stuff. In case you are wondering, all of these projects involve equipment all located in the starboard (right side) cockpit locker and adjacent compartments. Since this space is usually filled with about 2 tons of gear and equipment (everything from a SCUBA compressor to mops and buckets) it is most efficient to work on all of them at the same time after unpacking all of the above mentioned gear, which of course all has to be put back later.

My next task is to try to get the CD burner on the computer working again. Ever since I removed a defective hard drive from the computer it has not worked. I have some ideas about what I might try, but since it requires the machine to be removed from its cubby, all its wiring unplugged I am not excited. This is almost as much fun as unpacking cockpit lockers.

Later he wrote: well, I was partly successful. I can burn CDs but only short ones. If I try to put too much stuff on it hangs up before it finishes. Anyway, I was able to make one with the new photos for April and May so check the web PhotoGallery soon to see what we did in April and May.