Chilly in Pensacola

It has been going down to the low to mid 50’s here at night, a cold north wind blowing steadily.  Absolutely beautiful during the day, and great for sleeping at night.  Believe it or not, I’ve caught a cold….hoping it’s not like last years.

Yesterday, Kieth, the former owner called and asked if I’d like some help to hook up the remote switch for the inverter.  He arrived shortly after, and we completed the task at hand in no time.  It is really nice to have the remote because the inverter is under the starboard settee and is a PITA to get to each time the inverter is required.  The PITA is now rectified!  Keith also walked me through setting up the boom preventer, we checked out the Ideal anchor windlass and discussed the best methods to keep the stainless on deck clean and shiny.

Keith and Linda have been absolutely awesome helping us make the transition onto our boat.  Keith has been either here on the boat or a phone call away pretty much every step of the way.  Projects like installing the staysail, installing the inverter, walking us through the HVAC unit controls, showing me where the spare parts are for the boat….and the list goes on and on.  Beth and I are so fortunate in having them show us and teach us the boat and it’s systems.  I can tell you that this is not always the case, we have heard a litany of horror stories of folks purchasing a boat and the former owners just walking away.

We are still waiting for the refrigeration guy to return, our last conversation with Jason he had ordered the R-12 fitting from e-bay and would be over when it arrived.  That was a week ago……the ghettomini has been replaced with a new bimini, no more spring clamps holding the ghettomini on, and the new top looks awesome.  We’ll get some pics up when the total install is complete.  Tony of Coastal Canvas comes very highly recommended by everyone, so we are eagerly anticipating an installation second to none.

Straight up

Straight up

You can see the orange clamps holding on the old “gettomini”. (Pictures of new bimini…coming soon)

Yesterday I had to rebuild the forward Lavac pump….for those of you unfamiliar with what a Lavac pump is….well, it pumps out the forward toilet.  Beth had noticed a urine smell in the boat, and we had purchased some cleaner to remove the odor.  We thought that perhaps with us not running the air conditioner, the dampness may have stirred up some old staining.  But, the smell didn’t go away after a couple of applications…..hmmm.  Time for further investigation.  I opened up the cabinetry which the piping and pumps are behind, and asked Beth to hit the switch to activate the head pump.  Yes, we have electric toilets…and when she did….oh yeah, spurting of liquids which no one wants to see, hear or smell.  Time for some maintenance.  The issue turned out to be a worn diaphragm, and there were replacement parts on the boat thank goodness.  So, issue resolved, and we are carrying on once again as if we’re normal.  I also replaced our fresh water system pump, which had developed a leak.  Fresh water is precious on a boat, so stopping all leaks is paramount.  When I attempted to stop the leak by tightening up the pump head…it blew off…and at around 40 psi in a half inch line, well, there was nice, clean fresh water jettisoning everywhere, off the walls,  Beth shut the pump down while I grabbed a rag to cover the leak, but…there was water everywhere, a great way to clean the floor and walls.  So, two pumps in two days….
We had went out sailing on Saturday past, and when we returned to the marina I decided we should have our waste tanks pumped out.  The aft tank had not been pumped in some time….it seems that most folks down here just dump their effluent overboard, or so everyone tells us.  The former owners weren’t sure when it had been pumped last…so it really was time.  Once this was completed, we attempted to get to our dock, and that is when all the excitement began.  The wind caught our bow, and the fun really began.  The fairway is not very wide for a 47 foot boat, and with the winds coming from the west at about 20 knots…remember 1 knot is 1.2 mph….we were quickly out of control.  It was all I could do to keep us from hitting a dock pole, a dock, or worst of all, any of the multi-million dollar boats at the docks.  We finally ended up on the dock in front of the restaurant, unscathed physically at least.  We had a lot of help in getting her settled down and tied in, and thank goodness, we didn’t end up on Youtube with all of the antics.

So…how much is a bowthruster?  You might ask, but I definitely have.  10 to 12k….that’s a lot of money.  But, as some have pointed out, how much if you hit a 3 million dollar yacht?  What would a bow thruster do you wonder?  Well, a bow thruster is like having a small motor on the front of the boat to push the bow around to where you would like to have it positioned.   Most installations have a joy stick to operate the thruster…not the be all and end all, but in a cross current or cross wind, a bow thruster would certainly assist in controlling the boat.  We are still contemplating an installation, we really didn’t want to spend the boat bucks on one, but it may yet come to be.

Last Friday we attended the going away party for our friend Aaron in Daphne, Alabama.  Aaron had accepted a new position in Mississippi, and it was party time.  Food….how can I describe the best home made Jambalaya ever?  The best venison stuffed peppers ever?  A smorgasbord of flavours, tastes and aromas to die for.  Couple that with the hospitality of southern folks, a little bit of alcohol…and it was one awesome night.  Good luck to Aaron and Caroline, who both have accepted new positions in furthering their careers.  A southern party just wouldn’t be complete without bringing out the guns…..I never, ever in my life thought I would see Beth holding a gun, let alone smiling ear to ear while doing so.  Hopefully she’s included the pic of her Dirty Harry impersonation holding the 44 mag pistol.  Aaron has some gorgeous guns, and just as many hunting stories as he has guns.  Believe me, he is one entertaining individual.

Go Ahead, Make My Day

Go Ahead, Make My Day

There might even be a pic of me climbing our mast, I went as high as the top spreader on the mast… about 50 feet off the deck.  Keith hauled me up there so that we could install the staysail.   Our boat looks much better with the full cutter rig, or both headsails installed.
Randy mast climbing the mast

Randy getting hooked into the bosin's chair

Randy getting hooked into the bosin’s chair

We were sitting on the boat Tuesday morning, and sure enough, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels precision flying team came out to practice.  They are amazing!  And the sound echoing off the surrounding buildings is just unreal.  We are hoping that next week we can head out to a small islet just south of the naval air base to watch them practice…..we have been told that this is an awesome spot to sit and watch.

I scrubbed the bilge out today…..not that it was dirty with dirt…but oh my, did it stink.  A week’s worth of effluent from the poo pot contributed big time to the issue, and it really wasn’t noticeable until I pulled up a floor hatch this morning……so out came the bilge cleaner, and the water hose.   I am very happy to report that things have vastly improved aromatic wise since the discovery of the head pump issue, the ensuing repairs and clean up.

Most of you are probably not aware that we have a combination washer/dryer onboard.  It sits very nicely tucked into a cabinet in the forward head.  Today was test day.  Beth fired the French beast up, and all appeared good when I left to visit with Jack, Terry and Moo the dog.  Jack is a retired plastic surgeon, Terry a retired RN, and Moo the dog is one of the handsomest canines I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  You will probably remember that the 52 foot Cheoy Lee trawler that broke loose a little over a week ago is owned by Jack, Terry and Moo.  This awesome craft is a 1992 model, and weighs in at a light and feathery 51,000 lbs.  I brought over a couple of Yuengling beer for Jack and I to enjoy, as he enjoys a lager as much as I.  We sat up on the top deck, and I have to tell you, it is awesome sitting so high up and enjoying the wonderful view, which includes the $1.3 million dollar Cabo fishing boat next to Jack and Terry’s trawler, the poor fella that owns the Cabo just traded it in on a brand new 63 foot Hatteras Sport something or other…geesh….and Dana, the owner, was telling me in passing that the Hatteras only has a 1900 gallon fuel tank system.  Imagine filling that up for the first time…1900 x $4.35 or so…….

The new bimini is re-installed now, Glen was by today with the newly restitched top, and the ghettomini is now a thing of the past.  Next week they will carry on with the new dodger glass and sides…..we are very pleased with the workmanship so far….albeit somewhat an “island time” thing once again<grin>  Tony, the owner, has become a good friend of ours, and Roxy his dog has adopted us as a second set of “parents”.  She is a cutie!

So, enough for now!  The washing machine works, the dryer not so much….as expected.  We were forewarned about the dryer part of the combination being a little on the wanting side.  But, take a look at the big picture……we have all kinds of places to hang our laundry, there’s nothing wrong with the ghetto look of clothes hanging all over is there?  After all, we are almost cruisers!!!!LOL

Keep your stick on the ice!



2 thoughts on “Chilly in Pensacola

  1. Hey Randy & Beth
    We are so envious of you two. Sounds like you guys are having a blast…… and guns too! WOW!
    A few more months and you won’t even worry about a bow thruster as you will have mastered docking that big boat one hand behind yer back. Got yer website from Dirk and glad I did.
    See Ya!
    Mike & Susan Dibbley
    S/V Grape Ape


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