We’re happily in Rhode Island in a temporary anchorage that we thought we would move from today but it didn’t happen. Our passage here had some ups and downs. The crew performed well. We still aren’t entirely comfortable with raising and lowering the sails, only because there are so many lines in one place in the cockpit and we have to figure out how to keep everything sorted out and not tangled. Also, we were raising and lowering when the autopilot wasn’t working and having two people in one small space reminded us of our video production days where no matter how big the location is, the crew gets all bunched up in one tiny spot because we all need to see the action from the camera perspective.
We dropped anchor at Pt. Judith, just off Block Island sound and promptly slept for a while. Well, I slept. Jack finally woke me at 7 pm and asked if I was hungry. Why yes, I was, and he made spaghetti and we cracked a pretty nice bottle of wine to celebrate our first multiday passage in Escape Velocity. Then it was a little Rachel Maddow and back to bed.
Today I planned to do some laundry. The generator started right up but the washer leaked, pouring water all over the forward starboard cabin but very little went in the washer tub. We checked all the water lines and didn’t find anything obvious. Hours later I’m still sopping up the watery mess. I’ll pull the washer tomorrow and see if we can figure out where it leaked. We’ve used the washer a lot but so far always at the dock with city water. I can’t see where the water source would be an issue but maybe it is.
My second project today was to commission the watermaker. It’s been “pickled” since we bought the boat because you can’t use it in the dirty water of the ICW. Now we’re in pristine New England waters and we’d like to be as self-sufficient as we can. We had one little mis-step, owing to conflicting sets of directions, but finally we got it up and running and cleaned out all the pickling solution and let it run for a while until we got a green light on the salinity. By that time it was late afternoon and Jack likes to preserve his solar amp hours so tomorrow I’ll start the watermaker again to fill our tank. I have to empty the city water out of the tank first so I’ll fill up our water carriers with that. I was hoping to empty the tank by doing laundry and maybe I still can if I can figure out the leaky washer.
Our third project today was to fix the broken switch on the bilge pump. It turns on ok, just not off. We would notice the light on and run down to see why the pump was running, only to find that the bilge was dry but the pump wouldn’t switch off. We have a replacement pump with a built in float switch so Jack tried to swap that out today, but he couldn’t make the wiring work because the old one was a pump with separate switch and the color coding was thoroughly confusing. So the bottom line on that is that the old pump is out, the new pump is in but the auto switch doesn’t work. That’s actually worse than we were with a pump that would turn on but not off. This is temporary until we can either sort out the wiring or get a pump that will work with the wiring we have.
Now the boat is torn up because we need to let the wet spaces from the washer flood dry out, and I think we need to turn it on briefly tomorrow to see where it’s leaking so we’ll have another controlled flood to clean up. But I really need to do wash!
This is all not to mention the outboard engine, which is still not working so we can’t even go ashore. That’s on the list for tomorrow, too.
As annoying as I find all these fix-it projects, I also find them challenging and fun. Everything we work on we learn a little more about the boat. Jack, on the other hand, hates it. He doesn’t want to have to fix things ever. He expected to get a boat where everything worked and never broke and every time we have to sort something out he gets near paralyzed with anger and frustration. I hope he gets used to it soon, because the boat that doesn’t need fixing doesn’t exist, no matter how much you spend on it.
I love it here. Just look at this view from the back porch. Block Island in the distance.