We’ll certainly be dancing a jig when these drives to Astoria are over. I almost named this post ‘New Lamps for Old’, but in that story, the old lamp holds a powerful genie. As far as we can tell, we might have an old boat, but there is no genie inside because so far we’ve been unsuccessful in using magic to make headway on all the projects. No, the only thing we’re trading so far is one problem for another, some big, some small, some easy, some hard, some cheap…no, that’s a lie. None of them are cheap. But we knew that going in, so whatever. We can’t really complain about that.
Still, there is progress. Our exhaust guy, Caleb, finished the new exhaust elbow and a fine piece of metal art it is. It fit perfectly and he even machined a brace for it. Take a look:
He installed the piece, Mike happily wrote him a check for his work, and then Mike completed the installation of the hoses and the insulation wrap. He used one roll of the wrap, and there is another in reserve if it’s necessary. The stuff does take up some space, though, so if we can get away with using only the one, we’ll be glad. No modification of the shelf or rearranging of the hoses for the hot water tank proved necessary. Two fewer small tasks to accomplish. We’ll take that. The good news is that this project is finished (knocking firmly on wood), ready for Shawn to come down to the boat and address the shaft/engine alignment once more. We are keeping fingers crossed that he can do that this week, as since he started on our job, Shawn has received a huge contract for on-going work for his business. He’s a very busy guy. We might be small potatoes to him, but we know he wants this off his plate.
The other good news is that it looks like our tweaking of the transmission cables is going to work out. We won’t know for certain until the prop is engaged, but it’s looking good. It would be terrific if we didn’t have to mess with that anymore. Let’s all knock on more wood, throw salt over our shoulders, and spit three times while spinning, okay? We may not have any genies, but who knows what other kinds of gods are watching?
The problem ‘de la semaine’, as it were, is the Airmar 744VL transducer that is supposed to be talking to our new Garmin 820XS chartplotter. Mike bought a special cable to connect the two so they would speak the same language. Yet it remains silent, which means we have no depth showing up on the GPS. Curses! Foiled again! Mike spent several hours tweaking and problem solving, to no avail. I am encouraging him to call Garmin and discuss this issue, as we are hoping their reputation for good customer service (which was one reason we chose to stick with that brand of chartplotter) will bear fruit. If any readers have knowledge of this problem, please do comment.
While Mike and Caleb played with their tools in the man cave, I began a very important task that has waited long enough. Cleaning the cockpit. With all the engine work, moving of stuff onto and off the boat, grit from being near a bridge, and the fact that winter is barely over, the cockpit was a pit of filth, not to mention the ubiquitous green algae that marks a boat from the Pacific Northwest. I got to work with scrub brushes and a mild bleach cleaner. Nothing kills algae like bleach. Of course, once I began cleaning, I had a hard time knowing where to stop, as the deck needs a scrub, too. Several hours later I could barely move, but by God my cockpit was lovely to behold. Remind me to buy a Costco bottle of aspirin for the boat. The rest of the deck awaits my attention. I got out the bottom siders and the cushion covers, et voila. Gracious living, sailboat style. Stunts performed by Skipperdee.
While I was cleaning, two new sailboats came in and docked at the guest moorage. And both of them had trouble docking because of the current. I looked up just as this guy hit the boat next to him in the slip.
No harm done as the boat is aluminum, and the boat he nudged is steel with a lot of tires hanging like fenders on the side. I ran down and he threw his stern line to me and soon he was snugged to the dock. He was single handing and I don’t know how he would have docked the thing in that current without help since he was almost sideways in the slip by the time I got to him. The other boat that came in was a Nauticat motor sailor and they looked like they had good control until they slowed down to make the turn into their slip. Then they started drifting quickly away from the dock. Mike and I ran to grab their lines as well.
All that’s to say that we cannot wait to get out of this marina. It has served its purpose and we’ve enjoyed the area, but we are ready to bring this boat home as soon as possible. Being right in the midst of that current is not my idea of where I want to be when trying to learn to dock this boat. I can see why there are so many steel boats in this marina, since apparently it’s not unusual for there to be games of bumper tag at the dock. But our boat isn’t made of steel, or even aluminum. And I don’t want to hurt it. We’re not even docked in a proper slip, because the piling fell over months ago and it still isn’t fixed.
No, reasons to leave are stacking up. Between the three hour drive, the increasing traffic due to summer approaching, the lack of security, the closing of the marina parking lots to accommodate the cruise ships, the lack of a secure slip, and the constant wind and current, we’re pretty much done. We’ll miss Astoria, but we’re ready to go. We’re ready to have this boat in our home waters, waters we know well after 10 years of sailing them. Home again, home again, jiggety jig.