Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hurricane Prep

Still on the mooring in St Thomas doing exciting living in paradise stuff. Yesterday, I spent most of the morning rebuilding an electric head. Now that's living! Oh and I have been doing a little varnish work as well. Rather enjoy that after all the heavy sanding is completed.

The big project at this time is replacing a steering cable. This cat does not use the standard raw cable and pulley system,  it uses a liner around the wire and has no pulleys.I  have been unable to source the liner material to date. I have several outfits looking.Worse case I can reuse the existing liner and go with a smaller wire until I can source the correct part.

Some other exciting projects include changing hoses on the yanmars,  oil changes,installing new mixing elbow on generator, servicing water maker. In regards to the water maker , when in Seattle I found a stainless steel prefilter. So far an impressive addition to the unit. It was expensive though, about $100. In theory I will not need anymore disposable filters except the 5 micron.

The wind has died down today, so it is clean the hull day! When I dove the hull the other day the bottom paint looked good but a great deal of soft coral was growing on the sunny side. It removes easily but with 128 feet of waterline (42 x 4) on the boat it does take some time to clean. Plans are to rent a bottle of air and don the scuba rig.

I am a ham and use a ham rig and a SSB rig. A project that needs constant attention in the marine enviroment is the counterpoise(grounding system). A poor ground and transmission suffers. Cleaning connections and the ground plate is a constant job if peak performance is desired. I stumbled across a product that I installed yesterday. It is called KISS-SSB. Rather than run copper foil to a dyna plate this cable is stuffed with the correct lenghth wires for all the SSB and most ham frequencies. It is one connection to the back of the radio. The cable can be placed anywhere...under settees, floorboards, anyplace there is room. So far this morning I notice a definite improvement in radio performance. I will report on efficiency after going down island.

Sorry if I bored anyone with this rave. It is just to let anyone stuck behind a desk that life out here is arduous and making ice is a constant affair. My biggest complaint is the position of the sun has moved North. Now those of you who live North of the Virgins might think so what, summer is coming. I like to sit with a Dark and Stormy and watch the sunset every night, but now I can no longer see the sun slip into the sea as it goes behind the island.I still marvel at the colors reflecting off the clouds and the different hues and shading but something is missing. So it really must be time to move on to an anchorage with a more northerly view.

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