November 12, 2021
As Home Free has sat on a mooring ball at Saint Augustine I have been hoping to ride my bicycle, walk the streets of this pretty little town again, hang out with a few cruising friends and just relax while waiting for my event on Saturday. Unfortunately, the old adage that ‘cruising on a boat is just another name for boat repairs in exotic places’ notched up another instance of truth.
Saint Augustine is a very pretty little place, and I have been here a few times now. Due to timing and COVID, I really haven’t experienced much of the place however, and so I was kind of looking forward to doing so in a relaxed fashion, but after arriving, during my first night of sleep, my water pump came on screaming in the middle of the night.
Turns out there may have been a pressure problem in the pump, or some other issue. After diagnosing it for about three hours, I took that pump out and put in the backup pump. The process of trial, error, replace, reconnect was long and two smart science guys practiced some dark vocabulary skills while trying to figure out what was going on. In the end the water ended up running just fine, but it was not a fun way to spend time, at least for me.
Just as that was completed, the guest head decided that it didn’t want to work any longer. The joys of removing, fixing and replacing a head, particularly after someone has used it cannot be described adequately. Dentists are fun by comparison. Crap jokes have been flying about for two days now.
In the end, the problem was not with the toilet, rather with some refuse put in the toilet at some point, that finally broke free, got caught in the macerator and jammed the motor. It was all fine. One normally expects plumbing full of unsightly and unpleasant stuff, but the whole setup was in great shape, with almost no buildup. The refuse was coaxed out of the macerator, everything tested and mostly put back. I will use this opportunity to replace the joker valve (prevents back flow on portable/boat toilets) and a broken seat at my next stop, but things are back in place and working. It has been a long day.
While all of this was happening we took the time to install wiring and assorted equipment to run a couple of solar panels. Now Home Free can (is) generate at least some electricity while sitting at anchor and reduce the use of a generator. In the coming years it is probable that we will add more solar panels and dramatically reduce our unnecessary load on the environment (at least when we aren’t moving).
A key reason for this post is so that Paul and Michelle can point their friends to it when they talk about their wasted vacation fixing someone else’s boat. I really appreciate the effort and assistance in working through these little bumps. It has been a busy few days and while I invited them to be crew, there was no intention to make them work this hard. Thanks to Paul and Michelle for the assist.
Despite that there have been moments of interest. We watched (from 100 km away) the SpaceX launch of the astronauts to the space station, the sunsets have been good and meeting up with Sylvain and Claire again (we met them last year in the same place) for drinks and dinner was awesome. Last night’s dinner at Harry’s was really good food.
The featured image is from this morning as fog enveloped Saint Augustine and was what this fun world looked like this morning.