Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adult education and heavy duty maintenance

Yesterday we went out for most of the day with Captain Linda Lewis and it was $400 well spent.  She had taken the time on the phone to understand what we needed to learn and she was prepared.  She was a wonderful contrast to the doofus we had been trying to work with previously.  In addition to the considerable on the water time she brought information about other resources that we need to be aware of. 

I continue to be amazed by the wealth of information that is available for free online.  It doesn’t matter what your interest there appears to be somebody out there who is willing to provide the information more or less for free if you are willing to invest a little time to find it.  Linda told us about SailFlow which is a weather page focused on wind direction and speed.  This morning I did some Googling around and quickly came up with a tide page.  On Linda’s advice we have already purchased Ports and Passages 2011.  That gives us the tide and current tables for the Northwest but the ProTide website gives a graphic confirmation of the tabular information. 

We’re still not ready to strike out for Victoria but we are learning fast.  The weather today is good for just staying tied up to the dock anyway – gray and soggy – I think that’s Seattle’s motto.  Our fridge install hasn’t progressed any further but it sounds like it might move along today.  I have also engaged a guy to replace the engine mounts on both engines.  Chuck (three owners previous to us) thinks I’m nuts for doing that but engine mounts on a boat are pretty important pieces of equipment and not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things.  If your engine mounts aren’t in good shape then vibration can take out the transmission or the shaft bearings and those are big ones to fix. 

(later – much later)

The fridge is in and the shafts are aligned.  I was in the middle of my morning updates when one of the brokers tracked me down in the harbourmaster’s office.  I feel it’s important to stay in touch with the locals, particularly those locals who have fresh coffee and doughnuts every morning.  The message from Paul was that I should get my ass home because Marilyn was looking for me.  It turned out the reason she was looking for me was because Pat of Pat’s Marine Engines had sent two of his guys over to change our motor mounts. 

Pat is a borderline dwarf which makes access to our engine room pretty simple for him.  The Kiwi that he sent this morning wasn’t as tall as me but he was close.  It must have been a challenge for him.  In the picture below about all you can see of him is his boots sticking up against the port fuel tank.  Look close – you can see them – size 11 Kodiaks is my guess.  He’s lying head down in the bilge outboard of the port engine installing the front mount.  He had to balance the bolts in that position while his partner got one hand in on top of the mount to put the nuts on.  Better them than me. 


Meanwhile upstairs Joey the Carpenter had arrived with the pieces of our new fridge enclosure.  He and Dan the Helper built the enclosure in place out of prefinished pieces that they had prepared at home.  They did a pretty good job.  Its not perfect but we didn’t pay them enough for it to be perfect and it looks really good. 

The parquet teak looks a little rough where the old fridges sat but we’ll be able to get it cleaned up over time.  The biggest bonus of the new fridge is that there is room for many beers and many Cokes.  To celebrate the many beers part we had neighbour Marcus over for a beer tonight.

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