Our first days on the Kittiwake have not been picture worthy, but they deserve a few words on our blog. We have both learned a lot, more every day.
We arrived late Tuesday night, 9/4. The next 4 days have consisted of much troubleshooting, many trips to the local ACE Hardware store and auto parts store, many ‘boat bucks’ to fix problems.
#1 – We were able to leave the power on the boat, and that allowed our de-humidifier and refrigerator/freezer to keep running. I left just enough frozen meat so that I didn’t have to run to the grocery store immediately upon our return. Unfortunately, the 12 year old refrigerator failed, and the hamburger and fish in the freezer and the other things in the refrigerator had gone really bad and leaked all over the refrigerator and floor. Boat bucks for new refrigerator, $1750, plus about a 50 mile drive to pick it up. Local recycle center gave me $7.20 for the old one!
#2 – the port side engine will not start. Dan spent the first day upside down in the engine room trying to isolate the problem. He was almost certain the problem was a failed cylinoid (sp?), at a cost of $238. Part ordered.
#3 – No hot water! Took a couple of days working on more pressing issues, but just needed a wire reconnected. Phew! Meanwhile, had to heat water on the stove for dishes….
#4 – Dan and our good friend, Mike Steele, worked for 2 long days and most of a 3rd one to install the new inverter. The old one had died. They both thought it would be good to put the new and larger one in a better spot….but, that meant making and running new cables – not fun. Mike also had to rewire the electrical panel. The inverter isn’t important when we are hooked to shore power, but becomes very important at other times, such as when we are underway or anchored out. The inverter takes the power from the batteries (DC, 12 volt) and converts it so that all the 110 (AC) outlets, lights, appliances, etc. work.
#5 – With the hot water working, I decided I could take a shower in our own shower! So I did. Later, there was LOTS of water in the hallway. I used every towel in the place to soak it up. Why, you ask? Well, seems if you are taking a shower, you must turn on the shower sump pump. So, now I know! As a result of that little fiasco, Dan checked the bilge, which was a bit wet – and, discovered that our bilge pump is not working. Glad we discovered it now, while we are at a marina, and not out on the water somewhere! New pump is going in tonight or early tomorrow.
With all those problems, I (Gena) felt pretty useless, except as a tool hander and runner to ACE. In the meantime, I had time to organize our clothes and laundry. I got to make a major grocery run, so that I’m ready to provide dishes for upcoming pot luck dinners and ‘docktails’.
After 4 frustrating days, we are feeling much more hopeful. We are scheduled to be two days’ cruise north of here on Tuesday for a social and informational rendezvous of the Marine Trawlers Owners Association (MTOA). We had hoped to get in some practice in docking and maneuvering before that time – we may just pull that off! Fingers crossed.
One further note: We had been almost certain that we were buying the Obsession that was in Port St. Lucie. With delays in getting needed repairs done, we decided to move on and look for another boat. We are SO VERY FORTUNATE the Kittiwake is the boat we purchased! For one thing, it is located here in Virginia, almost certainly out of Irma’s path! For another thing, even with the issues we have had so far, we know of many others that we were going to have to deal with on the Florida boat. Life is good.