Friday, July 02, 2010

Time to catch up

It's been awhile since my last post. There's so much catch-up to do that it makes one put it off... tu sais?

So, here It Goes...

Yesterday was Canada Day.  Today is Territory Day in the BVIs and then, of course, Sunday is July 4th, US Independence Day, which will be followed by taking Monday off as well, if you can swing it!

The mast is ON the boat

At the beginning of last week, we started making preparations to move the mast out of the parking lot (and away from Mr P's special moods) and onto the boat. On Wednesday, we were prepared for the two of us to drag the mast to the dock using a cart or handtruck, but SURPRISE we had four guys who came to help. (Thanks to Jim the carpenter, Mark with the new kitten, Mystic Mark, and the other dude). It was quite easy (especially for me as I just looked out for traffic) to carry the mast over to the boardwalk in Christiansted. We waited for the day-excursion boats to finish up and move off, and then we upped anchor and went to the dock.

I am so happy with our Electric Yacht electric motor. I skillfully guided the boat up to the dock with nary a bump or a shucky-darn :)  I'm looking forward to when they will offer a remote control, as then I won't have to do any unpleasant bending to "give it some gas" or shift, and lose sight of where I'm going. This will be available soon, I hope... HINT HINT!

We invited our helpers to meet us the next day at the Brew Pub for Thirsty Thursday for $10 pitchers of their special microbrewery beer, as well as some excellent chicken wings (my favorite is the teriyaki).  Nobody showed up but we managed to celebrate all by ourselves just fine. Their loss...

After placing the mast on the boat in their crutches, we then proceded out of the mooring field where we were anchored in Christiansted Harbor and out to the Gallows Bay area and picked up one of the transient mooring balls. It has the tendency to be a bit more rolly at times but it is SO QUIET.  Wow, I feel free!

We're far from the maddening crowds, out of the fishbowl, away from the noisy and smelly seaplane... We stay dry while going into town and might get wet on the way back, which is a big improvement to getting wet on the way to town at the beginning of the journey :)  If the conditions are a bit too rolly for some precision thing we want to do, no problem... we'll just drop the mooring line, switch on the motor, and whirrrrrr over to a calmer patch of water.

Then there's always the motorboats who never think about the wake they are making or don't give a hoot...

But, it's really not too bad... Just the occasional one that causes the glass on the table to crash to the floor... And then there's the pair of them that cause a humungus roll at 6:00am. I guess they just want to get us out of bed since they're up... Am I starting to rant :)

So, that's enough about that... On to battery chargers...

Our 12V battery charger is on the fritz (poor Fritz).  This Xantrex 2-20-40amp unit has always been a problem since Day 1. When on 40 amps, it overheats and only runs half the time, so we've always used it on the 20-amp setting.  I mentioned this to Budget Marine in St Maarten the same week that we bought it and they really weren't interested in my problem.  A few days ago, it started overheating at the 20-amp setting due to the fan no longer working.  I have placed a portable fan to blow into it and I think this might help, but it is still shutting off and thus taking a long long time to charge the batteries.

Bob has had his eye on a 60-amp charger that he's found recommended by several cruisers on the internet which works well with a Honda 2000i generator. But, as we wanted one NOW and also to avoid big shipping charges, we decided to get something locally.... Not going to happen!

We first went out to the Do-It Caribe hardware store and they were out. Then we walked to NAPA who were completely sold out and didn't know when they were getting more. We tried the Sears/Kmart store... nope.  We then went to Kmart and no joy there either.  So we hiked over to Cost-U-Less where they had generators, inverters, and jumper cables, but no battery chargers. The next day we tried Ace Hardware. When I phoned they said they had LOTS of chargers.  In reality they only had a 2-amp trickle charger and a large charger on wheels. They said that they are supposed to be getting a container the next day so there might be some out on the shelf next week. Not much good to us now, though. So, back to the boat.

Bob did a bit of internet shopping and found the recommended charger that he's been wanting all along from a place in Oregon. The store quickly responded to his emails and understood the special PayPal problems that sometime occur when dealing with addresses in the USVI... He would make sure the address label was correct before sending the package. Shipping via USPS Priority Mail was only $10.70. It would be wonderful if we receive it today as I assume Monday will be a holiday.  But, if not, we'll limp along with what we have. [It didn't come today, hopefully Tuesday]

Which brings me to a future project of building our own wind generator.  Bob is currently researching this and coming up with a parts list... and then we'll add this to The List. Watch this space and BoatBits, of course!