Thursday, February 25, 2010

Waiting on Weather

I am still in Ft Lauderdale this morning, the weather pattern that was supposed to come through yesterday early did not come through until yesterday late, and so the winds and waves in the Florida Straights are a bit more than I really want to deal with for this crossing. It is cool and windy here today, after a very warm and stormy afternoon yesterday, but in between rain showers I was able to get in a good bit of work on the boat.

I finished up a few projects that have been hanging for a while, the aft water tank is now fully installed and secured - I epoxied in some plywood blocks to mount the eyes that hold the flexible tank in place, and covered those with strips of fiberglass tape to ensure the blocks are secured well. Considering the space I had to work with, underneath the cockpit floor, I think the job came out first rate. I may have over done the job, but having no real idea of the stresses that the blocks will see, I figured better to over do it and be safe. Once the epoxy dried I screwed in some stainless steel eyes and secured the tank, and I filled the tank with a hose borrrowed from Mike, the guy that let me tie up to his dock. He was kind enough to let me use his water, and as we filled the tank, Arden settled down onto her lines, trimming out like she is supposed to. Because the main, or original, tank is so far forward, the boat has always been down by the bow, but no longer. However, when I haul her out over the summer, I do think I am going to have to raise the bottom paint a few inches as the entire boat sits lower on her lines now.

I also put in a through hull for the laundry drain - I am not sure if I had mentioned that Arden has a laundry on board, well a washing machine of sorts, but using an idea gleaned from books by Lin and Larry Pardee, Gary built in a laundry in the forward compartment. The laundry is really a compartment that Gary had built in below deck, with a bronze portlight on deck for a hatch that you use to put your dirty clothes through. Add water, a bit of detergent, and go sailing. The theory is that the motion of the boat through the waves will agitate the laundry enough to wash the clothes. It does, and the clothes get pretty clean with very little work. One of the many innovations that Gary had worked into Arden over the years. Originally I had plumbed the laundry drain into the drain for the sink in the head, but that did not work so well, so some time ago I decided that it needed a through hull of its own. Now it has one. That job was complicated by the fact that the through hull is above the waterline, and has to fall between the lapstrake lines on the hull. Measure, shift, measure, change, after 4 or 5 tries I was ready to drill a pilot hole - and it was just about perfect. You have no idea how hesitant I have been to drill that hole, but the placement turned out well, and I was drilling the hole for the through hull minutes later with the holesaw. Five minutes later the through hull was coated in 5200 caulk, and the job was finished shortly there after.

The outboard is now really giving me fits, I originally thought that the problem was water in the fuel, but now I am not so sure. I really curse whoever stole my good outboard, I had gotten a nice 4 horsepower outboard not long before I left Maryland, and it was stolen just days before I left while I was visiting my parents for Thanksgiving. I returned from that trip only to find the cable lock cut and the outboard gone, just days before I set off on this voyage. So I have been stuck with my backup outboard, and stuck now is exactly where I am. I have been rowing everywhere for the past few days, granted it is great excersize, but not exactly the fastest way to get from point A to point B. I am going to give another go and repairing the motor today, and if I can't, not sure what I will do. Maybe use it as anchor number 4.

Tonight I will check the weather again, I hope that this front will have blown through, and I will be good to sail on Friday afternoon. Right now it looks that way, but then again, yesterday it looked like I would be leaving today. Who knows, just play it by ear, as I have been so far, and hopefully all will work out the way it should.

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