Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 561 & 562 Almost there.

We're in the final stretch to get everything ready of the jump.

We made the final decision to get a water maker for Zephyr.  It will allow us to be out for much longer in more remote places.  We've got the food but the water supply would eventually run out(so would the food in time but we will probably catch some fish).  We went to Downwind Marine to talk to them as we had earlier in the week.  They had one in stock and promised to hold it for us.  Well, they sold it to someone else on Friday.  We were out of luck and now it would have to be ordered.  The manufacturer builds each one when the order comes in.  Delivery would not be till probably next Thursday or Friday and we have to be out of the marina by Tuesday morning.  As we walked in, we were questioned about an order we had shipped in from Fisheries Supply.  They were upset that we had ordered in a piece of equipment from another company.  Earlier in the week, we'd asked them if they could order a "Fender Step"(see post 556)for us.  The answer was "no".  We then asked and made sure they had no problem with us shipping one in from another company.  Their answer was "It's no problem as long as we can't get it".  Well, the rep for Taylor(the company that makes the Fender Step) had shown up at their store.  As it turns out, they could have ordered one in for us and now they were upset with us that we had ordered one in from another company.  We then told them that not only had we checked with them but that we had talked to the same guy that was mad at us.  Since then, they have been less than helpful for us.  Even though we had checked with them, we had violated one of their cardinal rules and we were pretty much "personna non grata" as far as they were concerned.  We left their store quite upset at being treated this way.

We returned to Zephyr and Tracy started in on the internet looking for a dealer for Spectra, the company that makes the water maker we want.  She found a dealer in Dana Point(just up the coast) that thought he knew of one that was available and would check and call us back.  Tracy had given him the dollar amount and the time frame we were now limited to(out by Tuesday).  The salesperson said he thought he could take care of us and would check with some of his friends that had just left town on the "FUBAR" cruise to see if we could park our boat in one of their slips just in case he had to order in a unit for us since we have to be out of the marina by Tuesday morning.  The "FUBAR" cruise is a bunch of fishing boats that cruise down the coast of Baja to Cabo St. Lucas.   He called us back later to let us know that he had called someone that might have a machine and that he'd be back in touch on Monday.

In the afternoon, we took down the genoa sail to adjust the big wire that attaches the top of the mast to the bow of the boat.  It's called a "forestay".  The sail rotates around that wire and winds it way in and out as needed.  It's called "roller furling".  We felt that the wire was too loose and needed to be tightened.  First we had to take off the sail(no big deal), then disconnect the roller furling unit from the bow and raise it up so we could get at the turn buckle that needed to be tightened(not to hard as long as you have the owners manual).  When we took down the sail, we found that Brion Toss(our rigger) hadn't fastened the shackles at the top of the mast correctly and that the sail could have come down at anytime.  We had to buy a new shackle from one of the local chandlers to complete the project.  After tightening the turnbuckle by 5 turns, it was time to put the sail back on and it proved to be a tough job.  It has to fit into a small channel in the roller furling gear and slowly fed into the channel.  It was so tight, we had to put the line that pulls the sail up around a winch to get it up.  Once up, we rolled it in and it works much better than it ever has.  Another problem solved.

For dinner, we fired up the pressure cooker again and did a nice pot roast in about an hour.  It came out great.  The meat was juicy and tender.  If you own one, they are a great time saving piece of equipment that dan make an ordinary cut of meat nice and tender.  Try it sometime 

The boat behind us left this morning so we decided to reverse Zephyr on the dock.  She faced in and we wanted her to face out to make it easier to get away from the dock.  Lines were led off the boat and we rotated her just fine with no problems.  Now she is set to be nice and easy to get out of here when the time comes.

Later in the morning, I donned my scuba gear(fins, boots, mask, snorkel, weight belt loaded up with 16 pound of lead and the tank and jacket)and went into the water to replace the zinc on the prop.  Boy, that water was cold when I rolled off the dock and into it.  I'd worn a long sleeve shirt to wear to help insulate me from the cold.  It helped some, but it took me a few minutes to get used to it.  The new gear worked relatively well, though the spare regulator leaks some air when the pressure is turned on.  Down I went and on it went.  I checked Zephyr's bottom to make sure all was well(it was) and came back up.  Tracy hoisted the tanks on board using the same block and tackle that we use to hoist the outboard motor.  We hosed off all the equipment with fresh water and I took off for the showers to get the salt water and what ever else(yuck) that was floating in the harbor off my body.  I still had errands to run. 

After lunch, Tracy was sitting in the cockpit and looked out to see the water around us was lower than we had ever seen it.  I jumped off Zephyr and looked at the rudder.  It was down in the mud on the bottom and we were stuck.  When we turned Zephyr around, we hadn't allowed  for the tide going out and now we had a problem.  The tide was still going out so it was going to be lots worse before it got better.  Tracy and I grabbed some lines and tried to pull Zephyr forward.  No go, plus we now had another boat right in front of us so our movement was limited.  I fired up the engine and slammed it into forward.  We slowly moved forward inch by inch throwing mud and sand(as well as water) out behind Zephyr.  We were free.  The wind had begun to pick up so we had to adjust the dock lines quickly or we would drift right back into the mud.  With some quick work, we were all tied up again and this time floating.  The guy in the boat that had just arrive in front of us helped by moving his boat and grabbing one of our dock lines.   

I took off for the scuba shop to have that spare regulator fixed.  It was leaking as much or more air than I was using and should be fixed before we set out( it should be ready tomorrow).  I stopped by Walmart and returned a water purifier we'd bought earlier.  It won't attache to our faucet.  Back to the boat for a nice quiet evening.

We are expecting a radio tech here tomorrow to explain our new SSB and how to use it.  Sure hope he shows up.

It's almost time to get underway for Mexico.  Stay tuned for more.

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