Friday, November 8, 2013

Just when you think you've got it all figured out... don't!

And right now I'm pretty much on my last nerve.

First of all (and probably the least of our problems) my computer died. Just like that. And every picture I've ever taken is stuck somewhere in its innards. That leaves me with attempting to use Blogsy until I can get it all figured out. I don't like Blogsy and I'm almost certain to have a meltdown before this post gets published. The fact that I just spent about 15 minutes trying to find new AAA batteries in our nav station via a dying flashlight in order to get my bluetooth keyboard working, does not bode well for a peacefull evening. I need two batteries, I found one, I'm holding my breath, and Wilbur is hiding in a corner.

We've been gifting the Knotty Cat with all kinds of pretties this summer. I wrote in my last post that we installed a new holding tank. And there's nothing like contorting your body in all kinds of unnatural positions in an airless engine room while trying to aim a heat gun on uncooperating hoses to make you feel real good about deciding to live on a boat. I sometimes wonder if yoga got it's start at sea.

And then there's the wind generator. Hans has been just itching to get one of these buggers for a long time and one night he finally bit the bullet and ordered one. Oh my, he couldn't wait to install it and with great pleasure he took a vacation day from work to do so. We arranged for an electrician to arrive first thing in the morning in order to make sure it was wired properly since the whole Knotty Cat electrical/battery system is still a bit of a mystery to us as too many chefs have created quite a stew behind all the panels. The wiring was done lickety split and then Hans and I were faced with getting that big stinker up in the air. It may have been October but it was hot and sweat was pouring off of us in no time. There was a point in the afternoon where I'd have taken bets that this project would not be completed by sundown and I'm pretty sure if our neighbor hadn't had a day off work Hans and I would either be divorced or dead. Neighbor had replacement screws and nuts for the ones we dropped overboard, he had the proper saw that ate through the stainless supports we needed to shorten, he gave us a lot of advise, and basically saved the day.

It's not his fault the damn thing doesn't work!

A couple of weeks ago we headed out to the Gulf with hopes of testing our new toy and it was obvious from the get go that it wasn't working. It has three settings; charge, free wheel, and brake. It misbehaved for all three and the only time the amp meter worked was when it 'dropped' way below zero and then swooned. A defective switch was the opinion of our electrician and we had a new one overnighted. The new switch was installed but guess what? No go. It still doesn't work. The latest verdict from our electrician is that the generator itself is defective. At this time I have no idea where this is going.

So anyway, like I said we anchored out. Keep in mind this was after it took Hans an entire day to change the oil and transmission fluids in both engines. The only reason it took so long is because it's been nearly two years since we've had to do this and for the first time we had to bleed air out of the system. After we got back we noticed quite a bit of water sitting in the port engine room and decided it must have happened during the oil change when Hans probably stepped on the dripless shaft seal (expensive stuffing box replacement).

So last weekend we headed out for a day sail with some friends (where we discovered the wind generator is strictly ornamental), enjoyed (sarcasm) a day of lumpy seas, and after a surprisingly smooth landing in our slip, wondered why the hell the port bilge pump was going off at thirty second intervals.

Aha! It must be the dripless shaft seal! Only it wasn't. We finally figured out it was a repeat of the disaster we encounted in the Intracoastal a couple of years ago. Only this time we were lucky enough to be sitting in a marina with shore power and not sitting in some remote anchorage.

We've no idea why this has happened again and it's really putting the kabosh on our Thanksgiving plans as it appears we'll need to be hauled out.


Gee, it looks good doesn't it?

"Awe! Say it's not so!!!!" Wilbur cries. "The Knotty Cat rules all!"

If all else fails and life appears bleak, post a picture of a helpless pit bull modeling yet one more baby hat.