In the "normal" world, that is pretty much a non event. We, however, have received no mail since we left Oriental on November 20th. Today we received a bulk shipment and spent the day going through it. Only a couple of surprises as our mail sorters do a pretty good job of alerting us when things come up that need attention (thanks Allison. And Ashley, who subs when her sister travels.).
Our time here has been spent divided between boat projects and play projects. One of the biggest boat projects is the starter. I took it (and the alternator) to a repair shop before we left Oriental and had them both reworked. The alternator seems to be working OK, but the bendix started sticking on the starter. What that means is it was not engaging the flywheel gear, and was just spinning against it. This causes some wear on the starter gear which is (by design) a softer metal than the gear on the flywheel. We use the engine twice a day because of the holding plate on the refrigeration system, so it really needs to work. I finally took it off and cleaned the bendix so it moved freely.
Then there was the Bilge Pump Project. I rebuilt the pump itself, replacing a couple of sets of caged roller bearings that had siezed, and got the pump working from the manual switch. The automatic (float) switch, however, steadfastly refused to actuate the pump. After taking Carol in to do laundry (do you think I do everything?) and tracing wires throughout the boat, I came upon a heretofore unknown circuit breaker that had tripped. Resetting this brought the pump to life. That gave me the opportunity to do a cleaning of the bilge (yuck).
Also there was the dinghy carburetor project. I tried to fix this with SeaFoam. This is a product you add to gasoline that cleans the internals of fuel injectors and carburetors. (It's always the carburetor, right Rob?) Unfortunately, this time it wasn't doing the job, even after motoring the dink out to the ocean where I could open it up and plane it off. We can't do that in Boot Key Harbor due to the manatees. So I took the carb apart and cleaned the jet with Carol's sewing needle. Which she promptly threw away. Tomorrow will tell, but it seems to start a whole lot easier and if so, will facilitate the confidence Carol needs to solo the dinghy.
On the fun side...
The marina is located right next to Marathon Community Park. Really nice, with ball fields, tennis courts, batting cages, skateboard park, exercise trail, amphitheater and more. They had a Craft Beer Festival. So we HAD to do that. We listened to a few local bands as well.
The Carolina Panthers are in the playoffs. Carol has, so far, been unable to get us thrown out of the Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House, despite recruiting all the people at the bar to cheer for the Panthers. She has managed to pull them through.
We decided not to go to Key West for New Year's celebrations. We did our usual deal, going to bed before midnight. The new year always seems to make it through without us (unlike the Panthers).
This weekend, there is a Celtic Festival at the park. Guess we will have to do that, as we bought tickets at the beer festival. Insidious, right?
We have had cocktail parties with a couple of people we met here. Good people. One couple that we met in Vero Beach invited us to their beautiful Morgan and we also went out to eat at Dockside, a dinghy friendly bar located at the edge of the harbor. They are going to the Exumas as soon as they get a prop problem worked out.
Another couple are doing some engine repairs. We dropped by their boat this morning to offer assistance, but they seemed to have the project well in hand. Hope it went as planned.
And we invited Dick and Libby over for cocktails that turned out to be dinner, as we were so delighted to visit with them. We have been following their inspirational blog for a couple of years now, and it's great to finally get to know them.
There is a cold front coming through tomorrow night. Lows in the mid sixties, with lots of wind. That's crazy talk.
Maybe if the starter project goes OK tomorrow, next week we will get out of the harbor and find a deserted piece of beach to anchor off of. Do some swimming and snorkeling. Catch and grill a lobster or two. I think we'll stay in this area for another month.