Thursday, February 23, 2023

Guest preparations, a long list gets longer!

 We love to have guests come visit us, to share our experiences and to enjoy the wonderful countries we are visiting. However preparing for guests to visit on a boat is never easy, even in the best case scenarios. There's a lot to consider, from deep cleaning the boat and ensuring there's enough space for everyone to sleep to making sure everything is in working order. Beginning with changing our pantry/ storage area to a guest berth,

from this:

To this when a single berth is needed, or opened up more when a double is wanted:

Unfortunately, just as we were getting ready for our guests' arrival this time, we ran into a few obstacles.

Firstly, a few weeks prior to their arrival, the spring for the starter cord on the dinghy motor broke. Our dinghy is our car, we use it to get to shore, to go diving, to transport ourselves and our guests, it is not something we can be without. Bob was having to start the motor by winding a cord and pulling, in the manner that lawn mowers were started in days of yore. 

Ahh, the joys of fixing things on the water!

 Next, we found that the watermaker had become clogged with floating plant life, requiring us to clean the water intake strainer and change the filters. This was not a difficult job once the reason for the lack of fresh water was discovered, it just added more stress knowing that we needed extra fresh water with extra bodies aboard.

To make things even more challenging, the toilet stopped working, and we had to replace some parts to get it working again. So much fun working on a toilet anywhere, compounded in tight spaces on a boat!

 And just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, the freezer started acting up, as in refusing to cool properly.  We defrosted it to see if that was the issue, it began to behave a bit better, but not well enough. It turned out the issue was tied to some unexpected electrical problems. The breaker kept flipping, causing all the lights and fans in our berth to go out. It was frustrating to deal with, especially during hot nights when we needed the fans to keep us cool. We traced the wiring and ended up removing one set of wires. This seemed to fix the lights and fans in the berth, as well as the issues with the freezer. 

As if the maintenance and electrical issues weren't enough, we also had to deal with a bird problem. Local birds had made our boat's mast their favorite perch. The birds decided to turn our mast into their personal restroom. It was like they were playing a game of "let's see who can poop the most" all over our deck and bimini. We had to scrub and wash the entire deck, removing all the bird droppings. To discourage the birds from returning, we used one of our halyards (a line used to pull things up the mast) to swish them off the spreaders. They were not easily deterred, and we even had our good friend Lianne from SV Waveriders swim over to shoo them off the boat while we were ashore. (Thanks Lianne!)

Cleaning up after the birds was yet another task that we had to add to our already long to-do list.When things are being fixed on a boat, the contents seem to explode because parts we need are buried deep under the seats, making the salon (main living space) look like this:

 Despite all the setbacks, we managed to fix everything up just in time for our guests' arrival and got our space looking like this:

 Life on a boat is full of surprises, if it is not one thing it is six others. 

  Bring on the guests and all the joys and trials that will bring!

Life is good.

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