Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Ahh, boat life!

" So, how long are you planning on cruising?"

"As long as it is fun."

"Is it still fun?"

"Depends. What day is it?"

Cruising is often described as repairing your boat in exotic places. The days that require more repairs are definitely the days that are less fun and have us muttering to ourselves. Then there are more amazing days that reinforce why we are doing this, pushing the pain of repairs out of my head. 

We have had a few weeks of back and forth emotions going on. It started with our inverter going out, then our freezer and then our watermaker. The inverter is what takes the electricity from the batteries (12 volts) and changes it to regular household power, which for us, and most Americans,  is 110 volt. Without the inverter we cannot plug in any appliances, or plug in our Starlink (internet connection). Fortunately our stove is propane and that takes care of meals. In addition we have the ability to charge our devices the same way you would charge your phone in your 12v car receptacles. Thus, it is not a dire situation, just an inconvenience. 

The watermaker is a greater problem.  Without our watermaker we have to either fill up jugs of water on shore and haul them back to Rhapsody,  or we have to go to a marina and fill our tanks with a hose. The freezer is the least of the problems,  we cruised for over 3 years without a freezer, but it is a luxury we have certainly come to enjoy. 

Fortunately the freezer was a fairly easy fix, which is a good thing, because our freezer was full. Bob discovered a loose wire behind the breaker panel and was able to quickly fix it, thus saving our precious frozen goods. The next two issues were not so easy. 

We made the decision to sail back to Savusavu where we could find an electrician to help us. We were able to get the watermaker fixed right away, just another wire connection gone bad, but much more well hidden. The inverter problem was caused by a broken switch (less than 3 months old) and would have to be ordered.

10 days later the switch finally arrives, but it is not exactly what we wanted. We wanted a bigger, more robust switch, and what we finally got was the same switch that had just failed so soon.

So much waiting, and frustration and worry. This is the "not so much fun" part of cruising. We weigh this against the beauty of things we see and places we get to experience. 

The pattern of unforseen and suddenly necessary repairs often gets in the way of plans. It seems to me that every time I get my water colors set up to paint,  something breaks and then my painting studio/station looks like this:

When living on a boat things get tucked away under the seats and under the table and when something out of the ordinary happens, everything has to be removed from the area to be worked on, much to Bob's chagrin. It seems like an explosion of items to be dealt with.

But the good things far outweigh the bad, such as watching the local school bus/boat cruise past Rhapsody with lots of smiles and friendly waves.

Or when the marina staff welcomes you into your slip with music:

and a very enthusiastic "Bula!" the Fijian all purpose greeting.

Repairs are done, for now, we are off to explore some more, and yes, I finally did get some watercoloring time in!

We love to hear your comments.

Jeff Kitchen said...

I've been learning about all these items and equipment from watching a YouTube channel of this guy and his friends who cut down white oak on his farm in Massachussetts and built a 38' ketch from scratch. They spent seven years building it and launched it last spring. I've seen every episode and know every rivet on the boat. They just installed a more robust inverter and had trouble with stray current as well as an issue with their fridge/freezer. Steve and his fiancee Robin live on the boat full time and are adventurous hardcore rock climbers and resilient travelers who will explore the world in it. It's been quite an education watching them install electronics and upgrade things here and there. They just mounted the mast-top light and weather vane, and are about to mount the radar near the mast top. They're around the Maine and Mass. coast now as they get the boat more together. They even have a full-sized huskie living onboard with them. Their YouTube channel is called Acorn to Arabella. I was recently thinking how handy it is that Bob is a very experienced builder since he can navigate many of the issues you face. And I have to assume that you're no slouch in the getting-things-done-and-making-things-work department either Sarah. Let us know if you need some time ashore in the LA area. Lots of love.

Rita on Watoosh said...

Love your outlook on boating life. We too get in the “it depends” state of mind when everything seems to be breaking, but then someone always reminds us we get the luxury of making repairs in exotic places. Miss you two!

Barbara Namkoong Gooby said...

Love the musical welcome! I'm glad you're managing to fix things along the way, but understand the frustration -- it happens on dry land as well.
Fair seas and following weather,
Barb Namkoong Gooby