Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 1-6, 2015 - Let the projects begin.

The weather was very hot the first 2 weeks we were here in LaBelle but Carter powered through some major projects.

Carter wanted to beef up the structure for the solar arrays this year. Although the system has woked very well and has survived 6-8 ft seas in the gulf and some 70 mph winds at anchor on the ICW, Carter wanted to stiffen it up a little more. This additional horizontal support will allow us to raise and lower the the main array now with one actuator instead of three. This could come in handy if one of them fails while we are cruising.

Our friend the 8' alligator comes by every afternoon looking for handouts.
We DO NOT feed the alligators. But someone around here does.
Carter focused attention to the motor of the Boston Whaler which we plan to use as our dinghy this year.
It was in desperate need of a new water pump impeller not to mention he took apart and cleaned the carburetor about 3 times before finally getting it to run right. Now it's running better than ever and the only thing left is new bottom and topside paint. 

Another item that has been on Carter's list of chores for a while now was to replace one of the universal joints in the original drive line. This is original to the boat and over 30 years old and what a nightmare of a job!  After about 3 days of pushing, pulling, beating, banging and a lot of cussing, Carter persevered and won that battle.  Engine room Pilates in progress in this pic!

Next, Carter went back and "fine tuned" the installation of the new loo. After we installed it originally we noticed a very slight wobble because the hole in the boat floor was just a little smaller than the opening from the head. Unfortunately the hole was thru 5/8" steel reinforced, 10,000 psi concrete. But about a half hour of angle grinding cured that problem, (hole making a monumental mess of dust), and now the the new loo is steady a rock! Or maybe as steady a toilet ON A Rock.

We resumed our sunset Whaler rides just like in the early days back in the Oxbow.
Radar LOVES to hang 10...15...20 on the bow!

Watch out Radar!  That gator is looking for you!
Mmmm Dinner!
{Groan}  This is every Captain's nightmare.  This boat sunk in the 2nd basin of this marina.  

We moved on to some upgrades in the stateroom and removed the old wall paper as it was beginning to peel off.
I scrubbed off all of the glue and prepped the wall for paint, then it was Carter's turn.

Carter doesn't let me paint much any more.  Maybe because I "whoops" too much?

Continuing with our new color scheme, light blue in this room. This is also the wall the new super high eff. heat pump is going to be mounted on so this moved that project up on the priority list. 
I like this A LOT!
Caught this guy hanging out at the entrance to the marina one evening during our sunset Whaler ride.

Radar and I hanging out on the bow of the Whaler enjoying the sunset.
Painting has begun.  The forward hatch has been removed and set up in the work area
so that extensive repair can be made.
Carter worked on this project for several days adding layers of epoxy to replace some rotting wood.

We have never painted the shower floor and sump so this was a good time to get that done.
Another lengthy project layering epoxy rebuilding the bollard.

Almost completed repair to the bollard. Just a little sanding and painting left.

The paint over the stove was peeling so we scraped and painted that area and continued the paint on the wall behind the spice rack.

Project complete.
Painting the dorade boxes and the engine room hatch.

Project complete.

Onward to the walkway.
Carter replaced the fluorescent  light in the galley.
Taking time out to visit with an old friend Garrett with drinks and a delicious meal.