Saturday, November 10, 2007

Stranded on a desert island...

After a rather 'low-cay' day La Gringa mentioned that we had not been in the ocean in several days. It was getting late afternoon, but we grabbed the dog and scooted over to Grace Bay beach to catch the sunset.
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It was quiet, peaceful, deserted. We threw the tennis ball a few times for the dog. That's always one of the high points of his beach trips. When we first arrived here in September of '05, before we had use of a boat, we would bring him to this beach every afternoon for a swim. We haven't been here in probably a year. But now, without a boat......well, it's still better than nothing.

The water is nice. It's actually warmer than the air this time of day. The water is around 85 degrees, while the air has cooled down into the high 70's. Winter is coming on, you know. It was so chilly tonight, La Gringa put her winter jacket on:

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Just the knowledge that we can't take the boat out even if we wanted to is giving us a touch of Island Fever. It's not up anywhere near the full-blown "trapped rat on a raft" feeling. But it reminds me how much of our life involves boats. We have met people here who have lived in Provo for fifteen years who don't have a boat because they are just not into it. This post is probably only going to be of any interest to other boaters, but it will explain why we have not been posting the tropical water scenes the past few days.

I am warning you, some of these images are pretty graphic. This first photo is the boat Thursday night. They had removed the seat from the boat. Unbolted the t-top and console. Disconnected all the wiring and hydraulics. Then slid them back as far as they would go. It was a shock to the system to see, but we got over it.

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So far, I am just agonizing over all the severed connections and thinking I am going to be getting to know those pretty well before this is all over. Then it got worse.

We didn't have any news during the day Friday, but I was exhibiting signs of seperation anxiety and so we "stopped by "just to see if they had made any progress at all. "Stopped by" is a frivolous term. The boatyard is not on the way to anywhere else. It takes a sustained effort for some time to get there, and to get back. And to our pleasant surprise they had. Made progress, I mean.

Pleasant surprise in terms of them moving ahead on this. But painful, in a way.

First graphic scene:



Thats a hollow feeling, right there.... ok, a bad pun, but I got it gazing down upon our boat's deck at the gaping hole cut with a power saw where our gas tank, console and t-top used to be. Ouch.

About all I can say positive about that experience is that she seems to float a little higher in the bow?

The tank is over in the shop where Donovan's office is located all the way across the boatyard from here. He asked us if we wanted to walk over for a look. Uhhh...yeah. We do. We definitely do. I have been chasing this leak for months.

One of the top seams of the tank is cracked right down the middle of the weld bead for about 8-10 inches. It was much further back than I had thought. I was expecting it to be up in the front third of the tank. So, it was actually a little more dangerous than I had thought, as well. Gasoline would have been splashing against the inside of the crack and seeping out for a lot longer than I had been assuming.


I think you should be able to see the crack in a close-up...

It runs straight down the weld like that. I can imagine fuel spraying out pretty good with that much lateral surface. I mean, it's not exactly a "pinhole", now is it. And it would be under some internal pressure when the tank was full.

Okay, so that's basically the situation with the boat. It explains a lot to me, like how the leak started small and, we are pretty sure, expanded over time. And why I couldn't find it. It was well concealed by the deck.

What caused it? Well, Donovan and I are in agreement that cracks are caused by flexing. We don't beat the boat up, but it's been airborne a few times. Donovan is going to try to support the tank differently when it's reinstalled. I have got to say I am impressed by the way the boatyard has handled this so far. They started when they said they would, and the boat hasn't sat there for days with nothing happening. Right now, we are hearing that it MIGHT be ready to go by next Wednesday or Thursday. They have to flush and weld the tank. Reinstall it in the boat. Glass in the deck they cut out. Repaint the whole deck so it matches. Move the t-top and console back. Reconnect all the wiring and linkage and this is the part that concerns me most. But its also something I could totally do myself if need be. So I am not in panic mode yet. But it's going to feel like a long time. I will probably be chugging around the house making motor noises before then.

But until then, we still have lots of beaches.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ouch! You weren't kidding about the graphic nature of the pics. I want to thank you for all the pleasure I have received from reading your adventures. I started on THT and followed you here. I love the water stories,pictures, and anything about fishing. Guess I'll have to wait a while now. Thanks again!

Gulfcoastman

Gringo said...

As of yesterday, Nov 15, we are back on the water on a borrowed boat. We already have some new marina photos and underwater pix to post today. And we are planning to go fishing if the weather holds. Post content should be improving. Thanks for the comments. Its strange to send posts off into never-never land and get no feedback. Is anyone even reading these things?