Saturday, February 9, 2008

Getting back on the water

One of the nice aspects of this blog is the number of comments we get from complete strangers, all over the world. Several times now I have posted a photo of something I thought might be interesting, and then get questions about something in the photo totally different from what the subject of the photo was meant to be. Things in our environment that we now take for granted due to our constant exposure, are still new to other people who have not spent time in a place like this. This is good. It helps us, seeing our little part of the world through someone else's eyes. It helps make it new all over again for us. Thank you.

We get the same little lift when someone visits us. My youngest son is now staying with us for a few weeks, and this is really the first time he has spent much time here on Provo. Yesterday, for example, while he is diligently working on helping get the boat ready for the water, he calls me and says "Hey Dad! You gotta come see this really neat bird!!" So I grab the camera and go to look at what got him excited...



And it's a crane. One of the dozens of cranes that hang out around here. Old hat to us, but something new to someone else. And then I stopped for a moment, and really looked at that crane again, and it brought back the memory of when I first watched one of these graceful birds, slowly walking along the grass one slow measured step at a time hunting bugs....it made it fresh for me again. That's a good thing.

Speaking of bugs, when we were at the house a few days ago, Jon was walking around talking with our architect when they spotted a millipede. I did not witness this, but my son was telling me "this thing was HUGE!". I thought something on the order of 'yeah, yeah, a big bug...big deal'. Jon told me H. stomped on this thing to kill it and he got an explanation of how dangerous the bite was. Piqued my interest, but we had already left the site by this time, so it remained of academic interest, this second hand description of a bug.

Then, we went back to the site ( as we do daily) and Jon located the bug and called me over to see it. By this time it had spent two full days in the tropical sun, which basically removed all the moisture from it. All that was left was the dessicated shell. Jon told me this was much less frightening than it was when it was actively wiggling eleventy thousand sets of alien-looking legs and opening some menacing, poisonous mandibles:



It looked like a pretty scary little critter, even when it was just a shadow of it's former self. We are hearing stories of people getting bit on the lip and it then swelling up to the size of a baseball....

Sometimes a visitor's reaction to our day-to-day environment is a little humorous. Like, walking through the grocery store Jon had to point out a common product from the UK that he had never seen on the shelves in the USA:



(Do you think John Kerry knows about this?!?!?)

We finished up the work on the boat yesterday, taking care of several little things I had been wanting to do. Access to the bilge pump and float switch had always been a problem due to the small size of the hatch in the splashwell. So yesterday we cut out the old one and installed a larger hatch:



Gotta love those cordless Dremel tools. Nothing else does what they do, exactly.

We have a larger hatch now, with enough room to get a hand and tool down into the innards of the boat and still have room to see the components. Before, it all had to be done by feel. That is a really frustrating thing when you are trying to bolt or unbolt things like screws or hose clamps and you can only get one hand inside.



We had to trim two spots on the hatch mounting ring to fit in the splashwell, and the Dremel helped with that as well. We also took this opportunity to replace the old gasket around the livewell lid. A year in the tropical sun had turned it basically to dust. UV is just one of the things down here that likes to attack man-made objects as a side hobby. Of course the worst is the oxidation of anything with steel or iron in it. As the old saying goes.."Rust never sleeps".

While rooting around inside the boat working on the non-functional bilge float switch I noticed the fuel/water separator filter was swinging by one loose screw..I took it out and found it level full of grungy water.



This just MIGHT have something to do with my recent problems getting the outboard to run smoothly. So we replaced the filter element and reinstalled it all securely this time.

The bottom is clean, and the trim tabs are re-painted with anti-fouling paint:



The registration numbers are now on the boat, for the first time in the year we have had it:



Wow, registered fishing boat # 453! These waters are getting crowded! Almost five hundred boats that bothered to register.... since the beginning of the boat registration requirement some years ago. Gotta love it.

Today we plan to launch the boat and find our way from Leeward to Turtle Cove Marina. The approach through the reef is semi-famous here for being a bit difficult. We don't want our first time through it to be when we are trying to get to the starting gate for a wahoo tournament early some morning.....possibly coming up in two weeks. We should have enough nice blue-water clear-skies photos by tonight for another post.

And I got all the way through this one without a single image of the house.

1 comment:

Mary Jade Skye said...

The pictures of the boat and its' maintenance are interesting. And I LIKE the pictures of the house!

I have sent your blog address to more people, this is like an online vacation for me. Thank you.