All Cylinders

Okay, so I haven’t posted in a while.  That can only mean one thing: things are going well.  Honestly, we’ve been so busy sailing, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. that there hasn’t much time to think about blogging.  I know, I know.  Life can be tough.  Plus we’ve had the luxury of being in a couple of fairly remote anchorages out of reach of civilization (wifi).  But in the spirit of sharing some good news (and hopefully not jinxing ourselves), I thought I’d give a few updates.  These skew toward tech/geeky, but they’re all part of life aboard Fezywig.  Here are a few things that have gone right recently:

  • Port Engine.  Finally!  Our port engine was rebuilt and re-installed.  Happiness, peace, love, joy.  This has been an ongoing saga since we bought the boat, but it is finally resolved.  The engine was entirely rebuilt and was installed a week ago.  From the moment it was put back in, it ran like a charm.  What a relief.  There are few things more beautiful than the sound of a healthy engine.  To be fair, we had one significant hiccup.  We sailed Fezywig from Oyster Pond to Phillipsburg to fill up on fuel.  It’s a short run, about an hour.  Twenty-five minutes into our run, the engine just died.  I was crestfallen.  We’d just tied up all our loose ends, said goodbye to friends, gotten the boat ready to travel, and then…conk.  After all the time, effort and money, it was still not working.  We fueled up in Phillipsburg, took a quick look at the engine and decided we should continue with our plans.  It was late in the day and we were heading to Ile Fourchue (Fork Island) in St. Barts.  It would be slow going with just one engine straight into the wind, and we would be racing day light, but we decided to give it a go.  We made it.  After some hiking, swimming and a copule good nights of sleep, we opened the engine compartment to take a look. With the help of Captain John and Captain Peter (of Discovery and Day Dreamer) we discovered it was a fuel supply issue.  There had been some build up in the tank that was clogging the fuel line.  Once that was sorted out, our port engine has been running like a champ.  We are grateful for that.
  • Wifi Antennae.  I spent some time on the phone (via Skype) with the skilled and generous Dalton Williams, who build our wifi system.  He walked me through the reinstall and we got it back up and running.  It’s been running great ever since.  In fact, while in Oyster Pond while our engine was being worked on, the Sunsail IT guy asked me multiple times about our wifi set up.  He was impressed and wanted to know more.  He was picking up our hotspot signal from all the way across the marina and wanted to know how we’d gotten such a strong signal.  I invited him aboard for a quick tour.  He was impressed and said he was going to recommend it to a few new boat owners who had asked him for advice.  It took us a while to get it sorted out, but it been great to have it up and running, and to be validated by others.  Way to go Dalton!
  • Water maker:  if you’ve read our saga with water, you know how important this one is.  The truth is, one of the joys of being in these somewhat remote anchorages has been knowing we have enough (and can make more) water.  We’ve had plenty to drink.  We’ve taken showers, washed our dishes, built a small ornamental fountain on deck.  Okay, not the last one.  But you get the idea.  This was my major boat project for about a  week (I’m slowly getting through this learning curve), but now that it’s installed, I couldn’t be more pleased.  The guys at Cruise RO put together a wonderful system.  We’re able to make about 30 gallons per hour, and that’s a nice feeling with five kids on board.

  • Generator: the Honda EU2000i was needed to help run our water maker, but the added bonus is it lets us juice up our batteries as needed.  Plus we can use it to run our blender, hair clippers, and other big draw appliances.  As long as we have fuel on board, we can create electricity.  And that’s a nice feeling.  Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison would be proud.
  • VHF: the radio that came with our boat was only so-so.  It was old, was falling apart and didn’t work so well.  We finally replaced it with this.  Even before we got on a plane to come to our boat, I’ve had a master plan to build The Navigation System of the Gods.  I pre-ordered the iMux from New Zealand before we left NYC, and (with the help of John the Jenius) got it installed this past week.  We now have AIS (Automatic Identification System; basically vessel ID info, direction and distance) up and running.  I can see any ship out there broadcasting AIS, navigate Fezywig, and do a Sukoko puzzle, all from the comfort of my iPad.  Not too shabby. 

So that is my techno geek list of stuff that is working.  We know that a boat requires maintenance and care to keep all systems healthy, but it’s nice to finally feel like we’re firing on all cylinders.  And the payoff?  Moments like this.