This and that – and vacation prep!

We’ve been spending the past few weekends doing a mix of sailing and little projects. The weekend of August 12th we simply had to get away from the dock.  Saturday was going to be windless (unfortunately the lack of wind has been a recurring theme this season), so on Friday after work we sped down to Shenny so we could head over to West Harbor for the weekend.  We were all ready to go when we turned the key to start the engine and – nothing. Not even a click. Hmm. This was new. Batteries on? Yep. Has the wire come loose from the starter? Nope.  Argh!  Did this mean we were going to be stuck at the dock for yet another weekend?

We pulled out our trusty Nigel Calder book to do some troubleshooting and flipped to the section on starters.  Beginning with the easiest thing, we shifted from neutral into forward, neutral into reverse, and back into neutral.  We turned the key and – thump, thump, thump.  Thumper roared to life!  Hooray!  Feeling pretty proud of ourselves for solving this issue, we cast off the lines and motored away.  Why did it happen?  Well, we’re not sure, but with only a month before Thumper goes into retirement, we’re not going to worry about it.

We were enjoying a nice drift under sail with light winds towards West Harbor when we suddenly noticed it was starting to get dark.  We hadn’t accounted for the delay in our departure, so after checking the sunset time in our Eldridge book we realized we needed to get moving – Thumper started right up and we made a beeline across Fishers Island Sound.  This marked the first time we’ve actually had to use our running lights (we’re usually at our destination well before dark), but by the time we got to the mooring field we were still able to see well enough to pick up an available transient mooring.  Aaaaah. So much better than the dock.

Even though there wasn’t any wind on Saturday, we still spent a nice lazy day on Fishers. We were rewarded with a nice breeze on Sunday and we meandered our way back to Shenny, enjoying a nice long sail before returning to our slip.  With winds from the northwest and an audience of people hanging out on their boats, I was nervous coming in but somehow I miraculously backed into the slip like I had done it a thousand times, earning accolades from our neighbors!  Boo-yah!

The weekend of August 19th found us ready to replace the vent hoses on our water tanks.  We also wanted to tackle replacing our electric panel. After our obligatory weekly visit to Defender to buy wiring, fuses, and other electrical things, eventually we were back at the slip to do the easy job first – the vent hoses.  Surprisingly enough it really was easy, and by late afternoon we were 100% finished with replacing all of the plumbing hoses on Pegu Club.  High-fives followed.  Now it was time to start on the electric panel.

Or maybe not.  After staring at it a bit and consulting the calendar, we realized that perhaps starting this project two weeks before vacation wouldn’t be the smartest idea in the world.  After all, we’re bound to mess something up and we didn’t have a lot of wiggle-room as far as timing goes.  So we decided project number one when we haul out next month will be the new wiring and panel.  We did install fuse blocks on the battery cables (which weren’t fused at all), so at least we made the system a bit better in the meantime.

Sunday the 20th was a lovely, breezy day – perfect for a sail.  We headed out in winds varying from 12-19 knots and bombed around for several hours.  We even managed to time our last tack properly so that we were able to head right back to Shenny without throwing in another one.  Maybe we’re getting better at this sailing thing!

And finally, to catch up on the month, we spent this past weekend (the 26th and 27th) getting ready for VACATION!!  (Not that I’m excited or anything.)  Pegu Club got a much-needed bath and I polished her stainless.  We topped off the diesel tank, filled our 5 gallon jerry jug, and topped off the water tanks using the deck fill for the first time.  After we were finished we heard the bilge pump running.  Hmmm.

Lifting the floor board we discovered that water was running from the bow tank.  Moving over to the bow tank, we realized that the inspection port was leaking. Guess we’ll add that to the to-do list for the offseason.  In the meantime we simply pumped the kitchen foot pump for a bit to lower the water level in the tank.  Problem solved!

In addition to prepping Pegu Club, we also took a drive up to Newport Nautical Consignment to drop off our roller furler and the large wheel.  We had purchased a smaller wheel from Newport Nautical earlier in the summer which has worked out well, giving us more room to maneuver around in the cockpit.

No trip to Newport Nautical is complete without poking around on the shelves to see what they might have that we need.  One of the things we want to install before we leave are three 12 volt fans to help keep us cooler during the hot Caribbean summers.  Two will go in the main cabin, and one in the v-berth.  At $80 each we’ve been holding off on buying them, but at Newport Nautical we picked up three for $80 total!  Back at Pegu Club we connected the wires to the battery terminals to make sure they work, and they fired right up.  Score!

After a successful Saturday in Newport and getting Pegu Club ready to go for vacation, we could have gone sailing on Sunday.  Instead we lounged around in the cockpit, enjoying snacks and drinks, and seriously debated getting a mooring again for next season.  Neither one of us likes being at the dock at all.  There are pros and cons to going back to the mooring field so by the end of the day we were still on the fence, but there is one thing we know for sure.  If we decide to stay in a slip next year we’re going to do our best to head out every Friday night – even if it’s just over to West Harbor – and stay out until late Sunday afternoon.  Treat the slip as a weekday parking space, so to speak.  We’ll have to see what next season brings.

Next up – vacation!

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