8 Nov 2018

8th November 2018 Prickly Bay

Prickly Bay is an apt place to be right now, prickly because we are experiencing several glitches as we get to use more facilities on board which is rather frustrating to say the least.

Yesterday we found that the water maker would only work on 12v and not on 220v - it's an essential part of our life aboard so needed to be fixed soonest.  I looked for my multimeter to check the power supply only to find someone had stolen it over the summer. I'm lost without one, so many jobs need it, but I investigated the electrical circuit for it and discovered the fuse had blown. Not just any old fuse of course, life is never that simple, so I knew I would have problems sourcing a replacement.

Anyway, we went shopping yesterday for some food essentials having been scratching around for foodstuff since we got here. There is a hardware store next door to the supermarket and that was our first port of call after we got off the bus. Debra headed for the soft furnishings department and I got the tools section. I know, boys and their toys, but this was essential to me and I got my multimeter. It was exactly like my old one that I got from Lidl, except this one was double the price. Welcome to the Caribbean!

So, this morning we noticed that the bilge pump kept kicking in to drain water from the bottom of the boat, never a good sign. I tasted the water to see if it was salty (sign of a leak in the hull fittings). Nope, fresh water. I realised it must be a weak joint in the pressurised water system. Not good. We traced it to the pressure release valve on the hot water cylinder and typically it isn't in a very accessible place (nothing is on boats!). Several cuts and scrapes later, I managed to remove the valve for inspection. At this point we had to stem the flow of water coming from the hot water tank which was hot, and Debra suggested bunging the outlet up to save my burning fingers. It worked and off I went to try and find a spare.

Unfortunately, we're in the Caribbean. Get real! No such valve exists on the island so we have had to order a replacement from the UK. We thought the existing valve might have some calcification causing the unit to stay open so we dunked it in some kettle descaler and it seems to have done the trick. We reassembled everything (more scrapes) and so far so good.

The next task was to get the water maker going. I sourced a 50amp circuit breaker to replace the faulty fuse as no fuse was to be had. Who uses fuses these days anyway? It's so antiquated. Anyway, I fitted the new breaker and the water maker is doing its thing. Two successes so far.

The next task was to repair the air fan on Debra's side of the cabin. It had decided to give up the ghost and refused to turn. Back to the trusty multimeter and I could see that there was plenty of power there but no turning fan. I stripped it down and cleaned the contacts. Hey presto! Another successful job.

In between all this activity, we had the canvas people round wanting the bimini on to see how it fitted and to determine where they will stitch zippers to add our new side panels (and hopefully keep the cockpit dry when it rains) then once they knew that, the bimini needed taking off again. We're exhausted! A couple of G&Ts and an early night beckons!