Back in the saddle again!

Yes, it has been a while

We were on hold for a few months, waiting to hear back on some things, but now are full steam ahead!

With that in mind, engines have had their filters changed and some other maintenance work, fuel and water are topped up, freezers and fridges full, dry goods augmented, two salt and one fresh water leaks addressed. We are ready to depart.

Engine repair

  • Yes, I also learned you have to shut off the fuel tank petcock if you don’t want a warm diesel fuel bath when changing the oil/water separator
  • Don has become a skilled fiberglass repair tech
  • Nina has become a skilled JB Weld sculptor

We realize now, that when we bought the boat, there must have been a salt water leak on the aluminum casing of the heat exchanger, and it had been repaired. As we took it apart, we recognized the signs. A very slight color difference between the paint on the head exchanger and the rest of the engine, calcium build up in the caps to the heat exchanger,  a failed gasket on one of the caps, some gunk on the aluminum casing, and it all was connected to an absolutely pristine exhaust elbow. Researching it, we found a great article by a tried and true sailor whom everyone respects, Tom Neale, that described a fix that worked for him for over 9 years. As a result, we took the heat exchanger apart, cleaned away all the calcium, built a lovely edge with JB Weld High Heat which is good to 450 degrees F, replaced all the gaskets and O rings with official Yanmar replacement parts, and added Permatex Blue gasket maker good to 500 degrees F. We cranked up the engine, and she just purrs!

Remote Controller lets us keep a better eye on power use

While we were hanging, we installed a Venus GX monitor/controller so we could monitor our power remotely. The main reason Don wanted it, was so he could moniotor and manage our power use if we’re away from the boat. It also provides a single view of all power coming in and going out as DC and AC. In addition, we get a long term view of power use, solar generated and host of other interesting bits of data.

With a new version of firmware, we can now configure our Victron Multiplus charger/inverter to run off battery only (“Island Mode”) until we come close to running out of battery power. It can then add in shore power so that we are mostly using the power generated by our solar panels even at the dock. We figured this would pay itself back pretty quickly.

Byebye Shelter Bay Marina

This marina ended up being a lovely home for us with a great live aboard community. Sundays were busy days with Dominos at 1PM, and evening barbecues with Spencer manning the grill.

We had a thanksgiving dinner here at the Marina that couldn’t be beat…

We will miss dockmaster Eddie, Carol, Thorson and Laura (sv Corinthian), Spencer and his wonderful band of kids (sv Gabriel), our banagram and Golf card buddies: Bella, Luna, Paul and Dina (sv Bella Luna), my namesake and resourceful neighbor Nina and Mario (Sailing Seatramp), the crew from Sailing Marmax; Torsten and Laura (sv Corinthian), Laurie and Dan (sv Bebe), Corrinne and Andre (sv Different), poker night with John (sv Ellion II), David and Terri (sv Sylvester), Ritchard and Kim (sv Sayonara), Bev (sv Aseka), and Bob and Ann (sv Balooo), and many others that we met as they were passing through Shelter Bay. We caught up with love birds Hazel and Paul, and their friends (sv Susimi) after first meeting them last year in the Bahamas, and then again in Providencia and now in Panama.

Touring the Caribbean side of the canal

So, now to tour the Caribbean side of the canal with trips to Bocas del Toro, San Blas and with the plan of transiting the canal to the Pacific in January.