Friday, January 08, 2010

Shore leave is over ...

We definitely got used to being ashore.  Since moving aboard Alizee on January 3rd, we've felt almost a bit claustrophobic.  The first two days we headed out to the movies in the afternoon, and then, as we decided we really needed to settle in and get back to the boat-life routine, the Espar diesel heater quit on us.

I know what you're thinking: it's Florida, for God sake!  But this is the Florida of global warming.  A five day cold snap that is now in its seventh day (if I'm counting right), with night time temperatures in the high 20s and daytime barely above 50.  We hustled off to Deland and picked up an ancient little ceramic heater called "The Furnace" and it was enough to take the chill off for two days while I tracked down the fuses for the Espar heater.  I already had a fellow coming over to the boat to test my batteries and check out my Link 20 monitor system, and this turned out propitious, for the heater fuse needed a new fuse junction box, which he had and installed for me.  One nice side effect of my hunting for the fuse was that I checked all the other fuses around the battery and it turned out that the Link 20 was malfunctioning simply because one of the fuses was not set properly.

The cold made us both feel rather ambivalent about living aboard.  Pen is generally ambivalent about the sailboat.  She does love it when we're at anchor in the islands or on lovely, fair weather sails between anchorages, and she's even enjoyed a couple of our off-shore transits.  But she's a land-based gal and really enjoys that comfort.  I am, of course, not ambivalent about the sailboat, but I really don't like living aboard in a marina.  I think my preference would be 2-3 months cruising in the islands, then back on land for a while and so forth.  We may have to work on this to get it right.  Perhaps leaving the boat in the Bahamas or the Caribbean and going back and forth.  We shall see how it plays out after the cruise we are going to start in three weeks.

At any rate, we've managed to settle in, I think.  We watch Netflix movies at night, are getting some reading done, and have done some little things to make the boat a bit better.  A second spice rack added to one I put up in September makes storing our spices a snap.  A nice little teak knife and utensil rack in the galley makes easy storage with quick access to cooking and eating utensils we use all the time.  Small wall brackets to snap the flashlight in have stopped its rattling about and made it very handy, and a nice teak magazine rack in the aft cabin has added storage.  A second net hammock for storing foodstuff seems to work well and adds a lot of handy storage space.  And, I've replaced all but a couple of the interior lights with LEDs (both white and red), which will make our power consumption off shore and at anchor much better.  They are a bit dimmer than the regular 12v bulbs, but they'll work just fine.  And when we are on shore power, I can easily switch out the bayonet style LEDs in the interior reading amps with the brighter 12v bulb.

Three weeks and we'll head down the ICW to Miami, where I hope we can take in a couple of days at the "strictly sail" boat show.  Then we're on our way to the Keys and finally the Bahamas.   Meantime, we've got some inventorying to do, food and household supplies to stock up on, and a couple of spare parts to acquire.  What we really want, however, is warmer weather!  Seeing the blog posts from our friend G.W., who is now in the Abacos, is making us wish we could leave right now.


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