Saturday, February 28, 2009

Events: The Good and the Bad

I couple of noteworthy items occurred this last week.

The first is that I finally got enough money together to secure a slip in Sarasota. My boats new home will be in Marina Jack's, a very nice marina practically in downtown Sarasota.

It's a 12 minute walk to work from my slip. This is much nicer than the previous 50 minute drive I had from Jimi's house in Port Charlotte. This will save me almost $400 a month in gas. There is an Irish Pub and Restaurant called O'Malley's about 4 minutes away. I haven't been there yet but I'm crossing my fingers that its a decent place. There are also several other nice restaurants and social establishments nearby.

The cost to get in there was much less than I originally expected it would be. Lets just say the fuel and time savings driving back and forth to work *more* than make up for the slip rental.

Of course, I still plan on spending time at Jimi's. I'll probably drive down there at least once during the week and then on some weekends.

The second noteworthy event was my foray into boat plumbing.

If you've ever wondered what changing a marine toilet would be like; wonder no further. It sucks.

The toilet on the boat has leaked since I bought it. There was a small crack at the base of the pump and, whenever the pump was utilized, waste water would ooze from it. I discovered this immediately and in my capacity as captain I ordered it never be used again. This law made for some discomfort during my lengthier journeys, but the law was observed.

When I secured the slip in Sarasota I knew the trip would take about 2 days. And since I figured Jimi and Arrielle would be coming with me it seemed wisest to replace the toilet with a new working model.

I went to West Marine and bought the same model I currently had. I was worried about the amount of space the new toilet would take up... the current one fits exactly into the space available, not even a quarter of an inch on either side. Buying the same model helped put my mind at ease there. Then came the dreaded part: installation.

Actually, installing the new toilet wasn't too bad. Its removing the old one that sucked a lot. Even though I hadn't used it in 4 months there was still plenty of shitty water (literally) in the hoses. The next hour of labor was pretty foul.

I finally got the old one out and the new one mostly in (having some issue with driving the screws in... they are in very awkward, hard to work in space). The hoses and fittings were all properly connected and my initial testing showed no major leaking connections. And most importantly, I didn't sink the boat.

I don't really like doing this type of work, I never have. However, I do find some satisfaction in getting it done. I also learned some important things about the boat which I might not have noticed otherwise. First, I have a through-hull valve that is frozen open. This is very bad. Luckily, this particular through-hull is connected to another valve which allows me to shut-off the flow if needed. I also have a better feel about how the plumbing system works, which is good because if it ever fails catastrophically while I'm sailing around the world there is now a better chance I can diagnose and fix the issue.

Anyway, this is how I spent my Friday evening.

Unfortunately I had to delay the boats move to Sarasota. Between the toilet job and some rough weather coming in on Sunday it didn't seem prudent to try to do it. Hopefully there is a good weather window next weekend.