Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Getting Things Together In Costa Rica -- January, 2017

No, we haven’t finished blogging about Spain but we also said we’d post about anything “exciting” in Golfito. “Exciting” may not be the word some would apply to our news, but it does excite us: We have reached the end of the Known* To-Do List and we are ready to take a test cruise!

               * A boat owner's "to-do list" can only momentarily be deemed complete . . . 

Today we received a national zarpe (permission to travel) from the Port Captain at Golfito and tomorrow we depart for a two or three night nautical tour of the Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf). During this mini expedition we will run Abracadabra's away-from-the-dock systems (e.g., engine, water maker and solar power) and revive the crew's away-from-the-dock skills (e.g., anchoring, water and power conservation, dinghy driving).

The Captain’s Known* To-Do List

               * See above

During this past month Bryce has been very busily whittling away at his boat projects. 

He has made great improvements to Abracadabra’s power system by:
  • Installing two new house batteries (after invaluable delivery assistance by the strong young battery luggers on the Banana Bay Marina staff!);
  • Installing a replacement solar panel (the bargain 50-watt panel died at the end of last season – perhaps not such a bargain after all); and
  • Designing a way to mount the two new 50-watt solar panels on the cockpit awning (these will be removed and stowed while underway).
That's 100 Watts Of Power, Baby!

Abracadabra now has solar output of 330 watts. 

Bryce has also contracted with Golfito-based experts to:
  • re-stitch and waterproof the canvas bimini and various canvas shade awnings (Golfito’s canvas guru, Adam);
  • reconfigure the back screen to accommodate a wind generator brace (Adam);
  • refinish the cockpit and salon tables -- they look like new (local woodworker guru, Rick, and his crew);
  • reinforce the salon cabin's somewhat squishy sole -- we no longer fear falling through into the bilge (Rick and crew); and
  • recharge the big fire extinguisher.
In addition to being a skilled woodworker Rick is an all-round boat guy so we hired him to climb the mast to install a new Windex (a wind direction indicator) . . .

Rick and Really Dead Old Windex

and do “whatever he could” to fix our long-broken wind speed meter and masthead lights. After some contact cleaner and a bit of clanging and banging the wind speed meter sprang to life! Hopefully this represents a full resurrection and not just a temporary reprieve!

We Have Wind!

The masthead lights are also working. Today. 

In addition to acting as contractor on these jobs Bryce has replaced the leaking raw water pump, the dysfunctional water system pressure pump and the dead as a door-nail macerator pump. He repaired the water heater and some water lines and valves (a dry boat is a happy boat); replaced the guts to the Magma grill (which only last about a year in the tropics); and installed two new portholes (on the dry boat theme).

Whew – a very busy start to 2017!

Other Stuff

Lest you think all work and no play has made Bryce a dull boy he also managed to complete a fairly complex 500-piece jig-saw puzzle:

Tom Thompson - Group of Seven

And what has Molly been doing? Keeping house and being charming - oh, and killing cockroaches (that seems to have been a successful effort).

Her mother would be proud.

House Keeping On Land
(We Moved Aboard January 23 And Swapped A Kitchen For A Galley)

And Next?

If all goes well on our shake-down cruise we will depart for Panama shortly thereafter - perhaps with winnings from the Golfito U.S. Veterans' Association Super Bowl Pool winnings in our pockets (ha). We’ll keep you posted on that.

[A Sad Aside: Sailing compadres have recently posted about the sinking of their boat, Siga-Siga, during a hurricane last September. They were kind enough to include some lessons learned during their insurance claim process. Worth noting in this blog is that during the insurance claims process they relied on their blog to document some of their boat improvements/repairs -- they had lost most of their repair/maintenance records when they lost Siga-Siga. We won't foist every repair/maintenance detail on you, but we find it interesting that this blog might – knock-on-wood – have a purpose in addition to communicating with friends and settling our marital travel memory disputes! And yes, the crew of Siga-Siga is searching for another sailboat.]

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