Well, it's been a long time since this site was updated. A lot has happened. To cut a long story short, we had to turn back last time due to various things all combining which would have made our trip very much a horrible experience. I also didn't know it at the time but I contracted Lyme disease while in the USA and had it for over a year before we even set out the first time. I'm done with the Lyme, a long course of antibiotics and over a year to start feeling slightly normal again. It's been about a year and a half and I'm basically back to normal but it's been so long I really can't say what normal should be. Either way, I don't feel like I'm having a heart attack, I'm not in agony anymore and my memory/thinking is improving. Clearly the time has come to get on the boat and sail away again!
This time the decision to get on the boat was made by the MIL. She felt like she wanted to explore the World and try a new adventure. After all, what's life without adventure and new experiences? Existence I call it. So she proposed we sell the house and get on the boat, sail around the USA for a while and see where that takes us.
The plan was going smooth till she got diagnosed with breast cancer. Then it wasn't so smooth anymore. Chemo wiped her out where she could do nothing but lay in bed. Naturally that delayed things getting the boat prepared for three people. As did the weather. We went from Winter to Summer and bypassed Spring for some reason. It's very strange being in 85 degree weather and there's still snow on the ground. Needless to say, Spring which we were hoping to do things on the boat was delayed till Summer arrived, and boy did it arrive!
Working on the boat in the Marina was a nightmare. Our slip is right next to a covered dock so the boat is about 15 feet from the aluminium siding. Unfortunately the siding faces East. So every morning the Sun comes up and the heat reflects off the siding right into the boats port side. The starboard side is in direct Sun. The side of the building blocks any breeze that might be around so the boat is pretty much in a solar oven type environment. About 30 minutes after Sun rise the heat inside the boat is already in the 90's. Within an hour it's over 100. Around 8 am on many days it was about 115 inside the boat. Naturally progress was slow. Heat during the day was so bad that I could work inside for only short periods and then had to get out into the shade for far longer. On bad days the ratio was about 5 minutes inside and 30 outside. It's hard to cool down when the shade is over 100 and fluid loss was off the charts between the heat and the high humidity.
The last great hurdle to overcome was the car. The drive to the Marina is close to 300 miles return. That's a full tank of fuel and a days driving. So I stayed at the boat while the wife took the car back and drove the MIL to hospital for regular radiation therapy. Naturally this was going too smoothly so the car decided to spice life up for us by breaking the fan belt. Along with the fan mount. While it was at it, it also sheared one bolt in the water pump and one stud in the oil pump that held the fan mount. Pricing the parts alone from an auto store came out to almost the value of the car!
With only one vehicle available to us and having to drive the MIL to the hospital every day (60 miles return) it was impossible to fix the car at the same time. I tried. Wasn't happening. The fortunate thing with this car is the water pump is timing belt driven so even though the fan belt was gone, the car wouldn't overheat while driving. it would however run the battery down. That was resolved by having a deep cycle battery in the back that fed the run current and if the main battery needed a top up we used an inverter to drive a battery charger and get it high enough to start it. Finally her radiation visits stopped and we got the break we needed to sort the car out. That took some effort as I couldn't remove the sheared stud from the oil pump housing and had to make a new bracket to hold the fan mount. This offset the pulley and caused the belts to slide off destroying them in under 20 miles of driving. The solution was to machine the fan mount on the lathe to reduce the thickness which balanced the new bracket that was installed. In a strange twist of irony, the belt on the lathe broke while I was machining it and I had to turn the whole thing by hand. Yes. I machined off 3mm of steel by hand using a combination of a grinder and the lathe and a hand pulley. The car however now works great.
That delayed work on the boat by over three weeks and in the mean time, we sold the house and now have to be out of here within a month. So work on the boat is going to be very rushed now. While I work on the boat, the girls will pack the house. Fun times.
That's the end of the update. Two and a half years and only a page or so to cover it. I'm sure I skipped something but my memory is still not the best.
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