Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

No, really?

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that we haven't moved in a while.  As I mentioned in a previous post, we've been fixing things here on Papillon.  A lot of things.  Many, many things.

But eventually the day came when I'd handed over the final cheque to the final contractor.  Erik and I rubbed our hands together and said "Let's get out of here!"  Time to head to the Keys, or Cuba, or Mexico, or anywhere we could drop anchor and swim every day.

So, we left.  La de da de dah!  There were were, sailing off Miami, when our brand-new autopilot broke.  I took the wheel, and Erik started troubleshooting.  Cords, computers, wires here and there.  Eventually we had to admit defeat.  We heaved a sigh, turned Papillon around and headed back to Dania Beach.

While our electrician was trying to figure out what had gone wrong (including a fix that almost had Johnny Depp's old autopilot computer come aboard), our freshwater pump broke.  Again.  And then the inverter starting acting up.  Again.

We sent the autopilot back to South Carolina.  We replaced the pump.  We gave the inverter pointed looks, and reminded it what happened to its old friend Junked Autopilot.  And everything was happy again.

Until the next morning.  When the new pump broke.  The inverter stopped inverting.  And the fixed autopilot died, too.

Every.  Day.  For a week now.

Every night Erik and I give each other the thumbs up.  Things are on the mend!  We're almost there!  Yahoodellyhoo!  And every morning: the pump whines and shuts down, and up come the floorboards again, before I have even had a cup of tea.

The water pump issue looks to be related to the water we took on in Bimini.  Or, should I say, the vast quantities of sand and shells in the water.  Yep, they gummed up the works somethin' awful.  Erik and I spent a delightful afternoon opening the water tanks and filtering the contents through an old t-shirt.  There were also accumulator tank/hot water/backflow issues that have been solved.  I know a whole lot about water lines that I didn't before (and wish I didn't now).  But I think we have skinned this cat.

Old Auto, as mentioned, was kicked to the curb.  We now have a shiny new model which we are going to test out tomorrow.  This apparently involves going out in open water and turning in a circle.  Really.  All this means to me is that maybe, if we're lucky, we can get a new berth when we get back.  F dock is bug central, and I've had enough of looking like I have the measles.

But the true issue, the dark and looming problem, is the inverter.  Technically speaking, the inverter tosses power around the boat, keeping the batteries charged and outlets working and everything in balance with the Force.  Sadly, our F07 and F08 errors suggest that something ugly is hiding in our walls, electrically speaking, and while the problem may turn out to be small, it may take a while to find.  Hopefully, once we do locate it, it will be quick to fix.

And then... then, we are going to find a nice place to anchor, and rest, and swim, and rest some more.

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