Work and more work. FUN times ahead!
Would you rather be here?
We knew it was going to be hard work settling on the boat and getting it up to speed to go cruising. We had read numerous blogs, watched countless cruisers YouTube videos and talked with many other fellow cruisers living the dream or in the planning stages of the dream and still it has been a challenge both mentally and physically to get to this point. We had shipped five large boxes by USPS ahead of time and still needed to bring 4 large suitcases, a carry on, a cooler bag, and two backpacks. That was when the fun began! We said our tearful goodbyes at the Wilmington airport, boarded the plane to Charlotte and sat on the runway. The departure time came and went and then the pilot comes on and says, two out of the three navigation systems are working but someone has to come out and fix the third. It probably just needs to be rebooted. No go. Everyone off the plane to sit in the terminal waiting to find another plane. Every other flight was booked to St. Thomas for the next 4 days and hurray, a plane was found for the next day so we had to get all our luggage from the plane, lug it to the hotel and back again the following morning at 5 a.m. Dinner was walking to the nearby gas station to get a bottle of wine and we had pizza delivered to our room. Things can only go up from here!
Well, we did arrive finally the next day with all our stuff and Counting Stars had her sails up and was clean which was appreciated given we were tired. We began to unload all our stuff just so we could sit in the salon. There is always that moment where you feel good about things and that they are coming together and then wham you realize something isn’t working. We realized our ice maker wasn’t getting cold….
Now you hear all sorts of sayings from cruisers like BOAT stands for bring out another thousand, or bend over and take it or cruising is fixing things in exotic places. There is a lot of truth to this. At times, you feel like you are hemorrhaging money to get things working so you can enjoy the wonderful beautiful peaceful moments and adventures. We also know two cruisers who call it the FUN to SUCK ratio at times. Well, the next two weeks getting ready to take off the SUCK part was the greater of the two. We rented a car and went to three different chandleries, Home Depot and 5 different grocery stores numerous times because one store never has everything you need or it is near the end of the week and the supply ship hasn’t arrived yet. At one store alone, COST U LESS, a discount store like Sam’s or Costco, we spent over $1400 alone. Kind of ironic that we easily spent that much money at a store whose name is COST U LESS!
As the week wore on, we began to discover that certain maintenance items that were to be completed in Puerto Rico hadn’t been done or other things weren’t working. We had brought with us a new starter for the generator, got it installed and up and running. We ordered a new ice maker and paid for expedited shipping but it still took over a week! The sails hadn’t been repaired or the dinghy engine repaired. The water fixer filters and UV bulb changed and the hardwiring of the radar was never completed. We helped with the hardwiring of the radar using fish tape to snake the wire through several compartments on the boat. Knocked that off our checklist. Took down our gib and had that repaired. Sent off our dinghy motor to be repaired. We installed a vent and fan for the fridge so the compressor stays cooler. We installed a new fan above our bed. Redid all our lifelines with dyneema. Took a full day alone to learning all the splicing techniques involved. We repaired trampoline, installed jib sheet and locker protector lines, replaced water filters, repaired helm light etc. Then when we thought everything was getting done, then bam another punch to the gut….. Kevin was off doing one last run to home depot before returning the car and I stayed back at the boat to do a load of laundry. Turned on the machine and noticed the control lights were blinking rapidly. Error code. To ty to fix it, turn off breaker and turn back on again. Still, blinking lights! At this point, I am saying you got to be F##in kidding me! We have used this once, worked beautifully but broken already? There had been three power outages at the dock and I likely suspect these power outages caused the mother board to fry. Ordered a new mother board, waited three more days and then replaced it. Spent time carrying our laundry to a local laundry mat about ½ mile away. It was quite pleasant for I enjoyed the Mexican music in the background with mosquitos biting at my ankles and the homeless guy next door. No really, it wasn’t that bad.
Well, we got the part three days later and all we had to do was replace it. Sounds easy, right? The machine is behind the shower with two inches of clearance on either side and weighs 150 pounds. With the help of someone at CYOA, we got it out but Kevin had to contort his body behind it to replace the part that of course was in the bottom right hand corner! Success! It worked but not without a few hold your breath moments in between.
So it has been about two weeks since we got here and we spent a total of two nights off the dock. We finally had everything completed yesterday and we were leaving to take off for St. John. With smiles on our faces, and a sense of satisfaction in our hearts we started the engines and began to pull away and then……. The wind gauge was not reading direction. Back to a ball, hoisted guy up the mast, wind gauge replaced. Cha-ching, there goes another $1000…..
Sitting here this morning in Little Lameshur on St. John, us and one other boat. Only sounds are the water lapping, the birds chirping and me typing on the keyboard. Karry, Josh, Bella and Campbell arrive in two days for Thanksgiving! Let the FUN begin!