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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 4 - What is a cucamelon?

Melissa awoke determined to solve some more murder game mysteries.  We begin to read through all the websites related to the game materials and find a vague reference to morse code.  This caused Jim to realize that some of the babble speak was actually morse code!  And with Dave’s help (cuz he knows all the morse codings off the top of his head) we deciphered the first clues of the mystery.

That now completed, Melissa could cook breakfast – steel cut oats with vanilla protein powder mixed in topped with strawberries and a side of bacon.

Due to all the engine and electrical frustrations, we decide to head for Ganges on Salt Spring Island.  Its one of our favorite spots – filled with good restaurants and art galleries.  Plus its got good supplies of things like batteries – since Dave has decided to replace the starter battery.  This morning he eventually got the main engine started, but not till after again having to use the battery booster hooked up to the main house batteries.

Along the way Melissa fixed a stack.  Homemade cold smoked salmon with cream cheese mixed with green onion and dill on little toasted breads.

Along the way Jim created a new snap strap to keep the flaps of the dodger up - even when the wind is blowing - and we want them to stay open.


Ganges marina had room for us at the dock, so we pulled in and tied up.  Dave wants to head off to find a new battery right away.  So we all head into town.  Melissa and Margaret are headed for the farmers market in the center of town and Jim and Dave are headed to the marine store.  Discovering that the marine store didn’t have what they were after, they headed to the auto parts store up the hill.  They found a new spark plug socket, and bought another can of carburetor cleaner thinking we needed some.  That can has now been added to the two other cans already in stores.  You can never have enough carburetor cleaner.  Dave was also able to purchase a new AGM battery.  Much better than a regular car battery because the higher charging voltages aboard the boat would kill a regular battery quickly.  More expensive but it should last longer.  The store offered to deliver it and to pick up and recycle the old battery.  So they had it installed and working before us girls arrived back from our trip to the farmers market where we scored big!

We found cucamelons.  Never had them before!  They are like a cross between a cucumber and a melon and are the size of your pinky. 

We also got oyster mushrooms which we are sure Jim will do something fabulous with.  Fresh strawberries and cantaloupe.  We tasted (and bought) gin, vodka, and apple pie flavored moonshine all made from honey instead of grains.  They were yummy!  And we bought apple cider flavored with orange and rosemary.

Dave then decided to finish installation of his new amp meter.  First though he had to fix the fishing tape which had gotten all cattywampus.

The new meter allows Dave to see the amps going in and out of the house batteries – which allows him to understand more accurately the state of charge.  Once installed, Dave quickly realized that the solar contributes significantly more than he originally thought.  He disconnected us from shore power and then started turning on boat systems – lights, pumps, etc, and at first thought the meter wasn’t working because he didn’t see any power being drawn from the batteries.  Until the fridge turned on.  So apparently the solar panel can power everything except the fridge.  He also discovered that the voltage on the starter battery is too high – which is still a bit of a mystery.  But that’s a mystery for another day.

As part of Jim’s “mate” training, Dave tells Jim that he needs to learn how to climb the mast.  Dave says today is a good day to do it because we didn’t start with mimosas.  You would think Jim might be a little more frightened, but from the smile on his face, its clear he thinks this is going to be fun!

We do the usual bit of taking the topping lift off the mast to operate as a safety line.  Dave normally self-arrests, but Jim asks that for his first time that Dave operate the safety line.  That puts Melissa at the electric winch to hoist Jim up using the spinnaker halyard.  Melissa used to get pretty freaked out when Dave would go up the mast, but is much more accustomed to it now.  But she understands why Margaret is a bit nervous about this whole deal.  We hoist Jim up half way – to replace the deck lightbulb with an LED bulb.  Its been burned out for as long as Dave can remember – Mexico maybe?  But its good to get that maintenance item checked off the list.

For dinner we decided on House Piccolo in town that TripAdvisor had listed as #1 restaurant.  It did not disappoint.  Three of us had steaks and Jim had the Sablefish.  

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