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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Why working on a boat is so hard

We awoke to an even eerier smokey sky.  We had to turn on the lights in the cabin despite it being daylight because the sun was so dim.  Melissa stayed in her flannel PJs all day to keep warm as the smoke prevented the cabin from warning up.  Jim made us a breakfast of eggs benedict with fresh made hollandaise.  A labor of love, but ohhhh, sooooo good.

We head out to Blake Island.  Classic shot of Captain Dave in the command chair.  Note the lack of visibility due to the smoke.  You can barely see the land behind him.  We pick up a mooring buoy here.

At Blake Island are now within easy distance of the locks inbound to Lake Washington tomorrow from here.  And, with luck, maybe we will be able to see the phosphorescence tonight. 

Underway, Dave decides that the alternator has finally gone out.  Its been a bit intermittent recently and he has had to tighten the belt a few times.  Fortunately we have a spare aboard!  So Dave decides to go for replacement here at Blake.  The photos that follow demonstrate why working on a boat is just hard.  We see Dave on his knees with his body half in the engine compartment, and peering through the cut out in the master bathroom tub that he cut years ago to access the back side of the engine compartment.


The guys are finding after they finish the install of the new alternator that it still isn’t charging the starter battery.  They continue investigating.


Eventually the light dawns that Dave needs to rev the engine to get the alternator to generate current to the battery.  Duh.  It was installed right all along!

And that old alternator.  Yuck.  Dave believes a broken wire may have been the issue after all and says we can put the old one back in stores as the spare.  Melissa (quartermaster in charge of spares) nixes this idea.  We are buying a new one.

The good news is that all the investigation of why the installation of the alternator wasn’t working allowed Dave to find the leak in the engine compartment he has been fighting for a while now, and likely was the cause of the demise of the starter a few months ago.  A hose that is leaking!  A new hose clamp and hopefully that problem is gone too.

In letting the radar warm up a few days ago in the smoke, Dave discovered that it wasn't working. Someone has to go up the mast.  Its so calm here at Blake that Jim volunteers.  Melissa hates it when the guys go up the mast, so she starts to stress cook.  By the time Jim comes down there is a tuna casserole, blistered peppers, fried sage, and pink champagne chilled down.

Meanwhile, Jim goes up the mast.

We raise him using one of the halyards and the big power winch.  To rig this, the line stretches across the companonway so you have to be careful going up and down. In one dash up the steps, Dave manages to about coldcock himself running nose first into the sheet that is steel tight.  He's sporting a nasty contusion on his face.  Ooops.

Jim discovers that the belt wasn't loose as Dave had suspected.  He finds a bad connector.  Unfortunately we don't have a spare.  And the guys couldn't figure a reasonable jury rig.  Here is Dave sending parts and tools up to Jim.

While Melissa was taking this shot, she heard a small snort below her.  Kinda like when the whales would surface next to us only smaller.  She looks down to find a seal is swimming between the bow and the mooring buoy.

And indeed we got to see the phosphorescence!  So despite the smokey conditions, we are still having fun!


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