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Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico; I'm in NJ, then Spain, then NJ.
Gathering paperwork to apply for visa to Spain. Received FBI criminal record check, got it apostilled, got notarized letter from my lady in Spain, writing a letter myself, filling out forms. Pulling teeth to get my medical test results and doctor's letter from Culebra. Finally got them, got medical insurance.
Went out to a nice brew-pub for my birthday, and to a nice Indian restaurant on another night. Nice dinner at home: Guinness, corn on the cob, grilled sausages: pics.
Went to the Trenton "Art All Night" festival: pics.
Went to Spanish consulate in NYC and applied for long-stay visa.
Went to Tall Ships festival in Camden/Philadelphia. Fun, but a little diappointing: only two ships open for tours on the Camden side, and lines were long. There were 5 or 6 other ships and sailboats on that side, but they all were doing paid sailing on the river (in almost no wind).
7/1: Off to Barcelona: trip diary.
8/21: Hurricane Danny is heading straight for my boat in Puerto Rico. But it's predicted to weaken slightly to about 65 MPH wind by the time it gets there.
8/23: TS Danny still forecast to go straight over my boat, but to be only maybe a 30-knot tropical depression by then.
8/24 AM: Danny forecast to go S of Puerto Rico and be weak, so no threat to my boat. By the PM: storm has been shredded, down to 30 MPH winds.
8/25: now TS Erika is coming, forecast to pass maybe slightly on the N side of Puerto Rico.
8/27 AM: TS Erika forecast to go N of Puerto Rico as a TS, not hurricane. So no threat to my boat.
8/27 PM: Bad news, now TS Erika forecast to go straight over top of my boat. But max winds 50 MPH or so.
8/28 AM: TS Erika might go slightly south of my boat, center might hit SW corner of Puerto Rico. Max winds 45 MPH or so, possible gusts to 60 MPH.
8/29 AM: Online, I'm told TS Erika had almost no effect on Playa Salinas harbor.
8/30 AM: Online, I'm told my boat looks fine. Also, the anchor light in the cockpit still is lit.
10/3: I'm back in the USA for two weeks, and my brother and I went down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard to see the Tall Ship "Gazela", at the invitation of a friend who's been reading my blog.
Gazela's web site
Article about Gazela
Cold, grey, slightly rainy morning. Interesting to get into the Navy Yard (Wikipedia page); we've never been here before, and there are several destroyers, some other ships, aircraft carrier Kennedy (Wikipedia page), and an active commercial freighter, plus lots of interesting old buildings. And some kind of fun-run about to start this morning. This place must have been really hopping in its heyday, back in WWII, when some 40,000 people worked here.
"Gazela" is in an old dry-dock, which is an interesting piece of machinery itself: the gate-plug is a separate, floatable piece, with valves in it. They pump water out of it to float it, and pump water in to sink it into place. Also has a rubber gasket to seal with the walls of the lock.
"Gazela" is 177 feet long, wooden hull and masts etc, Portugese. Pics. We had a nice tour, culminating in the engine room. A few people doing some work, building a sail-rack. They had planned to do "down-rigging" today (I guess that means bringing down top-masts), but called it off because of the rain. Next Thursday they're hoping to flood the dock and float the ship, and move it out to a fixed dock. It will stay there for a couple of months while they use a crane to pull the masts and do various work.
I was a little surprised at how many engines are on board: main engine, two generators, donkey-engine for the windlass, and a couple more for running firefighting pumps.
Back in NJ on Feb 15. Packages in mail: water-pump rebuild kit, and new oil cooler (pic). Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico; I'm in NJ.
Up at 5 AM, catch 6:06 train, to Philadelphia airport by 8. Bit of a lineup to take off, but uneventful flight, and out to the curb at San Juan airport a little after 3.
Had to wait 45 minutes or so for my ride to appear. Across the island, and stopped at a supermarket. And there's my friends John and Bernie from "Purrfect" coming out ! We chatted for a minute, then I got some groceries (slow lines), and to the marina by 5:40 or so. Paid $70 for the ride, then started waiting to bum a dinghy-ride from someone. Boat looks okay from a distance.
Got a little free Wi-Fi. 15 minutes or so later, a youngish couple showed up at the dinghy-dock, and agreed to give me a ride after they'd emptied their dinghy, although the guy warned "I hope you don't mind that it's the slowest dinghy in the harbor". Another 15 or 20 minutes, and the guy and I got into the dinghy, I loaded all my stuff, and we cast off. And then I found out what he really meant was "the prop is spun, this dinghy isn't going anywhere". We were making maybe 1/20th of a knot, and if we ever got out of the marina, we wouldn't have a chance of going upwind to my boat. So we turned around and slowly went back.
Fortunately, a woman showed up and I bummed a ride from her. Tina took me out to "Magnolia", passing the other guy who now was rowing out to his boat (right next to mine).
Got close, and my boat looks fine, floating high and level. Got on board, said thanks. Spiderwebs in the cockpit, which is filthy with blown dust. Unlocked the companionway, looked inside, all looks normal. Went down inside, looked around, everything is exactly as I left it, a big relief. I had been afraid there would an inch of water inside or something.
Opened the intake through-hull for the toilet, but the pump in the toilet seems to be frozen solid; guess I'll be using a bucket. Battery voltage okay, but we're running on just the engine start battery; the house batteries are toast. Checked the bilges, and they're bone-dry; the water in them has evaporated. Opened the hatches and ports. Turned on the wind-generator and set the solar controller to "bypass". Water system works okay and the water tastes okay, so I won't die of thirst.
Wiped out the cockpit and cockpit cushion a bit. Cockpit light is dead. Everything normal on deck. Painter from dinghy is dangling down into water and has about 20 pounds of stuff growing on it.
A little bit of wind, enough to get the wind-generator turning for a while.
PBJ sandwiches and carrots and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Up at 9 or so. Sunny and breezy; getting power from wind-gen and solar panel. Some work with a screwdriver got the toilet pump freed up, and a bucket of water primed it. Struggled to get laptop to charge from DC adapter. Dolphin swimming next to the boat at 9:45.
Took off the start-switch-bypass (jumper cables). Filled house batteries with water; they took about half a gallon. Puzzled by solar controller behavior until I realized the house batteries are totally disconnected, and system is running straight off solar or wind, whichever it turned on. Then decided to leave the house batteries disconnected, use the starting battery only, and put the bypass cables back in place. Checked engine fluids. Loosened stuffing-box nut. Cranked the engine around 10:30 and it didn't turn over very fast, and didn't start. Let it rest for a while, battery recharge.
Guy next to me with the spun prop is getting towed back to his boat ("Legacy").
Tried engine again at 11:10, same thing.
Checked starting wires; no problems. At 11:50, engine cranked a bit faster, and started within 10 seconds or so. Ran well. Some rumbling when I put in gear, probably because the cutless bearing has stuff growing in it and the prop probably has 10 pounds of stuff growing on it. Shut the engine down after 5 minutes because it was producing an oil sheen on the water; hope the new oil-cooler will fix that.
In late afternoon, scraped and pounded the growth off the dinghy-painter. Took half an hour or more and splattered juice and muck all over me and the port-aft corner of the toerail.
Tuna-salad sandwich and apple and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Clearing cobwebs out of the pilothouse, inside and out. Trying to get the dinghy going, but the padlock is frozen. Filled it with WD-40 a few times. Hauled outboard out of main cabin and up into cockpit, my back protesting a bit and my left arm useless because of tendonitis. Eventually got the key all the way into the lock, but it won't turn. Pumped up the dinghy side-tubes, lowered dinghy into water, pumped up the bow tube.
By 1:15, padlock still not turning. I need to get it open to move the fuel tank into the dinghy. I'm reluctant to cut it open with the Dremel. Could paddle the dinghy, but it's blowing 15-20 straight to the marina; I'd get there in a hurry, but have to be towed back to the boat later.
Hauled outboard to stern deck, pumped up dinghy tubes again and tied it, got outboard down into dinghy and onto stern. Some oil dripped onto boat's deck. Let the outboard sit for a while so the oil can settle.
At 4, gave up and cut the padlock off with a Dremel. Took about 3 minutes; that metal is surprisingly soft.
Took fuel tank down into dinghy, checked outboard fluids, hooked everything up, and very bad news: when I try to pull the cord, the outboard doesn't turn at all, it's seized or something. Won't shift into reverse, either, but I think that's unrelated. I can see the start-interlock moving properly. Squirted WD-40 into the flywheel and into the spark plug hole, and let it sit for a while.
Replaced cockpit reading light with a new fixture, and now it works (with old or new bulbs).
Later, better news: outboard will shift into reverse, and then I was able to pull the cord and the shaft/piston started moving. Still not as smooth as it should be, but it has full motion. Enough for today. Cleaned up and hoisted the dinghy.
Looks like guy next door is getting towed back to his boat every afternoon.
Tried to give myself a bit of a haircut, but the haircutter wasn't cutting too well.
Tuna-salad sandwich and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Got some free Wi-Fi from the boat, but it's flaky. But managed to upload log file, do email, transfer money from one bank account to another, pay my credit-card bill. NJ income tax return was accepted. So now most of the reason I need to go ashore today is removed.
"Purrfect" left around 9:15. I called them on the radio a while later and we chatted. Should have called them yesterday, they were doing a lot of dinghy-runs, and would have been nice to talk to them some more. My mistake. They're heading to Ponce and then to Cuba, then eventually to Florida to sell the boat.
Posted an ad to sell my boat on clasificadosonline.
Spent all morning on the internet. Around 1, launched the dinghy and tried the outboard. Still hard to pull, but to my surprise it started after about 4 pulls ! Ran reasonably except that no exhaust water is coming out, lots of air-bubbles coming up from underneath, and my usual trick of a wire to unclog the exhaust port doesn't work. Exhaust system full of air, no water ? Will let it sit a while and see if it primes by itself.
In midafternoon, pumped up the dinghy tubes, loaded up the dinghy with bags of garbage and bags of books. Started the motor, and motored upwind of the boat for a minute to make sure it would keep running. Sure enough, the motor quit and took some effort to get restarted. Finally had it limping along, couldn't throtte up much, but I headed ashore. Motor ran all the way there.
Disposed of 4 bags of garbage. Took about 25 books to the book-exchange in the marina and came away with 2 new books. Snagged a box out of the dumpster. Said hi to a couple of guys who weren't all that friendly. Went walking through the neighborhood to get some exercise and see if anything here has changed much; it hasn't.
Started the outboard, cast off, and it quit. Took some effort to restart, but then it ran steadily to get me back to the boat. A tiny bit of water dripping out of the exhaust outlet.
Cornedbeef-and-noodles and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ashore around 1:30. Outboard starting to put out a little more exhaust water. Dropped off another 15 or so books at the book-exchange. Started the long, hot walk to the supermarket. Halfway there, an SUV with 3 cruisers pulled over and gave me a ride. They were going to Mojito's restaurant for lunch. Salvador was driving. I told them a bit about Spanish residency in the 3 minutes it took to get there.
Into the supermarket. Tried the ATM inside the front door, but three times it got to "dispensing your money" and then said "ATM error" and printed a "no money dispensed" receipt and then went through a 2-minute diagnostic-and-reset routine. Gave up and did my shopping. At the cashier, my credit card worked, so I could conserve my dwindling cash. I'm pretty sure my ATM card will work at a bank in the town center, but that's even more of a walk.
Out of the store, saw an ATM on the side of a co-op credit union, tried my card, but immediately it said "contact your bank".
Walked home, not too bad. Outboard ran okay, got me to the boat, but still won't throttle up. Back aboard at 3:30.
Got some more Wi-Fi from the boat, which means I don't have to haul the laptop ashore to the bar.
Galley faucet is leaking; needs to be replaced.
Chili and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner.
Very still night; heard a mosquito inside the boat, so got up and put on repellent. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Mosquito landed on me, but got away before I could kill it. I don't want to get dengue fever or Chikingunya or Zika or something.
Grey morning, trying to rain. Sudden wind-shift to S instead of normal E. Some rain around 11. Light W wind. By 11:45, no wind, boats pointing SW to NW, slowly cycling clockwise.
Sun came out around 2, gone again around 4.
Started taking off the engine oil-cooler.
Online, looked for my boat-ad on clasificadosonline, and it's expired already ! Filed a support ticket about it.
Sandwiches and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner.
Some local motorboats coming in at the end of the weekend, with the typical Puerto Rican configuration: enormous sound system blasting music at top volume. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Got the old oil-cooler off the engine: pic.
Online, found out why my boat-ad disappeared (no web site links allowed), and now it appears. But no way for a buyer to contact me, since it doesn't show email address. Sent email to customer support about that.
Went ashore in midafternoon. Dumped a bunch of garbage, and another 20+ books onto the book-exchange. Went for a little walk, into a store and bought a bottle of dishwashing liquid, sat in the marina for a little while. Back to the boat, upwind into stiff wind.
Chili and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Online, my bank says they don't know why my ATM card fails at supermarket and many ATMs here; everything is fine at bank's end. Only some of the transactions (the three from the ATM inside the front door of the supermarket) even made it to the bank, the bank accepted them, and then immediately they were reversed out by the ATM here.
Loafed most of the day. Took galley faucet apart as far as I could and sent pics off to the manufacturer, asking what model it is and how to disassemble it. Cleaned up the old oil-cooler, took the pipe-adapters off it, dry-fit them onto the new oil-cooler. Fixed the wiring on the anchor light hanging inside the pilothouse.
Apple and leftover chili and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
More work on oil-cooler. Cleaned up and took out the old one. Prepared the new one and mounting bolts. Looked at old hoses and found one that desperately needs replacement. Took it out, and in the process dropped a block of wood into the bilge. Found wire-hook and tried to fish it out, but the wood is smooth and hard to hold. Gave up for now.
Working in fits and starts, cut new hose, worked it a little, put it on raw water pump end. Tweaked the fittings on the new oil cooler to try to make them line up well with the hoses. Put pipe-sealant on them. Put the new cooler onto the end of the new hose; doesn't go well, because the new hose is stiff and not bent to fit. Forced cooler into place, and put hoses on. Attached mounting bracket, and final hose. End of drain-plug is resting on top of engine-mount flange frmo transmission; not good. But I can't get enough play in the new hose to move the cooler. So left the top bolts on the mount a bit loose, to keep the cooler from breaking against the engine mount. Tightened all of the hoses. Done by 1:15 or so: pic. Will put the oil filter back on later. Now to let the sealant set for a couple of days.
Went ashore around 3. Outboard quit 1/4 of the way there, and took a couple of minutes to get restarted. Got to the dock and realized I'd forgotten to put on shorts; I was wearing only boxers. Disposed of a lot of garbage and back into the dinghy and back out to the boat. Ashore again. Into the marina bar, where the Wednesday dominoes game was going on (I'd forgotten about it until too late, and needed to get things done today anyway). Said hi to everyone, then started walking.
Walked about 2 miles in hot and windy conditions, out past the supermarket and into the center of Salinas town. To ATM at Banco Popular and got a wad of cash. Into the library to use the water fountain. Back to the supermarket and got groceries. Back to the marina. Into the dinghy and chugged back out to the boat by 5 or so. Hot and sweaty.
Tuna-salad sandwiches and carrots and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Went ashore at 12:15, to marina bar. Disposed of several bags of garbage and clothes and a box of generator parts. Dropped a box of books at the book-exchange. Did Wi-Fi in the marina bar. Skype-called airline to make sure my reservations were okay. Later, the Wi-Fi started getting flaky. Tried to Skype with Dora, but software problems at her end, Wi-Fi problems at my end, gave up.
Sausage-onion-noodle-cheese and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Loafed all day. Did some work at the end of the afternoon, cleaning and throwing out a bunch of stuff.
PBJ sandwiches and carrots and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ashore at 11 or so. Disposed of a lot of stuff at the dumpster. The re-usable things I left outside it were gone in less than 2 minutes. Dropped half a dozen books at the book-exchange. Went for a walk.
Ashore again at 2 to do Wi-Fi. Set up the laptop and booted it, got a soda from the bar, went to plug my MP3 player into the laptop to charge it, and couldn't find the MP3 player. Looked everywhere 3 times, in my bags and at the bar and at the dinghy and under the table, nothing. Crap, it must have fallen into the water on the trip from the boat to the bar. Maybe a 1% chance I left it on the boat, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do that. Bummer.
Did a couple of hours of Wi-Fi. Back out to the boat, no sign of the MP3 player there. I have a spare player, but no memory card for it. Guess I'll swipe the memory card from my camera and use it in the player.
Chili and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner.
Fair amount of rain at dinnertime, and again once during the night.. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Got out the new MP3 player, put card from camera into it, attached it to laptop, and can't get it to work (show up as a disk drive). Tried many different ways. Bummer.
Ashore at 12:20 to do Wi-Fi and play dominoes. Online, ordered several new MP3 players and cards, to be delivered to NJ. At the game, got several good tips and offers of help from various boaters; nice people. Still can't get my spare MP3 player to work. Eight people playing dominoes at two tables.
Near the end of the game, we mentioned the US elections, and quickly had to declare politics off-limits until the game was over. One lady is a rabid anti-Hillary person, another is an "every single politician is a crook" person, the third is a conspiracy-theorist who is going to send me all kinds of info about tax/currency/bank/corruption conspiracies etc (did you know that when you pay your income taxes, 40% of the money goes to the City of London and 60% goes to the Vatican ?). Yuck.
I came in at the middle of the pack in the scoring. Had a nice time.
Helpful people. One gave me a pointer to a place to donate my boat (a guy with Sea Scouts in USVI), and I sent a Facebook message for that. When I asked about propane refill, the lady from the boat next to me said "I have to get rid of a nearly-full 20 lb propane tank before moving the boat to sell it, go ahead and take it". So on the way back out to my boat, I stopped by her boat and did just that.
Leftover chili and an apple for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Very grey, humid, still morning.
Fished the block of wood out of the bilge, drilled hole in it, put a line through it for next time, wedged it back on top of water pump. Adjusted the bracket holding the oil cooler; still not happy with the way it hits the engine mount. Put the oil filter back on; not sure if it seated well. Weather still grey; if I drain the battery trying to start the engine, it will take a long time to recharge.
Engine started easily, but oil pouring out around oil filter. Shut it off quickly and decided to let that wait until tomorrow.
Launched dinghy. Adjust throttle cables on outboard. Went ashore before 2, and outboard throttles very nicely now, up and down. Not sure why this would have fixed the throttle-up problem; I was trying to fix the "won't throttle all the way down to low idle" problem. Both seem to fixed, for the moment.
Disposed of garbage and some books. Wi-Fi in the marina bar. Rain pouring down by 2:30; kept going for about 45 minutes. Then again grey, still, humid, wet. Then light rain.
Back to boat at 4:45 or so. Outboard not throttling up well.
Grey, still evening. Sandwiches and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Loafed all morning. Was able to get the galley faucet apart another step, but not sure what to do after that.
Recovered as much of the leaked engine oil as I could. Loosened the oil filter, tightened it again, ran the engine for about 10 seconds. Oil still pouring out, mostly into a plastic bag I tied in place. But now I think maybe it's coming from a joint, not the filter-to-base area. Used wrenches, and sure enough, the joint is loose. Probably I loosened it when doing the oil cooler, and forgot to tighten it later. Let the battery charge for a while, ran the engine for 10 seconds, no leak. Topped off the oil, ran the engine for a minute or so, no leaks. Checked the oil, decided to run the engine longer tomorrow. Looking good.
Had fits getting the stove connected to cook dinner; the long hose seems to have a lot of liquid propane in it, and propane jets everywhere when I try to connect it to the stove (in the cockpit). Not positive that the tank valve is closing properly. Worried that I'm creating an explosive situation. Fortunately it's a windy evening, and lots of wind blowing through the boat and through the pilothouse. Finally loosened the hose at the tank end and drained off the excess. Tank valve is okay. Got the hose connected on both ends, waited 15 minutes for any fumes to clear, lit the stove without blowing up the boat.
Cornedbeef-noodle and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Headachey; took a paracetamol-plus.
Did a small bucket of laundry.
Ashore around 9. Disposed of a lot of garbage. Asked for gasoline, and was told the fuel dock has none, and they're not sure if they've ordered a delivery. Wonderful.
Walked a mile or two to the supermarket. Not too bad, but boring with no MP3 player to listen to. Electricity went off a couple of times while I was in the supermarket, but that's why all big buildings here have their own generators. Got groceries, walked back, home by 11.
Started engine and ran it for 15 minutes, no problems. No oil on the water, so the new oil-cooler fixed that problem.
Ashore to the marina bar at 12:30, but a guy chased me away from the bar dock, saying it was for jet-skis. I've been docking there for 10 days now, never seen a jet-ski (or another dinghy). Went and docked at the main dinghy-dock. Disposed of garbage, dropped off books, office still doesn't know anything about the gasoline. Did some Wi-Fi.
Played dominoes, seven of us at one table. A fun game. I started out very hot, then had several disastrous hands toward the end, came in last overall. Electricity went off and on about a dozen times while we played.
Checked with the office, and happy to find the gasoline truck is supposed to deliver tomorrow ! So I'll avoid a long walk to the gas station with a jug.
Back out to the boat through stiff NE wind.
Salami-and-cheese-crackers and an apple and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Headachey; took a paracetamol-plus.
Continuing to throw away tons of stuff. Everywhere I look, there is stuff to sort through, and throw away much of it, and then clean where it was.
Started cutting the aft-starboard foam mattress into chunks, to make it easier to throw away. Pic. Both foam mattresses are old and nasty and shedding foam dust. Soon got to the point where I needed to make a dinghy-run to shore to dispose of stuff, but I want to wait until there's a chance I can buy some gasoline at the dock.
Around 3, did a trip to shore with the dinghy completely full of bags of garbage and pieces of foam mattress. Four trips to the dumpster to get rid of it. And the fuel dock has gasoline ! Bought $3 worth, about a gallon, enough for several weeks.
Back to boat, sawed up the rest of the mattress, gathered some more stuff. Ashore again after 5, another four or five trips to the dumpster.
Cornedbeef-onion-rice and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Headachey; took a paracetamol-plus.
Chopped up the port-aft foam mattress. Took 3/4 of it ashore and into dumpster. Cleanup, lunch, put plastic on hawsehole in foredeck.
Ashore at 2:45 with the rest of the mattress, and more garbage and stuff. Did Wi-Fi in marina bar. To hardware store to look at new faucets, and they have nice ones, but now the issue is getting the old one out. Don't want to take out the sink basin if I can avoid it.
Salami-and-cheese-crackers and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Packed books into boxes, to ship out. Boat starting to look a bit emptier.
Online, tried to send some money to Dora in Spain. Trying to use Transferwise for the first time, tried 8 different ways, no go. Sent messages to my bank and Transferwise, but it's Saturday.
Went ashore in late afternoon. Disposed of garbage and went for a walk.
Laptop power adapter no longer charging, battery has drained, can't get it to start charging again. This has happened before. Would be a pain if I couldn't use the laptop for a while.
Cornedbeef-chili and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
After much fiddling, suddenly got the laptop battery charging again. A relief.
Ashore at 11:30 or so. Disposed of garbage. Got laptop working, after a bit of futzing. Played dominoes, and I was today's winner.
Leftover cornedbeef-chili and a sandwich and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Up at 6:30, ashore at 7:15, trundled a cart with three boxes of books on it to Kathleen's house. Few numbers on the houses here, but I found her place and she was out in a couple of minutes. Into her car and off to the Post Office.
Had to wait 15 minutes for it to open at 8, but we were first in line. Very easy: I didn't have to fill out any forms, they still have "media rate" for books, I was done in 5 minutes for $28. Kathleen took another 5 minutes to pick up her package, then back to the marina and back to my boat by 8:30 or so.
Laptop not charging on the boat, again. Inconvenient.
Worked to take out the galley faucet. Very cramped space, awkward. Finally gave up and took out the sink, which I was relieved to get out in one piece (it's plastic and caulked-in; I put it in a year or two ago). Took off hoses. Lots more room now, but still one nut won't come off the faucet. Finally had to use the Dremel to cut slots into it and pound it loose with a hammer and screwdriver, then use wrench and pliers to get it the rest of the way off. Pics.
Ashore before 1. Disposed of lots of garbage and some books. Futzed with laptop and eventually got it to start charging. Did Wi-Fi.
To hardware store and bought $33 worth of new faucet, hoses, caulk. Nice when the stuff for the boat is all standard household stuff.
Online, still struggling to send money to Spain. Trying three different international-transfer companies. Each has their own quirks and problems. Finally succeeded in getting a transfer started; we'll see if it works, and how long it takes.
Back to boat. Filed holes in woodwork to make faucet fit. Put the faucet in place loosely, connected hoses, tried the water. Everything fine.
Salami-and-cheese-crackers and sort-of-salad and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Rainy, grey, still morning. Boats pointing all directions much of the time.
Tightened galley faucet in place (decided not to add caulk), put hand-pump back in place (doesn't work anyway), caulked the sink and put it in place, tightened it down, smoothed off the caulk, put the drain pipes back in place. Ran the water, no leaks, done. Pic.
Ashore at 1:30 or so, with the usual dinghy-full of garbage and stuff. Gave boat key and combo to Steve the rigger, to maybe show the boat to buyers while I'm gone. His friend Ken showed up, a day and a half early, and will look at my boat, probably tomorrow.
Did Wi-Fi in the bar. Money-transfer to Spain says its working, but no money taken out of my bank account yet. Was able to change $40 worth of quarters for a couple of $20 bills at the marina office; had a big pile of quarters on the boat for some reason.
Back to the boat around 4:30. More gathering and cleaning, then ashore again with another load of garbage etc.
At 6, snorkeled under the boat to scrape the prop. Growth heavy but not horrible, so the grinding noise when engine is in gear must be from growth inside the cutless bearing.
Sort-of-salad and tuna-salad sandwiches and a warm rum-and-cranberryjuice for dinner. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ashore at 9 with another big load of garbage and books and clutter.
Finally got my new/spare MP3 player working, using memory chip from my camera. Turns out the USB cable supplied with the MP3 player is bad.
At 11, Steve and Ken came out to see my boat. Perfect timing; I was afraid they'd want to come out during dominoes time this afternoon. They said nice things about the boat. Only stayed 20 minutes or so; they were going to see another boat or two.
Headachey; took a paracetamol-plus.
Ashore after noon. Disposed of garbage, did Wi-Fi. Money for Spain has been withdrawn from my account, so I think it's going.
Played dominoes; 8 of us at two tables. My score was middling. Some nice conversations, and Bruce and Connie agreed to give me a lift to the marina tomorrow morning at the start of my travels.
Back to boat. Cooked an early dinner (spaghetti and cheese). Then ashore with a load of stuff to throw away, including the camp-stove. Back to the boat.
Fixed loose board in hallway. Cleaned bilge a bit.
Hauled outboard motor up out of dinghy, into cockpit, down into main cabin.
During the night, decided it was a mistake to put the outboard inside the boat. I do that when I leave, so it doesn't get stolen. But a buyer would want to test the outboard.
Didn't sleep well. Playa Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Up at 6. Fairly bad headache; took a Neobrufen.
Lowered the dinghy. Hauled outboard out of cabin and across deck abd back onto dinghy. Hoisted the dinghy.
Lots of packing and cleaning and stowing. Forward water tank ran dry, switched to aft tank. Put more plastic over the anchor chain hole. Cleaned some algae off the deck.
Bruce came to get me a little before 9:15.
My ride to the airport was over half an hour late. Irritating, and I'm headachey, and they chattered away through the whole trip. Paid $60.
Arrived at airport at 11:20 for 12:45 flight. Through check-in by 11:30. Then the security line took an hour and 5 minutes. No help at all from the guards; they won't let me to the front of the remaining line, won't call the gate.
Jogged through the terminal and to the gate with about 10 minutes to spare. At least a couple of the people after me were standby passengers, so if I'd been any later I might have lost my seat. Still have headache; took a sumatriptan.
Once I had a soda and some water, and the pill had time to kick in, my headache went away. Feel tired and achey, but okay.
Uneventful flight. Temperature 55F in Philadelphia. Long wait for trains, and long train rides. Picked up by my brother; to his house around 8:40. Tired.
Laptop won't charge, again. Will have to have it repaired when I get to Spain. Futzed with it and eventually got it going.
Headachey all night; took a Tonopan, and in the morning a sumatriptan.
3/21: Had an offer of $10K to buy the boat. Offer later raised to $12K.
9/1: Some increased interest in buying the boat, now that I've slashed the asking price to $15K, and really would take a lot less.
9/6: Hurricane Irma is about to pass slightly NE of Puerto Rico, as a category 5 hurricane.
9/18: Forecasts have Hurricane Maria coming close to my boat as a category 4 hurricane. But weather forecast is for max of 50-55 knots of wind from the W in Ponce (near Salinas). I think Magnolia will be okay.
9/30: Still no word about the status of my boat after hurricane Maria, but I'm pretty sure it's fine.
11/11: Got this message from someone in the harbor:
"Your boat was blown ashore in hurricane Maria. Don't think it's holed but mast is punched through cabin top and pilothouse is gone. There is water inside but I think it's rainwater. Coastguard will be trying to get in touch with you they have put stickers on all boats washed ashore or sunk giving 30 days notice of removal."
Same person said "we had over 70 boats sunk or blown ashore" in the harbor. Amazing to me, since this is on the south coast of PR and the hurricane went more north. And this harbor is fairly sheltered.
Got this picture: pic.
Please send any comments to me.