Wish You Were Here

That’s right, we’ve been off the grid so long now that I have to start going retro.  Believe me, I would LOVE to show you the photos of what we’ve been up to the past six weeks, but I don’t want to give away any spoiler alerts before I can get posts up on the area.  Plus really, until I get those posts up I won’t even know what photos are extras that I can share with you now.  So instead let’s take a little trip back in time to before we reached the Bahamas….


Full moon at St. Augustine Marine Center

Packin’ It Up

Tuesday March 5, 2013

As much as we would have loved to lounge in our sunny cockpit yesterday, enjoying our new water views, there was still much work to be done. Now that we’re back in the water, it means we’ll be LEAVING, and this requires a lot of work. Yes, we had just thrown a weekend away while sitting in front of our computers, but it was cold and windy, and not preferable for any of the jobs we needed to tackle. Just after we were tied off to the dock, the cockpit was emptied out and washed. We had skipped this part the other weekend since up until about two days ago our cockpit had become another garage, spilling over with sport-a-seats, grill parts, and cleaning products. We had managed to pack all the items back into place just before getting lifted back into the water, but all this did was reveal a bevy of new stains and spots on top of the normal dirt build up that could only come from three months of a construction zone with no cleanings. Pulling out the hose and almost every product in our arsenal we attacked each spot, some coming out with ease and others leaving us with the two questions of ‘What caused this’, and ‘How the hell do we get it off?’. (Like the resin I told Matt to make sure doesn’t spill, but he said would clean right off, cough, cough)

 Some of the areas were hit with Zep degreaser which when placed in a plastic spray bottle, I thought was Simple Green. When I began to complain to Matt that it felt I had just been stung by a bee on my foot he goes, “It’s probably the acid from this cleaner. You’ll want to keep your skin away from all the areas we just sprayed.”. Uh huh. Thanks for the warning. Once the all over cleaning was done, I left Matt with such messes that were of his own doing, I took on other time consuming areas that I at least knew would eventually come clean. Such as the Butile tape that had been mushed into a few areas of the cockpit seats. Patiently working with a Goo-Gone kind of remover along with dental picks I was able to turn the ugly spots to pristine off-white, matching the surrounding areas. When we each finished our jobs to the best of our abilities I realized how late in the day it was and there were time dictated errands to run. I still needed to make it up to the post office to mail out a spare part we had just sold on e-bay, and then would be one of the never ending provisioning trips to Walmart. We had done a HUGE one with Matt’s mom while she was here, completely filling up the trunk, but now we needed all the perishables and other little things we’d forgotten. As quickly as I could, I walked the mile from the boat yard to the post office, linear drive in my backpack and a large empty cardboard box in my arms. I must have looked so awkward walking down the street, looking like I was making a slow get away with a box full of kittens.

Having eaten up an hour of my day with that stop, I rushed back to the yard so we could still make a run up to Walmart and make it back before it got dark. That gave us two hours to go six miles round trip and do all of our shopping in between. Peddling as fast as we could on our bikes, we made it there in record time and started filling our cart with things like milk and seven pounds of ground beef (five to be kept frozen). We were doing so well on time until we pushed all our items up to the checkout lane where we then waited 20 minutes just to get our things on the conveyor belt. So much for our tight schedule. Stuffing everything into our backpacks and stringing extra bags on the handle bars of our bikes we set off into the dusk, making sure to stick to the sidewalk this time instead of the bike lane that runs through the street. Completely beat up and exhausted when we got home I still did not have time to rest. We had two weeks worth of laundry to be done and I envisioned the next day being even busier without a spare moment for such things as washing our clothes. Packing the laundry bag to the point of zippers breaking I walked to the boat yard next door which has machines, and sneaked past the gate to empty area and began throwing clothes and quarters into the machine. The open air room soon became very chilly in the night, with temperatures now in the 40’s, and I shivered as I had to take off the layers I had been wearing to keep me warm and throw them into the second load of wash. Getting back to the boat at nearly 11:00 at night I didn’t even bother to put the fresh clothes away before passing out in bed.

Giving ourselves the luxury of sleeping in a little for what we knew would be the last time for awhile, as soon as we pulled ourselves out of bed and hopped on the bike to run yet more errands. We went to what I hoped would be one of our last trips in a looong time to Home Depot (we literally go there every other day), and then to Target to stock up a few other random things we had forgotten or couldn’t find at Walmart. Back at Serendipity we were busy stocking things away when one of the yard workers, Andy, came up to our boat. He had been doing rigging inspections all day so we thought it was work related, but he calmly called down to us “You might want to come up here, and if you have any spare fenders you might want to get them out at well.” Giving quizzical looks to each other we stepped out of the companionway in time to see a Catana that had just been launched, having some steerage issues in the river. Between exchanges of the captain and the men working the travel lift, we quickly figured out that the catamaran had just wrapped a line around it’s prop and lost an engine. The men on the travel lift were trying to give him instructions to put it in forward and gain any control possible, but while all of this was going on he was beginning to drift dangerously close to us.

Remembering what Andy said, I knew our only fenders were currently holding us away from our own dock, but there were a few that could be taken off without causing any damage to our boat. Untying the lines as quickly as I could I kept checking behind me, waiting for our imminent crash with the cat and wondering if my movements would be quick enough to get a fender over and soften the blow. Just when I thought I might have to keep them off with the force of my hands alone they were able to divert course and start moving away from Serendipity. What they were not able to move away from, however, was the end of a finger dock, and they crashed into with a force that made my stomach clench. Finally having freed the fender now, I jumped onto the dock and ran toward them, ready to keep them from having any other sickening blows. Before I could get there they did have one or two more collisions with the end of the dock before the men who had been working the travel lift had run down to grab their lines and guide them into a slip. Seeing as they did not have any of their own fenders down, the one I brought over was still necessary, and their boat pounded it against the side of the dock until it looked like it was going to pop. With the quick thinking and work of the men at the yard, the boat was secured before any total destruction could be done, although they had not escaped destruction all together. Along the side of their starboard hull were a few long scratches, and a hole about 6-8” above the water line. The really sad part was that this Catana was going back in after having spent a year and a half on the hard for repairs, and now they’d still be stuck around until repairs could be done on the new damage. I wasn’t lying yesterday when I said that I didn’t trust us to go in under anything other than slack tide around here.

Later in the evening we were taken out to a bon voyage dinner by Chris, as well as being extended an offer to make yet one more Walmart trip. (I think we can fit one more jug of cat litter in storage!) Having recommended they Hypo Cafe to us just after we arrived, but we had never made it out there on our own. Knowing our schedule for the day was still a little crammed, he brought us there for our last St. Augustine dinner, knowing we’d be in and out in under an hour. From the outside the cafe looked like what would be any other linolium floored, plastic tabled restaurant in a strip mall, but opening the door you could tell this place was special. Wooden tables and chairs filled the cafe, and there was a lounge area in the corner, nestled next to a book shelf full of various volumes and games. The walls were painted a soft sage green, and vibrant yet muted photos hung from pegs. Looking at the menu, they also did not carry your run of the mill ham and cheese sandwiches. Trying hard to decide between all the appetizing choices, I wound up going with The Goat, a roast beef sandwich with goat cheese, and Matt had The Elvis, and peanut butter and banana sandwich. Everything was incredible, as always, and between sips of my bottled Coke I’d steal sips of Matt’s Watermelon Cream soda. Thank you again to Chris for one last amazing meal and always being there to help us out. You’ve made our stay here in St. Augustine so much more easy, and fun!

Having made our run up to Walmart and getting dropped off by Chris, there was one more thing on the docket for the night: saying goodbye to Frank and Yu. We had told them we’d be over right after dinner for a drink, but needed to finish a few things on our computers first while we had internet access, we spent an hour huddled in the shed with our computers. Our new spot at dock was too far away from the wifi signal now, and the only way to get it was to go to the source. Going back and forth between sitting on the picnic table, and then on the cold cement floor next to the outlet when my battery ran low, we finished up things like getting the latest Navionic updates for our charts and scheduling a post on the blog. Satisfied with the work we were able to get done, although we honestly could have stayed there all night doing last minute internet based things, we walked next door to Moitessier. Catching on what the others had been up to for the past few weeks, we stayed out past what we said would be our bedtime, hanging on to the last few minutes with our friends. Finally saying our sad goodbyes we joked that we hoped we wouldn’t be seeing each other soon, for it would mean that something would still be wrong with Serendipity and we’d be stuck here yet. Walking down the road that separates our yards for the last time, we crawled into bed with excited anticipation in our stomachs. We’re finally leaving tomorrow!!

Instant Cruiser: Just add Water

Monday March 4, 2013

Today is the day we have been waiting for, for three months. To the date. Today we finally went back in the water. Granted, we knew the accident was bad when it happened, but when we arrived to St. Augustine Marine Center back on December 4th, we honestly thought we’d be hauled out and put right back in after a quick survey. After receiving the damage report we were thinking ‘Ok, this is really bad, we might be out for two to four weeks.’. And then we sat and sat and sat. Shortly after being out of the water for one whole month, we finally got the claim approved by our insurance company (they were still swamped with Hurricane Sandy claims), and work finally began. We thought it could be done in two weeks since we had already started a lot of the projects ourselves. Then the keel came off and we found out that bolts needed to be replaced and there was no one in the area that could do the job. From that point it didn’t matter when the rest of the projects were finished, we weren’t going anywhere until the bolts were replaced and the keel was put back on. When we had hope that we could fly someone out to do the job, we forged on with other projects. The engine and transmission were taken out to be fixed, and the rudder was sent off to be straightened. Matt fiberglassed all the tabbing on the port side salon. The bilge and engine bay were painted.

Although we had a great experience with anyone that worked directly for the marine center, there were a few issues with vendors, and work on our boat kept getting pushed back and back. When I got back from Arizona at the end of January, I honestly thought we’d be splashed and moving by the middle of the month. We had canceled the guy flying out to repair the keel bolts and instead went with the owner of the boat yard next door who took on the project and did it fantastically.  There was the long wait for the transmission to  be repaired that we had not been expecting, and then once we were finally being put back together, the fact that the new  bushing for our rudder did not fit.  Eventually after a lot of blood and sweat, but surprisingly no tears, we’re finally put back together and ready to go.  Three months behind our original intended scheduled, and now six weeks behind all of our friends who have been enjoying the white sand beaches of the Bahamas for at least that amount of time.  We’re finally ready to go and join.


Although it’s been spread out through months and multiple posts, you might be wondering what work went into Serendipity while we were here.  Taken straight from the estimate being sent to our insurance company, this is what kept us on the hard for three months:

  • Remove max prop

  • Remove shaft

  • Remove strut

  • Rudder shaft repair

  • Glass repair A.) Rudder B.) Interior bonds C.) Stern tube and strut fairing D.) Fuel tank drained and removed

  • Lift to remove rudder and keel

  • Remove and replace multiple keel bolts

  • Lift to install keel and rudder

  • Repair bushing

  • Align motor and shaft

  • Strut and shaft reinstalled

  • Reinstall max prop

  • Pull & inspect transmission

  • Rebuild transmission

  • Reinstall transmission

  • Install new motor mounts

  • Bottom paint, one coat over entire bottom, second coat on repairs

  • Replace cutlas bearing

  • Canvas – Replace glass on two panels

  • Inspect Rigging

Over the weekend we had tentative plans to launch around 12:30, as close as we could get to slack tide. The river we’re on has a terrible current, and I’ve watched and heard of multiple boats bang up against the side while making their approach into or departure from the well. Having been out of the water for three months, as well as not even being as skilled as some of the captains who have beat up their boats here, we didn’t want to get swept away or banged up our first day back in the water. After talking with the yard manager, he penciled us in after a catamaran getting hauled out for a survey, and said that if it didn’t go over time they’d have an hour available to get us back in the water. Hiding out in the salon for the better part of the morning, and occasionally peeking out to keep an eye on the cat that was being surveyed, we received a knock on our hull, telling us to be ready right after lunch because we were going in.  As the minutes ticked by, I could feel myself getting stage fright and I could feel it growing.  We’d never had to move our boat out of a boat well before, it was always done by the marina, and we had never tried doing it in an area with such strong currents.  In front of a crowd no less.

We tied the fenders to the side and waited for the lift to come.  Georgie was locked below to make sure she wasn’t trotting around deck while all this was going on, although at the first hint of a loud noise she’s usually hidden in the aft cabin anyway.  As promised, the lift pulled up at thirty minutes to one.  We climbed down the ladder for the last time and unattached it from the boat while the large sling was wrapped around the bottom of Serendipity.  Lifting her up and removing all the jackstands, she was slowly moved away from her home and closer to the boat well.  She was lowered down with ease, and just as she was floating, we were allowed to climb back on.  Firing up the engine, everything was looking good and after not having a slip assigned to us we chose the one that was at a 90 degree angle from where we were currently sitting, and would require the least amount of turns.  Backing out, the small current that was flowing through did begin to catch us a little bit and begin turning us ways we did not want to go, but Matt quickly got it under control and while putting us into forward and giving it a lot of gas, began to move us with ease toward our intended dock.  The men working the travel lift were already waiting to catch our lines, and within moments we were neatly tied off.  Floating once more, as we had been waiting so long and patiently for.

We’re hoping to leave on Wednesday, after we finish a few last minute things around town.  The weather is looking too nasty to jump out and head straight to the Bahamas like we wanted, so instead we’ll be making our way south via the ICW once more, getting to Lake Worth and making a jump across once we get there and find a weather window.  But I am so excited to be back in the water, we are cruisers once more!  Or will be, once we take care of that enormous bill waiting for us at the service desk and are given the OK to leave.

Believe It….Or Not

Tuesday February 26, 2013

We woke up to some pretty bad thunderstorms today, which normally for Matt and I, would just mean sitting on the boat and taking advantage of our internet.  But since his mom and step-dad were in town, we didn’t want to ignore them and I spent a little time using that internet access to find some fun things we could do indoors.  It was kind of fun to find out what all the ‘tourist’ spots in the area were, since usually the only places we visit in town are the bars and restaurants.  Jumping on Trip Advisor, I searched the highest rated things to do in town.  Narrowing it down to three, I came up with a tour of a well preserved boarding house from the 18th century, a tour of the Pirate Museum (full of actual pirate information and artifacts), and the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum.  Since we were not the ones who went through all the trouble of traveling over 1,000 miles last minute, I gave the options to Matt’s mom to let her pick.

She ended up deciding on the Ripley’s Museum, with the option to go to the Pirate Museum afterward if we still wanted.  I had never been to a Ripley’s Museum before, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but they had done a ton of them over family vacations and assured me it’s not as corny as advertisements may make it look.  She was absolutely right.  As soon as we walked in the door there was a giant sculpture of Captain Jack Sparrow, made with spare metal parts from the movie set.  Just past that was a Lego photo made by someone from our home town.  All through the museum were little interesting and intriuging artifacts and bits of information.  We actually had a really great time and spent over two hours taking in all the information and sights.  We never did make it out to the Pirate Museum afterward since we walked out of Ripley’s into pure sunshine and warm weather.  We used it to do a little driving tour of Anastasia Island, running a few errands, and made the finishing plans for our trip to Disney World trip tomorrow!!

Captain Jack Sparrow.

Originally made for Art Prize.

Vampire Killing Kit.

This was made from popsicle sticks.

Frickin Bieber.

It took me forever to realize these people weren’t real.

Knock, Knock….Who’s There?

Monday February 25, 2013

If I haven’t mentioned it already, Matt and I can basically sleep through any work that’s being done on the boat. Back when they were sanding the keel at 7:30 am, we slept right through it. This morning, when jackstands were being moved around to get paint on all areas, we slept right through it. I know this may sound terrible to you other cruisers out there, since you know that living on a boat, you always need to keep one ear open at all times for anything that may be malfunctioning, or just doesn’t sound ‘right’, but I’ll clarify. When we’re at anchor, yes, every squeak, creak, or clunk will get attention immediately. But since we’ve been on the hard, we know the anchor isn’t dragging, all the lines are properly tied down, and there isn’t anything we’re bumping into. So we let ourselves fall into comas where, even if we’re aware there is something going on around us, we just go back to sleep. The clammering of the jackstands this morning though, did rise us out of bed a little early, and for the first time in weeks we were up before 8:30 without a purpose. While each sitting on our side of the cabin with laptops placed in front of us, we heard a banging on the side of the hull. It was halfway between a knock and what sounded like the work that had just been going on, and we looked at each other a little confused.

“Is someone here?”, I asked, “Or are they just doing more work to the hull?”. Since I’m always the one to greet visitors first thing in the morning, and they’re always asking for Matt anyway, I waved him to the companionway to find out what the noise was. He stuck his head out first, and then climbed fully into the cockpit. I could hear him talking to someone, so it was obvious that it was a person knocking at the hull, but I had no idea who. Although I couldn’t make out the conversation, it sounded more casual than business, and I called up to him to ask him who it was. Looked a little shocked, he looked down to me and replied, “It’s my mom and Jack”.“Your mom?”, I spat out, “…Who lives in Michigan? Who gave no indication there was a visit coming? Did I miss a text?”. Ok, so maybe those last parts were said in my mind instead of out loud, but I still needed to see proof of this myself. Yanking myself up the top step (still only one..I know), I climbed into the cockpit and then looked down to see Matt’s mom and step-dad standing at the bottom of the ladder. Surprised that Matt hadn’t already done so himself, I pushed toward the ladder so I could climb down and give them both a hug, although once he saw this was my intent, he began moving down as well and made it down before I did.

After giving them big hugs and still being in shock that they were actually standing in front of us, we asked them why they were standing in front of us. It turns out that his mom had a case of insomnia on Saturday night and had spent hours on the computer researching a trip the two of them plan on taking to Hawaii this year to celebrate their retirement. She then thought about our plans for the year, how they had originally intended on visiting us in the Bahamas, but now that we never know exactly where our when we’ll be because our schedule has been so thrown off, she figured that she may as well take the opportunity to see us where she knew we’d be. When she told Jack of the plan when he’d woken up, he didn’t even hesitate before telling her to book the tickets. So here, less than 72 hours after it was thought up, they were now standing in our boat yard in Florida. Some of their big hopes while visiting were warm weather, and seeing us get launched and send us on our way for a second time. Well the warm weather isn’t happening due to a cold front passing through, when we got up this morning it was in the 50’s and getting ready to rain. And unfortunately, they would not be able to see us off either. We’re still waiting for a new bushing for the rudder, and now our launch date that should have been tomorrow, will probably be pushed back until the end of the week. But they still had us, and that was good enough.

Although they had barely gotten any sleep since they got into Jacksonville near midnight, and then woke up extremely early this morning to dive down to St. Augustine, they still wanted to take us to breakfast to catch up. Finding that the one place I really wanted to go to inside of the Lightner Musem (the restaurant is in the hotel’s old pool!!) is closed on Mondays, we opted for Denny’s instead. And while talking over pancakes and coffee, I realized that this oddly did not feel odd. It wasn’t strange to have them sitting two feet across the table when they should instead be 1200 miles away. It felt normal. Like breakfast with them was a weekly tradition, and we did it all the time. We talked about how things were going with the boat, things we had been up to, and how things were back in Michigan, and with all our family. I had expected for sure that after breakfast they’d need to go back to their hotel and nap or rest for a bit, but instead they wanted a quick tour of the town. After seeing all of the images on the blog, they wanted to check it out for themselves.

Trying to direct a car the best we could through the streets, we failed miserably since we were used to walking or biking, and could for the most part ignore all the one way signs. But we did find an empty parking spot near the town square, so we quickly slid in and filled the meter with enough change to get us through an hour of wandering around. First selecting St. George St, as that’s where all the restaurants and shops are, we window shopped long enough to come up to the Harley shop which we had to stop in. Sitting in their garage back home is a Harley that Jack rides, and just like most people will collect Hard Rock Cafe shot glasses from each city they visit, Jack gets a new Harley shirt from each new shop he finds. Matt’s mom and I tried to help out the best we could, holding up pink flowery shirts, or sleeveless muscle shirts, but for some reason he kept turning each of those down. He eventually did settle on a nice one with a St. Augustine logo on the back, and we were once again out on the street. Although Matt and I mentioned that we had no plans for the day and we could go into however many shops they wanted, I think they just like strolling the street better. We found almost every backstreet that historic St. Augustine has to offer, even going back to the meter to extend our time a little.

We did spend a little time apart to rest and recoup, and then met up again for dinner. Feeling in the mood for Mexican, we took them back to Acapulco, where Matt and I had dinner for our anniversary in December. Once more we got ourselves completely lost on the backstreets while trying to navigate through them with a car. Parking in some random Public lot that we didn’t know if we’d get back to, we walked our way over to the restaurant. I spied a special of ceviche on the billboard outside as we passed through the entrance and made our way upstairs to the tables. Having some chips and salsa laid in front of us, I tried to resist them as I best I could as last time I filled up on too many of them and couldn’t even eat my entree.  With four people chowing down on them this time though, I was still quite hungry by the time my ceviche came, and although it was literally drowning in lime juice, was still a great meal. Another chance to catch up on the past six months and enjoy our little surprise.   I’m actually kind of glad we’re not going in the water tomorrow now, I’d hate to take away from this family time with boat stuff.

You Can’t Live Without It!

Saturday February 23, 2013

I don’t even know if I should let myself hope it, but I think we’re finally getting close to leaving here.  All of the last little bits are falling into place, and with any luck, within one week from now we will be somewhere that is not St. Augustine.  Weather will dictate if we jump the Gulf Stream and head to the Bahamas directly from here, or if we have to continue down the ICW, making any progress south possible while waiting for a good weather window.  But one of the very big things that will help us out with that now is we just had our engine and transmission put back in!  Since we’re not as cool as our friends on Rode Trip and can’t anchor under sail, it’s a handy little thing to have back on our boat.  It’s hard to believe that we’ve now gone a month without them.  (And harder to believe that we’ve been here for almost three months).

One of the even better things about having them finally re-installed, in my eyes at least, are that we can finally get the steps back in.  Ever since I came back from Arizona we have been living with two steps or less on the companionway.  There are normally four.  Can you imagine if your staircase was cut in half, and you only had the top half to climb in and out of?  And if that weren’t bad enough, for the past week or so, it’s only been the top step.  To get out I’d have to get one of my legs or knees approximately three and a half feet in the air and then pull the rest of myself up with the grabrails.  When getting back down, I’d set my butt on that first step, place my hands on the sliding cover of the companionway, and literally swing myself in and drop to the ground.  To have all four steps in again is a luxury I have been drooling about for quite some time now.

We also have a tentative date to get Serendipity back in the water, next Tuesday the 26th. Since we hadn’t given her a good wash-down the whole time we’ve been here, in fear that she’d only get filthy again will all the work being done to and around her, we kept putting it off until the last minute.  Since we are almost to that point now, we waited for the next sunny day to tackle that project as well.  I saw the forecast for today was going to have temperatures in the low 80’s, and thought, ‘What a perfect day to break out the hose‘.  It actually would have been a great day, if it weren’t for the 25 mph hour winds that were blowing through the boat yard.  Not a huge issue normally, but since the cleaner we use for the deck always leaves a residue on our port lights, and Matt had spend a good portion of a day polishing them a few weeks ago, we wanted to make sure they were covered and not affected by the cleaner.  Trying to get those things covered by plastic sheeting and glued down with some Gorilla Tape while the wind tried to whip the plastic up, down, and around was a lesson in team work we hadn’t had to experience in awhile.  Let me just say that we were a little rusty and should work on communication a little bit before we get back on the water.

All ports eventually did get taped up though, and I was ready for the easy part.  Scrubbing down the deck.  I remember our summers on Lake Michigan when even this simple job seemed like such a pain in the ass, but after living aboard for six months, it was a welcomed relief of a project.  Something that wouldn’t end in ‘Oh s&*t, we’re missing a piece’.  Or ‘Damn it, why won’t this fit?  It used to fit!  Why does everything on this boat keep breaking??!!’.  Just a nice simple scrub down.  I can handle that.  We started on the coachroof and then worked each side, starting at the bow and working our way back.  After each section, we’d hose down and watch the dirt and grime that’s built up over the past few months just wash away and leave behind a clear and clean deck.  And by the time we were finished it actually started to look like a boat and our home again, instead of a never ending construction zone.

The cockpit is still a mess, but since most of what’s out there belongs in the aft cabin, and we can’t get all that squared away until they finish hooking up the engine, that area will continue to be unlivable for at least a few more days.  One project we did still do in there today though was remove the hot water heater.  I had posted on here awhile ago that  we were thinking of doing this, and while the controversy against it wasn’t huge, there was still one there.  I had so many comments from other cruisers saying that we have to have one to take hot showers, or use hot water for our dishes.  That we shouldn’t remove it because you can’t live without it.  And honestly, we did give it a lot of consideration, but then realized we actually do not have to have one.  For most people, their hot water heater is run by a generator or by propane.  Ours however, is run by our engine. Only.  So this means it never gets used.  I can actually tell you how many times we’ve used our hot water heater so far on this trip.  Once.  We took semi-hot showers in the cockpit while traveling up the Potomac, and only because the engine was already running and we didn’t have to take any extra steps.

‘But’, you ask, ‘What will you do then for those hot showers and hot water for dishes if you no longer have a hot water heater?’.  It’s simple, we’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing this whole time.  For our showers, we use a faucet that’s hooked up to the water tank from the cockpit.  The water temperature in the tank is usually ambient with the water temperature surrounding us, so never really ice cold anyway.  If for any reason we’re dying to still have a hot shower, we can boil some water using our electric water heater, which only takes about three minutes, and then pour it into a 1 gallon bug sprayer which we’ve attached a shower nozzle to.  Instant hot shower.  As far as dishes are concerned, I haven’t even thought about using hot water for them since we’ve left.  Yes, sometimes there are very greasy messes that hot water could really help out with, but again, for an engine run hot water heater, it would be so much more of a pain to get that going just for a little bit of hot water, rather than boil some up real quick or just use a little extra dish soap.

So as I said, we did think long and hard about it for a few days after all the comments started rolling in that we should keep it, it would be nice to have ‘just in case’.  But, we needed the space for something else.  Something much more important.  Because….we just purchased a brand new four person offshore life raft, and need a place to store it.  We decided against the canister kind that mount on deck, since those are exposed to sun damage and can become unattached if the boat rolls, and opted for a bag balise version instead.  I won’t lie, it’s not as small as we had originally been anticipating when we purchased it.  In fact, when it was dropped off to us at the marina, the whopping 65 pound item looked like it took take my spot in the v-berth and Matt could still ask, “Have you gained a few pounds?”.  So the debate on the hot water heater ended as we had no other option than to get rid of it so we could squeeze the new life raft in it’s place.  After taking apart all the connecting hoses and bringing it to the dumpster (it had a little dent and probably couldn’t have been re-sold), I was sent into the far reaches of the bottom of the lazarette to clean up all the gunk and goop that’s been building up for the past six months.  After I had been sufficiently grossed out but produced a clean white bottom, we slid the life raft into it’s new home.  Hot water, I’ve decided I can live without.  Safety out at sea?  I think that’s my new priority.


*Sorry, I got a little lazy snapping photos today and had to use my Instagram ones.