A Kiwi couple's cruising adventures on America's Great Loop and around the coast of New Zealand

Sunday, 30 September 2012

War stories

Communications remained great while we were here and the settlement for the Kindy came through late on Thursday night, so at 11.10pm CST Carolyn retired.

The day before, our Dock neighbour, Matt (off Gemini Dream) broke out his gas powered portable smoker and we fired it up in the early afternoon with a bundle of meat bought from the local IGA  for a party that night. During the day a bunch more Loopers came in, including Jetstream and Took the Plunge, so it was heating up to be quite a party. That was until late afternoon, when the sky darkened to the south of here and gradually darkened all around us. In the distance we could see lightning, but the wind was blowing away from us so we had high expectations it would miss us. Nah! Around the time dinner was ready to be served the wind suddenly changed and the storm charged our way. We had just enough time to divvy up the food and scatter to the haven of our respective vessels when....down it came with the accompanying pyrotechnic display which included a lightning strike a few hundred yards away. It raged for a couple of hours then eased off a little and we went to bed.

In the morning we discovered that the portholes in our stateroom had not been closed properly and a small flood had entered them filling Carolyn's knicker drawer with water and soaking everything on the dresser. This was the day of settlement so it finished better than it began. However the following day, I was investigating Bert's advice that the 453 has 2 holding tank vents and 2 vent filters (which turned out to be true) and this required lying on the floor between the bed and the dresser and squeezing in to the bedside cupboard to access the second filter - which had never been changed and was blocked, which contributed to why pump-outs were not particularly successful at times. I removed the dead filter and replaced it with a bypass hose that I made up when we replaced the first filter back in Kenosha. When I climbed out from this position, I found I was soaked down the side that had been against the carpet as, it too, was saturated. Carolyn had tried to mop it up before I discovered the evidence, but.... too late. Yesterday while she was relating the incident and cover-up to Bert and Hilary, Bert said that we could have borrowed his wet and dry vac that would have cleaned it up easily and dried it out. The irony here is that 2 days earlier I had bought the same vac from Walmart so we could have done it with our own one!

The following day I decided to do something about the water flow on the boat when we are on shore supply (yes Kiwis, they "plug in" to water here as well). I had thought that what we had was as good as it gets, but on pumped water from the tank there is a marked difference. As Bert has the same boat, we could compare the flows between them and there was no doubt that there was something wrong with ours (eh, Dennis). Yesterday I bought a new pressure regulator/hose attachment from the Chandlery and fitted it. This morning I had a REAL shower.

Everyone doing the Loop has a "war story", and originally ours was the incident behind the tow where we encountered the whirlpool. However we now seem to be better known for our voyage between two tows. The best one we have heard to date, though, is of the folk off a relatively new (to them) boat - whch will remain nameless - that filled up with diesel at a marina and wondered why one tank took a lot less than the other. This was until they realised they had just put it in their holding tank. Fortunately they were in a good place with understanding hosts and the issue was resolved fairly quickly and without fuss. They would not be the first to fill the wrong tank with the wrong fluid and will certainly not be the last.

So here we are, still with the turtles. We were supposed to leave today but since we had stayed so long, the nice folk at the marina gave us a voucher which covered the cost of another nights stay. We also had a wee celebration for Carolyn's retirement last night - Looper "docktails" that started at 4.30pm and finished around midnight - so some people are a little jaded today. For the next few days we will be cruising around Kentucky Lake and are likely to anchor out a bit, so communications may be difficult to non existent for a while.

But then, we shouldn't need to be in constant touch any more as we are both retired now!

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