Sweet Home Carolina (December 2011)

December 10, 2011

Some of the electronics equipment

Brian, Ryan, and Troy from Celtic Marine Electronics arrived before Thanksgiving to begin installing our new electronics. Brian arrived with a truckload of equipment to add to that which had already been shipped to us. This included dozens of boxes filled with new toys – radar, Navnet, AIS, VHS, SSB, transducers, telephones, satellite phone, amplifiers, video processors, GPS Compass, cameras, computers, miles of cable, and more. After 260 man-hours of labor, most of it was installed. Unfortunately, our new monitors, which are required to display information in the pilot house, have not yet arrived. They are made in Japan and are way behind schedule due to the earthquake earlier this year. The boat is still out of the water and Brian will return once it is launched and the monitors have arrived. That will allow the final installations and a sea trial to test everything.

Steve (electrician) and John work on anchor windlass

On the electrical side, we continue to make good progress. Steve the electrician and John have got the new inverters successfully installed and working! That is a huge step as this was the most complicated of the electrical tasks. There is plenty of work remaining but it is proceeding nicely. In the meantime, Bradley has been working with Mayda from Jarrett Bay to reconfigure our sea-chest. This is where sea water is brought into the boat and circulated to cool the generators, air conditioners, and other equipment (the main engines have a separate seawater intake system). The re-configuration will improve the flow of water by eliminating several “elbow” pipes and streamlining the plumbing.

John and Sergio inspect sanding of bottom

Work on the bottom of the boat is now behind schedule. The sanding and preparation for painting has taken longer than planned and we now have to hope for some good weather over the next few weeks in order to complete the painting. The boat’s hull is painted with a barrier coat, then several coats of anti-fouling paint which prevent growth from occurring on the hull. We still need to have our new stabilizer controls installed, but will schedule that to occur just before the boat goes back into the water as they will need to be tested in a sea-trial. Although the davit (crane) has not yet been repaired, we were able to remove the tender (dinghy) from the deck and have replaced the leaky valves in its tube and repaired some dings in its hull. Leanne and Kathy have also given it a good cleaning and polishing and we’ve been able to get out on the water for some touring and boat-handling practice. The new carpet for the salon and pilot house has arrived and the first of our dining room chairs has been re-covered. We can’t wait to see the difference it will make, but installing the new carpet will be the last thing we do before leaving here.

John and Leanne at end of Neusiok Trail

It looks like Carolina will be our home through mid-January but at least the end is now in sight! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Sea Gate and our friend Meg and Jordan (our dog who now lives with Meg) came over from Raleigh to spend Thanksgiving with us. Jordan got his first glimpse of the ocean when we visited Atlantic Beach. He liked the beach but thought the water tasted awful funny! Meg, Jordan, and I also managed a visit to Southport to visit my friend Nancy and her dogs. John, Leanne, Meg, and Kathy went hiking along the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest. Last weekend we covered 8.5 miles of the trail and today, John, Leanne, and Kathy completed the remaining 12.5 miles. Fortunately, we avoided the many men with guns we encountered along the way – it is hunting season here!

The weather has been fabulous and we hope it continues!

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  1. #1 by Tom Klein on October 9, 2014 - 12:00 pm

    I’ve just found your blog and I’m still back in 2011. I’m sure you remember the lightning. I’m curious why hydraulic alternators vs. the engine mounted belt drive? Less maintenance? Less parts? A little search ahead and you seem to solve the low RPM hazards. Just curious about the benefits?
    Great blog. I’m having a great time reading it. Not as great as you are living it, but I appreciate your time and effort making this possible.


  2. #2 by Nancy Senger on December 30, 2011 - 9:28 am

    Kathy and Bradley, you are the greatest! You take everything in stride and keep on going – like to energizer bunny! Keep it up and have a wonderful New Year! All the best, Nancy Senger (we miss you at bridge in VA!)


  3. #3 by Anonymous on December 14, 2011 - 6:09 pm

    Hi Muza and Karen – good news to hear the launch repairs are almost complete. Enjoy your time on the water cruising – it is certainly well deserved. High praise indeed for JL being likened to an AV TECH (teehee)! Merry Christmas to you both and the whanau – best wishes for 2012. Leanne and John


  4. #4 by Muza and Karen Davies. Vessel Freedom, Havelock, NZ on December 13, 2011 - 4:22 am

    Way to go SM72 and crew. Pleased to see progress and the installing going well. Putting things back is always better than removing…something to do with getting over the hump!! Kind regards to JL and Leanne…..we mere NZ Havelock mortals still continue our launch repair….just some wring and the diesel tank filtering and then away…ope to be done by the Christmas break!! Amazing what a “tweet” can do..adaptable, resilient and all rounder…sounds like an av tech!!

    Best wishes and fair winds…Muza and Karen


  5. #5 by nh72 on December 12, 2011 - 7:46 pm

    I don’t know if I believe you are 65 or not since I have not yet figured out who you are! There is no name or email address on your comment, but I will still see if I can figure it out!!


  6. #6 by Anonymous on December 12, 2011 - 10:07 am

    Very interesting, Kathy! Sounds like you are having lots of fun, even though it must be a lot of work. Would you believe that I just turned 65? My dad will soon be 94 and I told him that I have my Medicare card now. He said, “So do you feel like you have joined the club now?”


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