Saturday, May 01, 2010

I woke up at 6am and proceeded to get the boat in shape for departure, stowing all the bags of bedclothes, towels and my suitcase and pillows and various other things that had somehow found their way aboard and needed a storage place. Then I went topsides and topped up the water tanks and cleaned the decks again before stowing the water hose. I'm not planning on leaving until noon-ish, but wanted to get all of the outside work done before the outside temperatures climbed and the sun started blasting down on the decks. My fingers aren't blistered from working in the light acid yesterday, but the decks and cockpit sole look a lot nicer now that there is a hint of teak gold to them instead of the dirt accumulated from months of collecting debris in the boat yard.
Breakfast was a fiasco; service was abysmal even by relaxed and lowered BVI standards, then I bought some water for $9.80 at the store, paid for with a $20 bill and was told (not asked mind you, but told) to come back in an hour or perhaps two in order to get my change. While usually this off putting manner in the BVI doesn't bother me and I just accept it as part of their culture today did not begin well. The waitress stopped several feet from my table and held out the menu so that I had to get up and walk to it (this was after I'd been there about 15 minutes waiting to order), then told me to switch to a smaller table because I was alone (when I'd arrived I took place at the only free table which was still piled with the remnants of the previous diners). I had just finished eating when I got a nudge on the shoulder from the server who presented me with the bill and had taken the liberty of adding a $3 tip for a $8 meal. It is certainly time for me to move on to a less touristy place.
Timm Dabbs, the owner of the company who did the work replacing my Fischer Panda exhaust elbow, came by because I'd mentioned that I was unhappy because all of the coolant had drained and been left in my bilges, and discovered a loose hose but, unfortunately, also diagnosed that either the valves were stuck or a piston compression ring problem existed on the generator and it would have to be removed in order to repair it. Thus I'm still left without a functioning generator and conversely no watermaker on this trip.
My first sail was a short one, I sailed from Nanny Cay to the Pelicans and took a mooring ball there. I did some snorkeling and swimming around and then just laid back in the shade of the bimini for a couple of hours and finally got into vacation mode. From there it was a short hop into the Bight for the night and I was surprised that it was almost full despite this being the tail end of the season but I managed to grad one of the last open mooring balls. I did some minor work with replacing the furling line for the genoa, putting the engine on the dinghy and seeing that the LED light strips that I'd built for the bimini were installed before making some hot dogs. I didn't make it to the Willie T's because after the food I was overcome with tiredness and fell asleep.

Pelicans off Norman Island I'm on a national parks mooring off the Pelicans, a set of rocky pinnacles which make for excellent snorkeling and diving. The Bight on Norman Island with a lot of moored yachts is viisble in the distance.

[18°19'55.77"N 64°37'45.3"W (facing S)]
Pelicans off Norman Island
Pelican Island Pelican Island

[18°19'48.52"N 64°37'42.56"W (facing NE)]
Pelican Island
The Bight on Norman Island Here I'm sipping away at my happy hour beverage and waiting for the sun, temporarily hiding behind this cloud over St. John in the USVI, to set.

[18°19'4.3"N 64°37'0"W (facing W)]
The Bight on Norman Island
Breadboarding LED lights Here I'm using the time around dusk to test my cockpit LED lighting system. I got some very powerful encapsulated LED lights and put together a dimmer (using a system called PWM or pulse width modulation). The system is so bright that the lowest level of dimming, just before the LEDs cut out completely, is still a bit too bright for me.
Breadboarding LED lights

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