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While I was fooling about with the generator two days ago I heard a beeping alarm go off and it took me a while to locate the source of the noise - the control panel for the watermaker. The beeping and display informed me that “Salinity Probe Failed” which, as the astute blog reader might hesitate to guess, offered me very little pleasure and prompted me to explore my vocabulary for appropriate expletive terms. I soon ran out of English terms, switched to German and then added a sprinkling of French and Japanese terms.
I went to Elected and found a replacement salinity probe for a mere $140 and proceeded to take the watermaker apart to get at the probe (I'd already replaced the probe myself during the warranty period so I remembered how it works). Once I was ready to get at the part I found that all of my wrenches were too small and that my adjustable pliers had wandered off into Andy's tool bag the day before, and I couldn't reach him! I know I'll see him again and get the tool back since I haven't paid him for his services yet, but now I wanted to finish the job and get rid of all the bits and pieces strewn across the cabin sole. I found another tool which was too large to get into that small space but managed to get about 1/8th of turn each time; but that component has a long thread and it took forever plus a couple of muscle cramps to remove. Once I got it out I found that the replacement part looked very different and a quick look at the manual confirmed that Spectra has 2 types of probes.. so I was off in the dinghy again to exchange the probe and used the trip to get a couple of tools and Velcro tape (for the solar panels, the next job on my list) at Ace Hardware. Of course the correct probe was in stock, but cost $60 more than the old part...
After getting back aboard it took only an hour to insert the new probe, screw the whole watermaker assembly back together and test it. I'm afraid to touch anything aboard the boat today as I'll probably break it and end up purchasing expensive replacement parts and spending half my vacation time with tools in my hands. Owning a boat is really just a way of repairing things in exotic places!
Mark and I arranged to meet at sunset for a drink at the “Soggy Dollar Bar” where we met and spoke with interesting people; from there we ended up at the local German restaurant, “Bavaria” where I enjoyed a Sauerbraten that tasted just like at home before I stumbled back to the boat.