Wednesday 6 Feb, St.Maarten day 9: Home alone 1 week and still alive and kickin! Install capacitor for watermaker, move out of the lagoon, Borecol and cinema night.
First stop ashore in the morning is to pay Titan Marine for the fridges and to pick up the new watermaker capacitor. Then to Budget Marine to buy parts to replace the aft toilet water valve and to abuse their WiFi chatting to Oana, who seems to be really enjoying her time back in Bucharest, meeting friends and family, several pampering sessions and trips for medical checks. Busy Bunny is a happy bunny!
Back on Cloudy Bay I get into the engine room, to re-install the new diode into the high pressure water pump for the water maker. I really need to make water today as it’s been over a week now. It should be run once per week as minimum. Any longer and I have to long-term preserve it, or “pickle” it. Wiring-in the diode is a really fiddle job not made any easier by the need to lie over the generator to get at the pump. After 1 hours it’s done and I leave the generator top covered in sweat (sorry for the ugly but important detail!). Fingers crossed I wired it back up correctly. Good job I took photos otherwise I would surely have messed it up. The electric motor is designed for 3-phase AC power so there are loads of wires coming off the windings. The capacitors are there (1 start capacitor and 1 load capacitor) to enable it to be run on single phase AC.
I cannot make water here in the lagoon as the seawater will likely contain pollutants such as heavy metals which are not good for the delicate membranes that only like pure seawater over them. It does have pre-filters but those will only take out solids >5micron, they don’t filter any ions in solution. Bottom line, I need to get out into the open clean sea. The lagoon bridge opens at 4pm and by 3:50 I have lifted the anchor and moved into a holding position next to the bridge along with maybe 10 other boats.
Spot on 4pm the bridge opens (the Dutch are good at bridges!) and I’m into the bay and quickly anchored in clear blue water. Nice to be out of the lagoon with stronger breeze through the boat. But with it comes the swell, a gentle rocking, and the wash from passing power boats who as usual have no regard of their wash on anchored yachts.
With fingers crossed I start the generator then the watermaker. Brilliant. It works perfectly and with its new load capacitor the generator is now running at its correct voltage. Previously when running the watermaker it was dragging the voltage down to below 210vac. Now it’s at a happy 220vac, where it should be. Hmmm according to my maintenance record, that last capacitor only ran for 2 years before giving problems again. I’d better get another for spare.
While generator, watermaker and battery chargers are all humming away, I set to installing the new toilet valve in the aft cabin. Yet again all the cloths have to come out of the cupboard (psss don’t tell Oana!). After an hour it’s installed and water back on. Another job off the list.
Lunch is guacamole and toast. I have the hugest avocado to use up. It must be 20xm long with a 15cm diameter. The stone is the size of a tennis ball! Normally this would even be too much for 2 of us let alone only me. But I manage to finish it all … just!
As I can barely crawl after lunch I decide the only job available is to do just that on the decks – crawl while applying some more of the Borecol. I manage to get another 1/3 of the deck done by the time it’s dark.
In the evening I watch a really weird movie: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, with Nicole Kidman. It’s one of those slow films you really want to just turn off, but at the same time intrigued at what will actually transpire. Well, I should have just turned the damn thing off. I’ll surely have nightmares now!