Monday, May 15, 2017

May 2017: Final Preps for Departure

On Wednesday 10-May we once again drove back to Palm Beach, this time in a one-way rental car loaded with our travel bags.  We stopped at Old Port Cove marina to grab a couple more spare parts from Yacht Tech for Relish, and then the next day (11-May) caught a flight out of PBI back to Nassau. 
Relaxing Dinner in Relish's Cockpit

Untangling the Jordan
Drogue Chute
With just less than 5 days remaining before our planned departure date we went to work on final departure preps.  They were all relatively minor items:  troubleshooting the GFCI outlet for the fresh water pump, tightening the couplings on the transmission drain/fill lines, laying down new absorbent pads for the main engine, preparing and then securing the Jordon drogue chute, topping off the wing engine’s day tank, and mounting a coolant recovery tank for the wing engine….plus a few other nits here and there.

Who the Hell Put a
GFCI Back There?
We also prepared clipboards for the Pilot House with appropriate checklists and communications protocols for the crossing, and made final tweaks to our safety equipment – primarily configuring life vests with signaling devices and then topping off the ditch bag.  Over a couple of days we loaded our planned routes into the ship’s navigation systems, as well as a couple of backup laptops, and double-checked waypoints for accuracy and clearance.
Michelle Loading Routes Into the
Furuno System

Of course we also took time to get off the boat and walk to some of the local eateries nearby.  Silvio had found a local favorite just a short walk from the marina, so we enjoyed some of the best conch salad to be found anywhere, along with some spiced Bahamian shrimp, and for a third course a pile of seasoned vegetables over a whole snapper -- all washed down with plenty of Kalik (a good local beer.)
Local Nassau Dive for Conch
Salad & Kaliks

On Sunday we also made a final grocery run which primarily consisted of loading up the galley with fresh produce, fruit and dairy from the local market. The prices were eye-popping….Nassau is not an inexpensive place to shop for such things.  Gary Brace, our 4th crew member for the leg to Bermuda, flew in that evening and joined in on the preps.

Final Shopping Run in Nassau
On Monday morning (15-May) we participated in the first of the final two captain’s briefings via cell phone and Skype.  Bernie Francis chaired the meeting, introducing all captains and crews to each other, and going over final checklists for departure.  We followed that with discussions about individual crew member responsibilities in the event of an MOB event and a few other emergency situations.

That evening we experienced a significant fresh water leak under the galley sink when the filtered water (plastic) faucet connector snapped at its threads.  We scrambled to turn off the fresh water pressurizing pump and use other faucets to relieve pressure and drain the lines....but we still dumped a LOT of water into the boat and down into the engine room below. Lacking a good plumbing repair kit we had to improvise some of our own parts and cap off two fresh water hoses.  We now have high praise for JB Weld's "WaterWeld" product.
Farewell Fireworks Over Nassau Harbor

After all that it was all about checking for a good weather window, and we were pretty much ready to launch by the next day (16-May).  We have another captain's briefing at 0830 that day, and that will determine the ultimate departure timing and rendezvous with the rest of the fleet 200 miles to our northwest.  We won't have time for another blog post before then, so stay tuned to the tracking site to verify launch:  (CLICK HERE).

1 comment:

  1. Have fun. Be safe and keep us posted. Sounds like on heck of an adventure. Miss you'll.