Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Feb 2020: Departure Preparations

Our February, as expected and planned, was all about making sure the boat would be ready to cruise again come March.  And as it turned out, multiple cold fronts accompanied by strong winds out of the north combined with our rather typical low winter tides to keep Ghost Rider pinned to the dock…frequently with at least part of the keel on the river’s soft, silty mud bottom.
Nordhavn 46-54, Beverly S, Moored at the End of 'B' Dock at Legacy
Harbour.  We Enjoyed Our Time with Owners Larry & Sue.

But we also started the month with a very pleasant surprise.  Another Nordhavn, Beverly S (N46-54), showed up at Legacy Harbour, and we had the distinct pleasure of meeting owners Larry and Sue Tomback.  We exchanged happy hour visits, war stories and cruising plans and overall just hit it off.  Larry and Sue are veteran cruisers, having started out on the U.S. west coast and following a recent transit through the Panama Canal are now exploring the east coast.  Beverly S (named after Sue’s late mother) is a gorgeous example of the original Nordhavn trawler that originally set the standard for power boat voyaging.

The Genset's Racor Housing After a
Thorough Flush Out.
Throughout the remainder of the month Chelle continued to provision Ghost Rider with the usual galley supplies and durable food stores.  It’s easy to tell when that’s in process as the boat sits a few inches lower in the water once she’s done.

Rick of course kept busy with maintenance and related system preparations.  That included our annual inspection of the fire suppression systems, oil and filter changes for the main engine and generator, flushing some accumulated asphaltenes from the genset’s Racor fuel filter housing, and the annual maintenance on the dinghy’s outboard engine (oil change, new fuel filters, and a new start battery.)  The water maker also got a fresh set of prefilters.  Notably, this is the first time we've had to perform time-based oil changes (annual vs. hours-based) on the main engine and generator.  The boat's bottom and running gear also got a thorough scrubbing.

Additionally, we also decided to order two new (vertical) LPG cylinders for the boat.  After previously discovering that our existing tanks were restricted to horizontal mounting – yet had been installed vertically back in 2002 – we had experimented with a single cylinder with a proper horizontal mount.  That worked well enough (and was a whole lot safer) but there was room for only one tank in that orientation....and we could not find a safe place to store the second spare tank (which, according to ABYC standards, is subject to the same safe storage standards as a tank-in-use; we simply do not have such an additional space on Ghost Rider.)  The 20 pound LPG aluminum cylinders are NOT inexpensive, but the unsafe alternatives easily justified the spend.
Our New (Vertical) Aluminum LPG Cylinders.  We Had to Get Creative with the Mounting Brackets -- Turns Out that
'Galvanized Deck Post Ties' from Home Depot Are a Perfect Fit After Drilling Holes to Match the Mounting Studs.
Lastly, we continued to coordinate with the All Hands And Hearts organization on what supplies we could mule over to the Bahamas aboard Ghost Rider.  Right now that appears to be numerous boxes of roofing materials, mostly screws and hurricane clips and perhaps rolls of peel & stick roofing membranes.

At this point we’re mostly waiting on a good weather window to make the trip around Florida to Palm Beach.  After a maintenance depot stop there we’ll pick another window to cross over to the Bahamas.  But for now the windy conditions continue to exacerbate the low tidal waters in addition to boiling up the coastal waters, making departure somewhere between a non-starter and a bad idea.  Apart from the winds, however, the sunshine and temps are quite nice, so it looks like this is a good time to take in some MLB spring training games.

No comments:

Post a Comment