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Friday, February 24, 2012

Boat Work

I forgot how much of a drag boat work is. I mean it SUCKS. And this boat has been almost entirely neglected and rotting away in the tropics since the last time we were on it...five and a half years ago. In fact, I found a pair of Emerson's mini boxers in one of the berths; size 2-4. He's eleven. Almost twelve. Honestly. And the septic tanks were full. Probably with our own poop. Too bad we didn't dump those when we had the chance, 'cuase now the pumps are shot. And so are most of the bilges, the radar, the air conditioning, the inverter, fathometer, tachometer, animomiter, and just about every other 'ometer on the boat, including one of the engine-ometers. The props look like they've been snacked on by a school of hungry zinc eating piranhas, the jib (head sail) is black (used to be white), and a colony of fiercely territorial wasps has made their home in the main sail. Just about every hatch has been leaking for five years which means every cushion under every hatch is totally moldy and disintegrating. And since the bilge pumps were broken and the hatches were leaking, the used-to-be-beautiful-hardwood-floors were submerged in water for who knows how long and promptly became fungus food. They will have to be replaced with not-so-beautiful-plywood-floors. There was a gecko nest in the port V-berth. You know how I feel about geckos. Remember THIS story? We caught him and let him go in the furled main in hopes that he can get a handle on the wasp situation. May the sea gods be with him.

There is good news: the stereo is working. And after some coaxing Dave got one engine running (they're like kidneys - we have two). After some more coaxing, he convinced the alternator to charge the house batteries. So we have 12 volt electricity. Yeah. The fridge and freezer are working and two out of three burners on the stove are working. The water maker is working. And although the jib is black, it seems to be in pretty good condition. We'll see how it holds up to a big blow. And, eenyways, I think it's cool to fly a black sail. Who does that? Besides Johnny Depp.

The kids are somtimes helpful with the projects on the boat and sometimes not so much. You can imagine. They are holding up relatively well expect for some itchy bug bites and the fact that Evie just told me she hasn't pooped in four days. Wonderful.

And, of course, Dave is totally in his element working on the boat. With the stereo thumping and a little help from Buffet, he is happily check marking his way down a seriously long list of to-do's. I was happily check marking along side him until today (our fourth straight day up to our elbows in mold and poop) when suddenly I wasn't that happy about being up to my elbows in mold and poop and stuck on a 38' boat with four kids (who, btw, have absolutely NO WHERE TO GO being that we are moored off of a mangrove jungle in the middle of Nowheresville, PANAMA!! What the BEEP was I thinking?!) P.S. Did you know that Panama is 9 degrees north of the equator? This is important for two reasons. One: it's stinkin' hot. Two: if you're fair skinned, like most of us, you can be in the sun at this latitude for about...say...two minutes before you're totally scorched. So the kids, having been totally scorched yesterday, were sequestered inside the boat for the better part of today where I was up to my elbows in mold and poop. And totally out of patience for the whole thing. So I told Dave that come hell or high water (or, in this case, both) tomorrow, if I have to row there myself, I am heading for the nearest dock where I will promptly be getting off the boat and renting a bungalow with electricity, hot water, wi-fi, and mojitos. Mama's batteries need charging, too.


Ron said...

So Cool. I am so jealous of your adventure. Happy to trade my clean house and operating room for a few days just fixing the boat. Nothing feels as good as putting things in working order.
Our thoughts are with you. Anything we can do from here just ask.

Heather. I cannot believe you bought a defibrillator. Crazy.

Connie and Bill said...

Heather, that is the shoe for which we have been waiting. Our hearts go out to you. Well said. You are so wise to get thee ashore until all is ready, starting with the boat. Happy Recharging. You are the oh so important Mom-o-meter. Reliable, frugal, energy producing, low maintenance, but also needs 110v.

Unknown said...

Heather -

I don't know if I should laugh or cry. Perhaps both are in order. Sounds like you are making the most of these challenges and in true Stewart fashion will concur and prevail.

Tell Cap'n Jack I said hello!


Tina said...

I laughed out loud! Hilarious...unless I was the one with the spray bottle of bleach and the four sunburned kiddos. I adore you! Drink a mojito or two for me!