March 1-16 2012

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 18 Mar 2012 23:54

March 2012 – part 1

1st Stan (Homer’s Odyssey) took me for a dive.  We got the weights right first and then the only problem was my mask kept filling with water, but I did clear it.  I was quite comfortable and it was my best dive yet.  I put my dive tank in for re-fill.

2nd Went to Coxen’s Hole to get my sim card from Fed Ex.  It had been here for days waiting for me, and they were about to send it back to UK, but the tracking said it was still on the mainland.

I had pressure fittings put on a 40’ hose so that I can clean the boat with the dive tank, but leave it on the deck.

3rd - Went on the Fantasy Island bus to the supermarket.  I managed to buy a lot and run up a big bill, but Terry (Wind Whisperer) did a trolley audit and the only real food was a cooked chicken.  

I fixed the fuel leak on the outboard, taking the carburettor off twice with the dinghy in the water - that really should be sorted now, I hope.

Went snorkelling with Joyce and Lorenzo, (Eileen Farrell) and in the evening it was a pot luck – I was exhausted.

4th – at last the wind has stopped, also it has gone West, if I had my dinghy I could have gone East, towards Cuba.

5th – went to check on the dinghy, 6 or 7 weeks now.  Sherman agreed that it was time to deliver it to me, today.  I went back in the afternoon but he said he had no staff that were any good to finish it.  I said I was good, I would finish it.  There were no fittings so I went back to the boat and picked up enough to get the dinghy in the water.  I had to take the fittings off my current dinghy – outboard clamp plates, harness points and bolt them onto the new dinghy.  By the end of the afternoon we actually did launch it and I towed my old one back to the boat.

6th – The wind has picked up again, back to 20+ and NE.  I tried surrounding the dinghy with fenders strung on a rope, to protect the dinghy from the dock and the boat from the dinghy.  I am very pleased, except for not having any oarlocks, how can anyone have a 7’ fibreglass rowing dinghy without being able to attach any oars.  If he had said I could have had some sent in, I certainly had enough time.

7th – If we get 8 people we can have a dive boat to ourselves for $20 each.  I went on the boat and we went to Parrot Tree and I saw two 6” orange seahorses and a dozen adult squid with lots of babies which was great.  I tried to get a photo of these from Stan, but they are difficult as they are translucent and in shallow water with the sunlight they do not register on the camera.  Sorry.  There were lots of huge fish near the dive boat.

I had a small tank and evidently I had a free-flowing regulator, but I had enough air to keep up with the others.  I do improve with each dive as long as I follow my steps and concentrate.

1 – breathe (this I am quite good at), 2 – equalize (without holding my nose), 3 – buoyancy control (improving, but needs more practice), 4 – fin style (no mad pedalling). 

The wind going West has made West End very rough and Rose (Sojourn) came back in a taxi to dive  with Tom’s son who was visiting; Tom had to stay with the boat. 

I was able to show people my new dinghy.



4pm onwards we had Wing night, (yes they actually do have these in US and Canada) BBQ chicken wings with assorted dips, but I just have plain.  I went round at the end and collected the money for the food and drinks. I might be short, but I can be pushy!

8th  I abandoned the fenders on the dinghy, in case they were adding buoyancy, and I needed to see that it was stable enough without the equivalent of training wheels.  I went into town and failed miserably to get anything that was on my list, so I went to Wendy’s and got a chocolate shake.  I also bought a new flashlight which I did need, with 4 settings, a zoom and a heavy sharp edge for self-defence, as long as the attacker is close enough I can stomp it on his fingers.   I stopped off at Jami’s boat while the rain passed.  Then I set off back, knowing that if I broke down they would be coming along soon and could give me a tow.  Well I did break down, right on the very rough corner where there is a gap in the reef.  I checked to see if I needed fuel and the good news was no, I did not have another fuel leak, the bad news was that I dropped the engine fuel cap in the water.  I tried to save it, bad idea, so I just managed to save myself.  The engine starts and stops as and when it feels like it, but I managed to get back to my boat before Jami came past. 

A dinghy without oars is not safe, I can kneel in the front section and paddle, but the wind is so strong it would be very difficult.  You may gather that I am still annoyed with the no oarlocks status.

9th – 6 am dinghy modifications.  I took the rubbing strip and the oar fittings off the old dinghy and am glueing the strip onto the top edges of the new one.  I don’t have enough clamps, so am using masking tape to hold it down.  I had to cut the oar fittings down to fit the edge and screwed them onto the rail.   I had to do this in the water so that I could test where to put them.  I cut a piece of water hose to stick on the front edge, but my new large tube of sealant, with a year to go to expiry, was solid and I managed to lose the hose in the water.  I know where it is, but it is too deep to snorkel to.


It was noon by the time I got to the boatyard and Sherman had gone to lunch, but he did leave the invoice for me.  We had agreed $350 for the version with the hole for the baby stay, I know this version in two halves was more work, but he now wanted $450.  I told him how to build it, but he did it his way which is over-engineered, probably will not nest, and now I have to pay for it.  A bit steep as all the fittings were mine and I now don’t have a spare dinghy, I have a pile of plastic.  I went back at 1 and went up to the house.  I said it was a lovely dinghy and started on what was going to be a long explanation.  I didn’t get very far,  he wasn’t happy and said to just give him the $350.  I gave him $400 and hope he is ok with that, as I am only a few hundred feet away from his dock.  It has all been very tiring and I still have more tweaking to do, but I did manage to get the dinghy, with the outboard, onto the side deck reasonably easily tonight.

10th Supermarket run again and a Pot Luck in the evening.  Fantasy Island had 10 boats represented and it was enough.

11th – I went to Brooksy Point for the Swap Meet and gave Lynn (Homers Odyssey) a lift back in my dinghy.  The handle came off the cord when I pulled it to start the engine and so we rowed.  We could have taken a tow, but it was more fun this way.  I went back in the afternoon for Dominos, Lynn was lying down, the dinghy ride was obviously too much for her.  Stan said she laughed herself to sleep.  I gave Peggy (Adagio) a lift in, luckily the engine worked, but she went back with another boat; some people have no taste for adventure.  First time in ages I have ventured over there; the politics of this situation is stupid.

12th – There is a shipyard at the back of the anchorage and there should be a marked channel, even without this it is daft to anchor in the way.  A huge boat, emptied so that it only drew 7’ was towed in by a large motor cruiser, which had trouble controlling it, and a tug on port side.  Securite message was issued by the first boat in the anchorage and engines were readied.  5 boats had to take up their anchors and move, but some of them went right back afterwards; do they not think what would happen if they were off their boats another time.  It came right next to me, the crew waved to me and I waved back, hoping they were going to miss me.


We also had a barge come in at the same time and that went on the other side of the anchorage rather than follow the first boat.  They do go very close and last month Big Fun had their forestay clipped, the boat was not going to acknowledge this or stop, but luckily no damage was done.

The Cruiser’s Net started the day off badly with the supermarket issues coming up again.  It is enough to make me want to up and leave.  If I wanted all this squabbling and stress I could have stayed in an office in the UK, but I am supposed to be enjoying myself.

Hoisting the dinghy back into the water I caught an oar and broke it, luckily I have one spare, not quite the same length, but close enough.

I went into town to get more parts for dinghy modifications.

I spent the entire afternoon securing one plastic oarlock to the rail with galvanised steel strapping and putting on one more piece of rubrail, but this didn’t stick.

13th – Stan took me for another dinghy dive and he lent me a depth gauge.  I thought I had one, but that was temperature, which explains why I always seemed to be diving at 80’.  At the start I ended up back at the surface, twice.  Stan said we would discuss it later; I knew I was going to get told off for that.  After that I worked really hard on my buoyancy and I really got it.  I was able to look around and I spotted a huge crab, a lionfish, a conger eel and lots of really great fish.  I did work out what I was doing wrong.  I thought I had emptied my BCD of air, but my arm wasn’t long enough to stretch the tube upwards and so no more air came out, but by using the other arm I can deal with this.  I was able to stay at 50-60’ and move up and down when I wanted, which means I am getting somewhere.  I am really pleased and may leave it for now – quit while I am ahead.



I took the dinghy apart on the deck and managed to get it back together, but really should have taken the motor off first.

14th, 15th, 16th - Nothing special, but I did tidy the boat lockers and had a real go at the tools.  I know where everything is, until I use something and mess it all up.