Boat Chores and Some Sight Seeing

Alongside Cordova Small Boat Harbor
Weather: sunny and cold

The engine wiring now all seems to be all in order. At least everything is working the way it is supposed to. But, in the process of fixing the engine wiring and reinstalling the throttle cable it would appear that I have upset the wiring to the electric bilge pump. At least that is what I assumed initially, but in checking all the wiring with the multimeter I could find nothing wrong with the circuit. This meant that the actual pump must have had a problem. Now that is a damned nuisance as the pump sits deep down in the bilge and is nigh on impossible to get at. Consequently, a few days ago I spent the better part of a day cramped up underneath the cockpit coaxing it out via various twisting, bending and general contorting of both the bilge pump hose and my own aching limbs. It eventually came out, after which I tested it by connecting it directly to a battery. I was not surprised to find that there was nothing wrong with it, so it seems I have pulled it out for no good reason and that the problem is indeed in the wiring as I first suspected. Now I have to reinstall the thing, but am giving my joints and bones a bit of a rest for a few days before I crawl and contort myself under the cockpit again.

In the meantime, the weather has grown rather cold over the last few days. We had some snow and then clear sunny days, which means the temperature has fallen to about – 10 C. This is the coldest it has been this winter, and the cold spell has prompted me to make some modifications to the heater to try and improve its efficiency. The heater is located in the alleyway between the V-berth and the saloon, so the alleyway gets nice and warm, but as one moves aft the boat gets rapidly colder. I have now installed a rather Heath Robinsonish affair, consisting of some aluminium foil wrapped around the chimney, some flexible three inch ducting, and a computer fan, all put together in such a way as to move some of the hot air from around the chimney to where it is most needed, namely my feet under the saloon table. I have only just finished installing it so time will tell whether it makes any significant difference.

Yesterday I had a break from boat chores and went moose spotting out in the Copper River Delta with my two friends,Emily and Shawna, who crew on the local fast ferry. We didn't see any moose, but it was a beautiful clear sunny day and the drive out over the delta was superb. The Copper River Delta is a huge wetland which sprawls over several hundred square miles, and is just a short 20 minute drive to the east of Cordova. There is not a lot of wild life there at the moment, though we did see several trumpeter swans, easily recognised by their distinctive call. Come spring the whole area comes alive with a huge number of birds and other wild life that migrate through the delta, and Cordova becomes a major hub of activity. In particular the salmon start running, and the fishing boats start running after them, along with the bears. Maybe I will at last get to see some before we leave.

All is well.