So after a lot of hard work and elbow grease, Ocean Phoenix is ready to test a short liveaboard situation.
We headed out on the Sunday afternoon before the 4th of July to stay aboard for a 10-day stretch. We had a short to-do list but nothing major. A few lights still not working to check, our solar panel needed to be rewired and our autopilot had no power. We also needed to install the correct battens and a reef line.
Originally I had connected the solar panel charger to the battery disconnect. Unfortunately, we only got a MAX Voltage of 12.4 no matter how long the panel charged the batteries. We changed the wiring to go directly to the battery – now we have consistent 12.6-12.7 volts and no usage issues.
Ah yes…. the autopilot. I (James) approach electrical with a bit of a candid feeling. I have a great meter and some basic knowledge of how the system works but I am definitely NOT an Electrician. However, a working autopilot is nice to have as Tammy and I are going to be the only crew most if the time and our 37R is a handful. It helps when we are flaking the mainsail and such. I checked the fuses – all good. Checked the power connection to the smart pilot module – no power. And we found the issue! The power wire was disconnected. So we connected the wire and hooray! Autopilot.
This was the week that we wanted to assend the mast and check out the steaming light, anchor light and replace the topping lift halyard. But who will go up??? Since I have had experience hoisting people up and Tammy had not – She drew the short straw. And up she went. The view was amazing.
While up, she looked at the anchor light….. It was the most pathetic light I have ever seen. I was only 1″ tall and no more than 3/4″ in Dia. It had a broken wire on it so we just removed it for now. We will replace it with a large LED light. The steaming light tested OK so we still have a few more checks to do to resolve that. And finally the topping lift. The sheave at the top of the mast is gone. All that was left is the hole for the bolt to go through. So I guess we will be buying a sheave this fall also.
The bottom line is the mast will be unstepped this fall so we can service it properly. We also have some wind instrument issues so we will service the entire rig.
We never did get our fuel gauge working, that will be for another day. We did however get our compass light working as we found a broken wire for that.
Enough about maintenance and on to the vacation items. We spent the day at Newport RI. We did the Cliff Walk and it was amazing!!! 3.5 mile one way of beautiful shoreline overlooking the ocean. There is a trolley that takes you back to the start point but due to the trolley being $1.75 and only having a $10 bill ( the trolley gives no change) we decided to walk back through the “Mansion” area. It was well worth the walk and I suggest a person does it to view the magnificent properties. We ate at Flo’s clam shack. food was good and a cold beer after our walk was even better.
Back in Barrington, we hit the bike path that runs from Bristol to Providence. It also was very pretty and popular as there were many others enjoying the day on the path. It’s nice and flat for the most part so we will bring our roller blades next time and try that also. On our way, we stopped for breakfast at a small cafe called “Leon’s cafe”. The food was fantastic!!!! All homemade items right from the bread to the sausage and Corned Beef Hash. We actually went back the next day also because the food was so great!!
Got a good coat of wax on the hull this weekend. I use a product called Clean & glaze made by Formula five. It is an all in one clean and wax product. It balls up the dirt so it is removed and falls off and at the same time it polishes and lays down a layer of wax all in one shot. It is a great product. It is slightly abrasive so its best to not use a power polisher.
We are looking forward to many more boat days this summer and get Ocean Phoenix out more so we can put her through the paces and see how she performs in various conditions.
Will keep ya posted on our follies. Fair winds to you all.
James & Tammy