Today I replaced the old manual bilge pump gaskets which I thought like always would take a hour or two. Well 8 hours later and a few cuts I had the dam thing back together and installed. I really hate when a simple project turns against me and make my life difficult. O well such is life at least I in some hot tropical Island. I am going to the bar to watch the game, have a good one and thanks for keeping up with the blog!
I accomplished a few things today in the hot sun of 88 degrees and it made my mouth water for some whiskey. The local crowds are not around tonight to share in my tails and to hear new ones so I filled a small glass of Jameson with some O so precious ice. I now sip it little by little in the Dragonsbane cockpit and I am accompanied by the Turk rum drunk mosquito.
Today I drink to making the ship shine by washing her down with fresh water and joy soap. I polished her silver chrome and broke down the dinghy to shield her from the suns intense UV raise. O I will sleep well tonight and wish all of you the best as you freeze in the snow and wind as I will melt to my bed sheets yet again tonight!
I finished up my scuba certification and I am now able to open water dive down to 60 feet. Today well on my dive I saw three sharks that got very close but for some reason when you’re at their level they don’t seem very frightening almost interesting to watch. I saw a sting ray and many lion fish. I love the feeling of scuba diving and I am hooked, case closed.
Tonight I decided to go to the bar and &grill right next to the marina for finishing up my scuba class and ended up meeting all kinds of people. I met a big family that was from Minnesota that was here on the island celebrating there grandparents 68th wedding anniversary. We talked a lot about sailing and racing. I found out that they built houses in Minnesota and I cannot remember their names but they went to college in Michigan in Grand Rapids what a small world. Anyway I was very happy to share the night with them and wish them safe travels home.
Day one of Scuba class was fun and I enjoyed learning how to use my gear in many ways to breath if this or that fails when I dive. I learned how to swim under water with all the gear and how to sink. I never thought there was a right way and wrong way to sink but guess what there is. Truth be told I dont sink very well but with a little work today I was sinking like a rock! tomorrow I go out to the ocean and dive to 30 feet and practice emergency ascent and buddy breathing. The last day will be a dive to 60 feet off of a coal reef wall that goes down to 6000 feet. I hope I get the whole rise to the surface thing down by then! Anyway I will try and get some pictures of what I see so you all can experience it with me.
Now some Pictures of TCI Provo Island,
When I think of Christmas Eve I instantly think of a cold clear night with hard crunchy snow as I walk to church to give thanks to the real eason why we celebrate Christmas. I think of the candle light service and how the church becomes so hot from all the hundreds of souls holding candles to shine bright in the dark night to find your way out of the dark past. I think of my family all gathered together drinking after church and being happy to finally talk about the years past events and what they plan to change in the new year. Then we all retire to bed and wait for Santa to grace us with presents and gifts for all that we care for. My heart swells at that moment that my family will get to open the presents that I have taken time to find for them.
Unlike the last 29 Christmas to now I am alone by choice to fix, clean, and better Dragonsbane. I am also happy to get my scuba certification. I wanted to experience having no one around to enjoy all that god has given us and see what I really miss. SO being alone I went to a bar across the pound and found my new friends from Key west that are traveling as a band by sailboat to St Thomas, They filled a small void in my heart tonight but did not take place of my family. I think god will no matter what take care of you even when you’re alone if only you go out and look around. I am so joyed to meet these people and give them the gift of knowledge on how to repair there sailboat. I can’t afford to give all the gifts I would like to my family but I keep them in my heart and will think of them everyday and wish them the best.
Christmas is to remember all the good and bad of the past year and share it with your family, friends, and in my case the strangers that open there hearts to this simple idea of being happy to be together. So hug your family, and give thanks that you have a warm house, and people to enjoy it with. Other wise what the hell is it all for if you don’t understand that simple pleasure.
I spent the early part of the day peddling my but around on an old Huffy bike with the big fat tires. You know the bike that is used for the beer advertisement called Fat Tire! Anyway my dads bike chain broke and we ended up getting picked up and brought back to the bike shop and was given a less rusty bike which worked out great. Unfortunately after peddling the first time for at least 4 miles we were right back where we started, o well we got good exercise. Anyway we toured the north edge of the Provo Island and saw all the resorts and all the resorts that where under construction back in 2008 and then like a bomb they were left unfinished and left rusting in the salt air. It was too bad to see many of these grand hotels rusting and falling to pieces. They really don’t show that on the postcards and they would have add such a grand and clean feeling to this island but instead leave it looking more like a disaster zone then anything.
After peddling our bikes we returned to Dragonsbane and ate some lunch; I studied my scuba course information too. I made steak and sweet potatoes for dinner with some “Toasted Head Chardonnay” Wine. It worked out well and I am stuffed. Tomorrow I will bring my dad to the airport and make sure he has no problems and then back to Dragonsbane to work on her issues.
My plan was to sail to the DR “Dominican Republic” and see what that was all about but the plan has change for the next two weeks. After discussing our new issue with Dragonsbane our theory has been confirmed. During our last 3 day voyage we had to motor sail into the wind for 16 hours and at 3 different points the drive shaft would make a very loud buzz sound and I would back off the rpm’s immediately and the sound would stop. I concluded that when climbing very big swells 10 foot plus the prop would be over loaded and flex the drive shaft which would then cause the cutlass bearing to buzz or squeal in the strut beneath the boat. I talked with a few local mechanics and they all agreed that the 4 blade prop is over loading the drive shaft and will in a short time cause catastrophic failure to occur causing a lot of damage.
We have decided to send the new 4 blade prop back to the manufacturer and exchange it for the original 3 blade prop. This is where it get interesting, in order to change the prop we have to lift the boat out of the water. The only place to do that is 40 nautical miles around the island to a shipyard where we will have 3 hours to make the fix. so until the new blade arrives my dad will go home for 2 weeks and I will work on Dragonsbane other issues. I will also take advantage of the down time and get my open water scuba certification so I can now go 56 feet down in the ocean to see a whole new world. I will try my best to blog over the next few weeks or at least post a lot of pictures of what I am up to, I am sad because most of my inspiration comes from the ocean. Regardless I hope that these repairs will fix all issues and make our voyage more enjoyable.