Boat jobs in Florida – part 3

On Friday – after I’d finished blogging and doing the laundry – I returned to Morphie.   The guy from the boatyard had been by and agreed that they would be sending someone to help with the heads on Monday morning.   So the weekend is ours…… Then a fellow marina guest came by and asked if he could use the end of our floating dock to repair his dinghy – we said yes – but only if he promised to shift it by Saturday night as I needed the space for the canvas on Sunday. No problem was the response.

The weather closed in…..torrential rain and thunderstorms so we went by the office to pick up some parcels – and yay, the new starter battery had arrived. When we kitted out Morphie for cruising we replaced and increased the house bank but not the starter so this was the original which had failed – but after seven years, of which four were in charter, I guess that’s not too bad.

New starter battery

The rain kept on coming….so we spent the rest of the afternoon in the boaters lounge ordering more spares, doing more research, before returning to Morphie for an early dinner and going for a couple of cold ones to round off the day while catching up with Rachel and Jan – our friendly barmaids.

Jan our barmaid

Saturday and it was another rainy day – we went out shopping and purchased a few more goodies like pepper spray!   Not readily available in many places so we thought we’d take the opportunity while it was openly for sale – although, funnily enough, the only time we have heard gunshots on our travels have been here in Fort Pierce!   This is a dangerous place if you cross the wrong tracks….

Richard then removed the old starter battery and replaced the old plastic Lifeline cover for a new Sunbrella one….. while I carried on ordering goodies.   The credit cards are definitely quivering every time I get them out of my purse LOL.

Prepping for changing out the starter battery

Spares 1New Lifesling cover

Oh yes and I ordered a new hire car too – the baby one we have right now is fine for running around town but we are planning a road trip before flying from Tampa and want a car with a boot for our luggage.

Ordering and researching

And that was kind of it for the day – we didn’t fancy the bar as the really bad singer was playing – so had a quiet night on board.

Sunday up early – and the sky was blue and the sun was out – hurrah!   So I removed all the canvas from Morphie onto the dock trying not to get too irritated that the guy’s dinghy was still there…. Grrrr….  I started washing the canvas down while Richard took the heads apart again and started to pour muriatic acid down the hoses trying to clear them.

Muriatic acid again

We can’t replace them ourselves – they are too tightly packed and difficult to access – so we are working on cleaning them out instead. Toilet smells permeate the air for the day…. Nice!   By 5pm we had both had enough – I’d washed, re-waterproofed and re-installed all the canvas and Richard had one hose completely clear with some progress on the other.

Waterproofing the canvass

So we decided to take ourselves off to the pool for a late afternoon bob – both pretty tired – and we’re sitting on the steps chatting when suddenly I look down and there is this great big beetle thing clinging onto my left boob!   I shriek, jump up, and knock it off.   Richard was laughing and, because he couldn’t see the beastie, told me I should stop drinking!   Then I spot it – climbing up inside his shorts.  Suddenly mayhem breaks out – out of the pool – and we get the critter out.   A four inch stag beetle no less.   Yuck!   Funny after it was over LOL.

Stag beetle

Monday morning and we have a professional from the boatyard coming to look at our heads. Yay, hoping for a working toilet again….. Peeing in a bucket at night is getting a little tedious.   I take myself off to the boaters lounge to talk to mum and do more research while Richard and Joe get on with it.   Oh yes – and a manatee came by the boat to visit – typical that I wasn’t there to see it….

Visitor to the dock

Well – they push and pull and can’t shift the hoses.   They cut out a bigger access hatch – and still can’t shift the hoses. But they do manage to remove the Y valve so we have access to both ends of the dodgy hose. Neither of them are Island Packet fans at this juncture! They work at it all day….. and manage to completely clear one end to end….. but the second is being really annoying. It appears that the calcium builds up in the bends and unless you can pull the hoses out a bit to take the kink out of the hose then you can’t clear it either. But they worked really really hard. Eventually – hot and sweaty and a bit frustrated – Joe knocks off for the day and Richard carries on with the acid job…..

Professional help Cut the hole bigger

I have to admit that I was a bit of a wimp as my leg was playing up so spent most of the day resting up…. but did help when needed, and Richard managed to spray me with dirty water at one point. Yuck, time for another shower!!!!  Richard persevered and managed to unblock the second hose before he called it a day and we had another quiet night on board.

This morning – Tuesday – and Joe is back again.   They flush water through and both hoses remain clear. Hurrah!  Then they check the final hose to the overboard discharge and this one is also bad – but, luckily, it can be swapped out easily so they do that.

Prepping the new hose Another hose bites the dust

In the meantime Richard has gone off to switch our rental car….   Final checks – toilet back together – and we have a working head, providing it goes into the holding tank. It turns out the through hole is also restricted so Joe is going to return on Monday – once we’ve hauled – to sort out that final job.   Still very frustrated that we couldn’t change the hoses – even with professional experienced help and tools.  Bottom line is that we are going to have to carry acid with us in future and run this through the hoses on a regular basis to ensure this doesn’t happen to us again!!!    Lesson learnt….  Don’t even want to think about what would happen if the hoses fail….

Tomorrow – Wednesday – we were going to the Island Packet factory to visit – but not feeling like it right now. Their “practical” advice was for us to sail 400 nautical miles to a boatyard that is experienced in doing this work – well, thanks for that useless suggestion!!!   The professionals here at Harbortown say that this is not the first IP model they have had difficulty with – although this is the first model they have actually failed to achieve the swap out.   Hmmmm…..    Would love to see how the boats are put together but not sure we can keep a civil tongue so might be better for another day?!?

We cleaned up – reordered the boat again – and headed off shopping. Got some more essential things like pillows / sheets / restorer wax / coat hangers / ziplock vacuum bags etc etc…. and have just booked to go to Universal Studios for a couple of days from tomorrow night.  Very excited!  We’re looking forward to having some fun after the trials and tribulations of the last few weeks……

Bye for now