The Final Countdown (we hope)

Knock on wood, we’ve reached the point of two steps forward for each step in reverse, rather than the other way around.  DirecTV is up and running.   Art masterpieces created by the girls when they were little are on the wall.   We’ve installed and figured out the grill.  There’s equilibrium between the boat and the storage unit, meaning we no longer need to increase the net volume of stuff we’re taking with us.  The showers and the beds are glorious.  We said goodbye to fleece sheets, which almost by themselves are reason to live someplace cold.  We installed a new stereo system.  Heck, the marina even scrambled up the gate code a bit.  Life is good.

Good, but still with some imperfections.  Like the AC system not working.   Remember the earlier post about the seacock valve for the main engine?  Stopped us cold for two weeks.  There’s also a seacock and strainer for the AC pump.  No water, no AC.  And it’s getting hot and humid, seemingly in just the last five minutes.

The good news is that we easily diagnosed the problem.  The seacock was plugged.  Not the strainer.  Not the through-hull.  The actual valve was mushy, meaning something was blocking it.  It’s below the waterline so you don’t just take it apart in the engine room.  That left two choices.  First, one of us could jump into the cold, dark, scary, and potentially toxic Anacostia River to try to fish out whatever had lodged up in there.  When Dana refused, however, it eliminated that option.  So we called out a pro.   Dude had a wet suit, a dry suit, a huge light, the correct tools, and most importantly a willingness to get in the cold, dark, scary, and potentially toxic  Anacostia.  We would have paid him double.

We guess we’re just lucky, because he’d never seen a situation like ours.  Neither had the folks at Zimmerman Marine.  Neither had the folks at Peake Marine.  Somehow or another a ridiculous stick found its way directly into a small hole and jammed up the valve.  (Dana photographed the shoe for scale.  It obviously wouldn’t fit in the valve).  We don’t really feel the love on that one.  However, today it was about 90° with humidity about 110%, so we’re just happy to have the AC back on line.

img_3264The dogs also are hitting their groove.  Oscar still thinks it’s more efficient to poop on the dock rather than wait until reaching the grass.  He must be feeling at home, since he used to poop on the pool deck rather than the grass at our Scottsdale home.  Benny finds the front porch very comfy as long as there’s a handy pillow.

And yes, we’ve added netting so they don’t fall off.   We doubt we could get the diver back out fast enough if that happened.

We enjoyed our second guests, Lewis and Terri of the Tennessee Belknaps.  Hopefully they’ll join us again down the line.  We’re also hoping for many more visitors over the course of our journey.

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Mini Pearl has taken us around DC, but we don’t quite have the whole crane launch thing down yet.  Fortunately there generally are only about a hundred people watching us bumble around.  However, the pressure still adds about 20° to the heat index.

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It’s always good to remember that no matter what happens, someone someplace has it worse.  Like the owner of the boat that appeared on the shore across the river from our slip.  We took Mini Pearl over to have a closer look and to see if there was anything left we might be able to use, but there wasn’t.

We’re quite excited that the entire family will be on the boat in just a couple of days.  If all goes as planned, the six of us will leave The Yards on May 23, with a couple of stops before spending the holiday weekend in St. Michaels, Maryland.

Of course, so far exactly nothing has gone as planned.

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