Deep Bilge Work To Welcome the New Year

Today’s Weds, so I’m working to get back into my M/W/F posting routine, but launched into working in the deep recesses of my deepest bilges today.  I’m hopeful that none of the muck gets caught in the keyboard.  If ya don’t know or understand..older heavier boats built in Taiwan in the 70’s tend to have really deep full bilges.  Engines tend to sit in those spaces.  My deep bilge is the hardest I’ve ever seen to get into and clean out.  It sits nearly 5 feet below my engine and the shaft that rotates our prop is also under the engine, further complicating working on the bilge.  Yep….there’s a few smart folks out there scratching their heads because most engine shafts normally come out of the engine directly to the propeller to power it,  but ours had to be complicated and is attached to a “velvet drive”.  Simply means things are backwards and the shaft comes out of the engine to the “V” drive then goes back under the engine to the propeller.  Yep, it’s as complicated as it sounds.  Now,,,,bilge- A bilge is defined as: The bilge /bɪl/ is the lowest compartment on a ship or seaplane, below the waterline, where the two sides meet at the keel. (wikipedia).  Our bilge has two large pumps that pump water out of the boat and various other hoses to things that were a mystery.  Mystery no longer.  The problem with our bilge also is that the extra special “V Drive” means we can’t really get into the bilge but other stuff can fall in and disappear forever.  Our large bilge pumps are supposed to have automatic float switches on them that start pumping water automatically, but ours have been broken.  Today we went through every single hose going into or out of the bilge, much to my surprise there was lots more than I thought.  We found out that our full tub drains directly into the bilge (important to know) and that we have another pump for the bilge that could be used in combination with the forward saltwater wash down pump to de-water in an emergency.  We also found out that we needed to fix and update every hose, several were burned through by touching the shaft and simply done.  All of this work is accomplished by someone on their stomach on top of the engine or looking through a 1 foot by 1 foot hatch from the galley.  Not terribly efficient or effective setup, but I love to work through problems so this is a great experience and I get to learn more about the boat.  Here’s what this process looks like from above:

The bilge ends about 5 feet below Francisco, he’s on top of the engine.

I’m also babysitting (parenting) the kids while working on the deep bilges because they don’t go back to school for several more days.  So I’m knocking out this post on my lunch break (kids eat all the time and MUST be fed) and hopefully by the end of the day I’ll have working bilge pumps with working float switches and new hoses too?  We’ll see.  If not, it’s my priority project tomorrow and the curtains get to wait.

Happy New Year and a quick hello to all the new folks who are following our little blog. Baja Ha-Ha leaves in October….are you in ?


Are readers fickle?

I do watch my blog stats!  I admit it.  As a writer of a blog in a niche area with a potentially limited audience, I wonder if this limits me.  Then I remember I don’t really care because the readers that I do have on a regular basis are awesome folks who actually engage…a lot.  I read about the blogging ups and downs of mega-bloggers like a opinionated man (Harsh Reality) who have some of the same challenges that I do on my tiny niche blog.  I also know this blog wasn’t started (like some other blogs I know) for me or my family, it’s truly meant to be a resource for folks if possible.  But back to the question in the title: Are my readers fickle or are they just busy and overloaded with information?  Even though we may follow a blog, I would venture to say we don’t always read it or even click on it some or most of the time.  Reading all the blogs I follow would be a royal pain in the ass, especially as some of those bloggers post 5-8 times per day.  I think I’m right….readers don’t always read our blogs even though they follow them; and THAT’s OK.  I appreciate anyone who follows, reads, glances at or comments on my blog at all.  It’s royally cool to have followers who comment back and I appreciate it.

Bad Blogger!

I try to do a Mon/Weds/Fri posting schedule and facilitate Quincy the Boat Dog’s Posts on Sunday.  It’s been a hectic week, so I missed my post yesterday, wanted to do it today but missed it again.  I will be back on my schedule tomorrow.  Remember I live on a boat with two small children, a Great Dane and LOTS of boat projects….but I love writing on the website and have more ideas than time.  And…it rained for three days in San Diego which is really rare and generally sucks.  The rain got  to us all, delaying all my projects.  I’m working on making dinghy chaps and curtains right now…it’s a slow process.

Here’s the end of my post:

Quiet Time to Prep for Sea

This morning after I walked the dog, the great fire-ball in the sky eased its way past the light clouds still burning a shade red from the smoke of the California fires.  Despite the chill in the air and the 6am wake up to get the dog out for her morning walk, I knew this was my time to putz around our boat and slowly prep her for sea.  Usually there’s a bit of lunacy in the rush to get her ready for sea, but on this morning I had the boat to myself as the crew slumbered its way to a relaxing wakeup.  After deciding to leave my SURFFUR on and grabbing my Yerba Mate, I slowly put the boat together to get her ready to sail.  There’s something calming yet alive (for me) about putting the boat together to get her off the docks, as if she’s ready.  As I started to get her covers off, lines straightened up and other assorted tasks done, she seemed to come alive to me; she knew we were going to sea.  The Great Dane followed me around the boat, trying to figure out what the heck I was going to the boat at 6:30 in the morning, catching my mood too.  Even working on this beast every day, I still found things this morning that needed to be fixed and worked but were quickly knocked out.  Getting off the dock again gives Admiral Hotwife another valuable chance to practice getting this 50+ foot boat into and out of the dock and we’re planning to get out of San Diego bay for a change to get her into open water.

I’ll probably have some great photos and some kind of update to this post later, hope you come back this afternoon to check us out and stay with us as we continue our march toward October of 2019.

Cruising Milestones In Focus, we slowed down to speed back up

Last week was a long week and my body reminded me this weekend that it was time to slow down.  After getting the sleep my body needed, I’m still in a contemplative mood, thinking it funny that the boat and family are providing more great website and posting content that I’ve ever had before.  I’ve been trying hard to stay on my M/W/F/S posting schedule, aware that I missed Friday, but back on track.   Continue reading

Echoing “Opinionated Man’s” Thoughts

I’m echoing comments made by the “Opinionated Man” Blog about being a bad blogger due to things life/working on the boat non-stop.  Sometimes I’m a crappy blogger.  I’ve made a pre-New Year’s resolution to be a better blogger from now on….starting today.  My stats are not like his.  My stats have always been low as I’m kind of a blogger who doesn’t really care if you read this or not and I’ve never had that “discovered post” that went viral or anything.  However, I’ve come to realize I’m never really at a loss for material to write about, I just need to sit down and take the time to properly organize my material and edit my photos better.  The nice thing is that I’ve got a great set of followers who read or look at my stuff and a few who give me feedback.

Worked on the boat all week.  Great debate in my little head about varnish or Cetol.  Going to give my teak deck a light sanding and put a layer of teak sealer/protectant down this week.  Going to also do some of the upkeep on the engine she’s been demanding.  My bathrooms stink on the boat and I’m heavily contemplating putting in at least one Airhead.  YES, I could change out all the old lines from the head to the holding tank and that would most likely fix the problem, but it’s a challenge to know I’m literally sleeping on top of a large holding tank.  Windlass and associated woodwork around it is finally done (lots of lessons learned from that one, which I’ll write about).  Stick with us….more to come-