Cruising with a Dog Living Aboard a Boat

Sum It Up Sunday: Only It’s Monday

Monday, February 24, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

For what are considered late winter months where the average temperature is supposed to hover around 50°F, it’s been cold, wet and miserable most of February.  For the better part of the week, foul-weather gear has been hanging in every available space in a vain attempt to dry out.  The ports have been dripping wet with condensation, along with our wardrobe lockers.  The heater’s been running 24/7.  In other words, it’s been pretty grim.  And while we sit here and watch the deck and our cockpit canvas turn green, there’s not a whole lot we can do about it right now.  But it’s been a slightly different story down below.

On Monday we made a trip up to Port Townsend to Edensaw Woods to buy the white oak David needs to trim out the headliner; and he’s been busy drawing detailed plans for the project, including the exact locations for screw holes.  As luck would have it, the marina has an extensive shop where he can round the edges of the wood to match what we already have onboard.  Hopefully he’ll be able to do that some time this coming week and we can start work on board. 

Two of the three new house batteries.
Our new house batteries arrived and we picked them up from Poulsbo Friday morning.  It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that we’ve been dreading changing them out; but it turned out to be easier than we thought it would thanks in part to the guys at the marina who kindly brought them from our truck down to the cockpit of the boat . . . and took the old ones back after they were changed out.  Talk about service!

The biggest surprise came when we saw what exactly we’ve been using for the past 15 years (yes, you read that correctly) – 200 amp Mastervolt gels.  Based on what we could see from the cases and how well they performed, David was sure they were Sonnenschein Industrials.  So now we’re even more impressed with how long they lasted and hope to get at least seven years out of our new Dynos, which are locally made. 

Two of the three old batteries.

Hauling the old batteries out with the help of the winch.
Yesterday turned out to be one of those days (hence the late blog entry).  Sally had been improving lately but suffered a few setbacks this week – one of which happened around 5 o’clock yesterday morning.  She had an accident on the floor, which was fine, until I stepped in it and left trails of feces throughout the boat.  Half asleep, I picked up what I could with a paper towel and then did the stupidest thing with it . . . put it in the head which immediately clogged it.  Not just any head, mind you.  No.  It had to be the one (and only) hooked up to the holding tank. 

Accidents happen, so that’s no big deal.  But Sally spent the next several hours pacing back and forth and in a level of stress we haven’t seen her in for weeks, which is.  I don’t want this for her, but I have absolutely no choice in the matter . . . and that pisses me off.  I miss her.  We miss her.  And the minute we think she’s coming back to us, god laughs.  It’s hard to handle and yesterday left me feeling defeated again for the first time in weeks. 

But that’s what husbands are for, right? 

They pick up the slack whenever you can quite carry the load.  David took Sally for a very long drive in this completely miserable weather so I could clean the boat, launder the carpets and clear my head without stepping on Sally or shooing her out of the way every five minutes.  By the time they got back, the boat was fresh and clean, the paper towel had dissolved, and I cried a sufficient amount of tears that I felt a little better. 

So what changed? 

We decided to try a different supplement and took her off the Senilife in favour of Canna-Pet on Tuesday, which clearly isn’t working.  I was convinced it would be the answer to all of our problems; but it’s not so I ordered more Senilife and hopefully we’ll be back on try by the end of this week.  Hopefully . . . .

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  1. Why not use golf cart batteries in the future? Much easier to move (65 lbs.) and better return on investment (ROI) (less$$).