Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #37 A Time For Change

We’re back!! After spending six weeks in Indianapolis we returned to St. Petersburg last week on 9/29/04. Other than for a few leaves blown on board by three (count ‘em—three) different hurricanes, Caloosa Spirit looked none the worse for wear. While we were up north we watched the daily course of each of the hurricanes that passed through Florida. We’re grateful that we didn’t experience the same degree of hurricane stress and burn-out that the folks here did throughout the ordeal, but we felt our share. It helped that Carl and Cathy returned from their cruise in early September, just in time for Hurricane Frances. They diligently watched over Caloosa Spirit through Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne, but they also had their own share of hurricane preparation with their home and Persuasion. We are deeply grateful for their assistance and continued hospitality. And thanks, also, to all up north who took some time out to visit with us. We greatly enjoyed the many evenings we spent catching up with friends and family, and also greatly appreciated the hospitality that made them happen.

Petersen's back yard

Of course, it took us several days to put everything back in order—sails, bimini, dodger, stuff we brought back with us. We’re just now starting to feel somewhat back to normal. And, of course, that means working on the boat! Prior to going north we had noticed a tendency for the engine to slightly overheat. Jim replaced a bad thermostat, but decided that when we returned he would have to examine the heat exchanger. That meant draining the engine coolant and extracting the coolant tube from the heat exchanger. But the coolant tube seems to be frozen in place. After talking to the local Yanmar experts he has decided to remove the whole heat exchanger (major surgery) because it may also have damage from electrolysis. That means moving the refrigeration compressor without rupturing the lines and probably removing the alternator to get the heat exchanger past it. In the mean time, we have no refrigeration, since we can’t run the engine. Ice doesn’t keep very long, but presently that’s our only alternative for keeping anything slightly chilled. We’re not sure how long this situation will persist.

We’re presently excited about the availability of Alice’s book, Reaching a Far Horizon. This is the story of how we first started sailing, bought Caloosa Spirit, had her in charter service for five years, and finally moved aboard. Alice started writing it over a year ago, and it finally went into publication last month. The book is available from www.lulu.com as a self-published, print-on-demand edition. It’s available in either a print copy or a downloadable copy.

We’ve been very fortunate in that neither of us has required major surgery before our Yanmar engine required it. Yesterday Jim dismantled a section of the engine that houses the heat exchanger. Removing the numerous hose connections, bolts, other engine pieces in the way, etc. was an all-day job. Today he extracted the heat exchanger from its attachment to the engine block, and Carl drove him to the local Yanmar distributor to see about the repair. It turns out that the engine requires a heat exchanger transplant, since, with the exception of a few of its parts, the fouled one is beyond repair. Too bad we don’t have major medical insurance on the Yanmar. But then, that would probably be cost-prohibitive anyway. Hopefully, in a few days, another boat unit later, the engine will again be running. And we’ll have refrigeration again!

No heat exchanger. It will be next week before it gets repaired/replaced/installed. So we’re still using ice in the fridge.

We got an important mail shipment today—our absentee ballots. Last spring we changed our residency to Florida—primarily for tax reasons—by signing on with St. Brendan’s Isle, a mail service in Green Cove Springs, FL. We’re still using Lauri’s address as our primary mailing address, but SBI allows us to now vote in Florida. We’ve always considered voting a civic responsibility and a privilege, and this year our votes seem more important than ever. We’re very concerned about the direction in which our country is heading at the present time. We see the specter of Vietnam rearing its ugly head on the horizon, and we hope that it’s possible to soothe that savage beast before it overwhelms us. We envision a future of hope rather than fear, inclusion rather than exclusion, and invitation rather than rejection. Please join us in casting a vote for a healthy, hopeful change, rather than four more years of the same. (John Kerry didn’t officially approve this message, but we think he’d endorse it, nonetheless!)

Fair winds until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford

Posted Sunday October 10, 2004

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    — julie tharpe    10/16/2004 07:16 PM    #
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