Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Toiling Away

It was bound to happen but I was a little disappointed anyway. After the flurry of jobs that were completed so quickly after returning to Anima, this week has not seen much in the way of jobs being finished. Instead, I've been starting loads of jobs until I get stuck and have to move to another one. The reason for getting stuck is usually either that I need more materials (a difficult prospect without a car) or that I need Rene's opinion/advice (difficult when he is working pretty much from when he wakes until when he sleeps). Rene is now working 50+ hours per week in an effort to save some pennies for our travel in a few months. This is indeed turning out to be a big effort when we take out the expenses of living in the marina (over $1000 per month), food (it's sooo expensive up here for normal fruit and veggies), boat jobs and spares that we still need to buy and the mega mega tax bill Ren has yet to pay from last year. But... we are still planning to go! I feel this sense of urgency - that we need to just leave! It's somewhat tempting to do all of the improvements we dream of on the boat, it's tempting to apply to work here (there were some great-sounding jobs advertised at the local University. It's tempting to build up more of a kitty so that we could travel for longer with less worry but... we feel like we need to do this now!

Rene with Anima showing off her new portside name.
So, onto the progress. The boat name stickers arrived and we applied them on the weekend. I'm quite happy with how it looks now to actually have our name on display! We noticed that the white topcoat of paint (that the name sticker was applied to) isn't looking as good as it could. It is a little patchy and chalky but we will put off that job until we are in South East Asia. 

Cerae just finished putting on the new names.
Rene working with the batteries.
Rene started the ominous job of upgrading our battery system. This is a huge job as the frame that previously held the batteries needs to be replaced. It was made of steel which is really bad news when combined with batteries! Every time one of the positive terminals touched the frame, a huge spark would burst up! Scary and dangerous. So, the steel frame is removed and so is the old wood which was pretty gross and toxic (soaked in battery acid over the last 28 years). Now we're trying to find the best deal for wet or flooded deep cycle batteries that give us the best amp hours at 12 volts. Rene also plans to replace the wiring to and from the batteries as he thinks it could be done better with less messy cords. 

One of the jobs I started was to go through our excessive pile of old nautical charts. I managed to get rid of a largish pile - this is an example of how old some of them were! I think we inherited it from either Rene's parents or Nick and Jan. In any case it's is so old it looks like it belongs in a museum!
An Ancient Chart.
This afternoon I plan to start sewing up a cover for our navigation laptop so that we can use it outside in the cockpit more safely. But first, I need a coffee!

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