so much. I enlisted Althoff to my cause.
“Keep the a/c going and keep
everyone happy. Most good cruising
boats are set up with two generators as
well as an inverter and large alternators.
You won’t ruin a trip if one part goes
down. There are some nice weather
conditions that let you run the boat
off the battery and inverters, but if you
have high humidity and salt spray in
the boat, it causes its own problems
with corrosion and cosmetic problems
inside. The replacement of corroded
fixtures, knobs and hardware inside the
boat will cost you in resale, so put some
hours on the generator and enjoy life.”
See, running that genset saves money!
Another important part of offshore
cruising is the engine room inspection.
Life is Short is always kept in pristine
condition and Bob babies his mechanical
systems. Even so, we work engine room
inspections into our watch system. We
went down in pairs for safety purposes
and had no issues for the entire trip.
“The biggest thing to keep in mind is
that you are looking for changes. Water
should stay in the water pipes, exhaust
in the exhaust pipes and smoke should
stay within the wires,” advises Althoff.
“An engine room check could be
done every 2–4 hours. You’re looking
for changes, more oil drips, different
vibrations, different noises (even with
headphones you can hear a tone
change) and definitely different smells.
Hot engines will always smell the same,
but wiring or even leaking fluids on a
hot engine will smell different. Plenty of
boats have made long passages with oil
leaking and water leaking, but they were
steady, controlled, measured leaks. So
don’t panic if something isn’t right, just
assess if it’s critical. You should know
that if an engine holds 36 quarts of oil,
then seeing 10 drops under the pan isn’t
bad. However, a pint of steering fluid by
the rudder hydraulics means trouble on
a 1-quart steering system.”
After 24 hours of trouble-free cruising
and with our sea legs fully developed,
we pull into Turtle Cove Marina (www.
tcmarina.com) in Provo, Turks and
Caicos. I love this stopover. It’s a port of
entry with very streamlined procedures,
the staff is extremely hospitable, and
although the property seems to be
in a constant state of construction,
the facilities are darn nice. It’s also a
convenient spot to transition crew.
And sadly, Peter and I had to leave
and head home. I want to stay and
complete the passage to the Virgin
Islands. I want to eat more of Carrie’s
incredible meals and solve more of life’s
issues with Bob and all three of my new
Canadian friends. We are gelling as
crew, and after tripping over ourselves a
little bit in the beginning, we’re enjoying
our time on board Life is Short. I can’t
wait for my next opportunity to return
to the safety of sea.