- Katharine Hesmer
DAY 54 | February 5, 2022
George Town, Great Exuma Cay, Exuma, Bahamas
KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map.
The Morning Report announced a few days ago that they were hosting a "swap meet" at Chat 'N Chill for any cruisers interested in donating items or finding things they might need. Ron took a few things from KORKZcrew to contribute to the pile, and arrived to find every square inch of beach already occupied by dinghies! Quite the crowd.
As he made his way through the gathering, he found ALL kinds of goodies spread out on Chat 'N Chill's numerous picnic tables. The score of the day goes to stumbling across this beauty.
Isn't she gorgeous?! Haha! Here's a little backstory that I may have mentioned in a previous post, but of course cannot remember. I love making protein shakes, so included on my boat trip packing list were various frozen fruits, power greens, protein powder, and my NutriBullet — a larger, not-so distant relative of the Magic Bullet. While I expected to eventually run out of fruit etc, what I didn't anticipate was that a crucial 1/8" plastic tab on the cup would break off — crucial because without it, the blade can't be activated. No shakes = no happy Kacky = no happy hubby. Ron initially came to the rescue with a solution I'd seen on a YouTuber's sailing channel, which was right up Ron's alley: using a drill attachment as a replacement to the NutriBullet base! Frankly, I'm shocked it wasn't originally his idea to use this as a workaround. Gotta love it. But he's probably relieved to be . . . relieved of this duty now that I'm back in business thanks to the swap meet.
Today in addition to my usual Saturday morning F.I.T. workout, I had the unexpected "bonus" (!!) of a Bicep Burning Battery Bootcamp. If you're unfamiliar with this exercise routine, it's because I just made it up, but helping schlepp twelve 70-pound batteries around KORKZcrew definitely warrants a name if not a trophy.
Here's an aerial view looking down from the flybridge staircase of half of the batteries we temporarily positioned on the starboard (right) side of the boat. If you remember from yesterday's post, Ron and I separated the batteries so they wouldn't all be weighing down one side of the boat. Now it was time to move them one-by-one and little-by-little, in separate stages that would eventually land them in their new home in the engine room.
Step one: Slide the batteries to the back door
Step two: bring the batteries from the back door to the top of the steps in the pilot house
Step three: take the batteries down the steps and into Skeet's room, which is adjacent to the engine room. Move batteries to transition area in the engine room.
Step four: pause to make sure Steve is holding up alright through all of this stress 🙄
Step five: place each 70-pound battery into its new home in one of two battery banks. Each bank holds 6 batteries. Use laptop to look at pictures of prior installation for reference.
Step six: have the insanely good fortune of having already befriended an electrical engineer, Patrick, who selflessly offers to come over to KORKZcrew to check that everything is hooked up properly
One boring but necessary side note is how much the accessibility of the Great Harbour N37's engine room had to do with our ultimate decision to buy it. Ron and I have never seen an engine room like this one, especially on a boat of this size. They are usually in some impossible-to-access location where you have to possess the skills of an olympic gymnast to contort your body into a position not found in nature just to check the oil. The very fact that you can stand up and walk around in an engine room on a 37-foot boat is pretty unheard of.
Once we'd successfully removed and replaced the old batteries, Patrick tested the old ones to see if any were salvageable. We donated the ones that had SOME life still in them to a fellow cruiser named Mark who is one of the moderators on The Morning Report. We'd heard his voice for several days, so when he came over to KORKZcrew this afternoon to pick up the batteries, it was like seeing what a radio personality looks like in real life. 😜 Really nice guy, who insisted that Ron and I come over for drinks later in the day. Well, alrighty then — if we must, we must. 🤷♀️
Mark and his wife live on a charming houseboat named "Puff" that is permanently moored in hurricane hole #1 right beside Chat 'N Chill. We sat on the upper deck outside, where we were joined by the OTHER nice electrical engineer we'd previously met named André, who was now on Puff to help Mark get our semi-good batteries situated. Talk about a group that just continues to pay it forward! This boater community is pretty remarkable if I've somehow failed to get that across already. They made everything about this battery saga so much easier to navigate — pun somewhat intended. Not sure how Ron and I could have pulled this off without their help, and thanks to them, we will go to bed tonight not only with fresh batteries, but also with renewed hopes of fresh adventures ahead.