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Boondocking SunChaser 

The Fun Life

May 2022 Edition

We were facing a summer of no Air Conditioning and being stuck in the boatyard back in May of 2018 when we decided to buy our motor home and go North!
 
It is now 2022 and May and we are still stuck in the boatyard, however we do not need to buy anything just leave! 
Last month we had the boat in the water twice and the first time discovered a serious leak in a seacock, and the second time while starting the engine the alternator died.
 
So the start of May finds us still in need of some work and it is best at this time to keep it safe and strapped down for yet another hurricane season! 
 
Last month we started on plumbing modifications to bring our 1981 boat up to2022 Sanitary Code. 
Thankfully this will only need to be done one time because it is a royal pain in the tushie!
 
After the last month looking for the reason the engine would not keep running it appears the problem may be a missing washer.
This was discovered after using clear line to see what the fuel was doing.
The top of the fuel filter was leaking.
This did not show up before because the manual pump stops when the engine stops. 
 
One Stinkin’ Washer--- I dont gots to show you no stinkin’ washer! 
The story behind all this is simple, in 2018 in order to replace the lift pump the filter housing had to be removed, and both washers were left on top of the gland nut! 
I simply forgot. 
 
The leak stopped and blind inserts for the bolts were installed in the head.
We knocked off at 4:30 on Tuesday as it was just too hot in the boat. 
It was closed from Sunday Night to Tuesday afternoon at about 2; 30 PM. (May 3)
 
After a two day rest we returned the Weekend of May 6 and only got a little preliminary work done.
Saturday morning I did the primary hook up on the engine fuel lines and Dawn and I tackled the plumbing for our new toilet.
 
Coast Guard Regulations required us to run four lines of thick (1/8th inch) heavy, inch and a half diameter sewer hose.  
It does not like to bend sharply; actually it doesn’t like to bend much at all!
Of the four lines, two split off from the toilet discharge through a “Y” Valve and one will go to the “Holding Tank” and the other for discharge 9 or more miles out to sea (Florida Coast).
The Dark hose runs from the “Holding Tank” to the Deck Pump Out for emptying. 
The last (Not visible) it a discharge hose that uses a Macerator to empty the “Holding Tank” again more than 9 miles out. 
 
A thunderstorm started while I was finishing up and I had to work in a closed boat, hot humid, and I was dripping by the time I finished.
The storm lasted late into the night and ended the planned engine work. 
 
Sunday (May 8) is now our “Independence Day”
Because after a grueling two hours of work mostly attempting to replace a Compression Fitting with a formed tube, we got the engine started.
After three months of chasing down an air leak, and discovering a missing sealing washer, the engine started and ran smoothly. 
The boat will now be ready to leave next September when we return~! 
 
We figure two more visits will get everything prepared to leave Florida and the Weekend of the 15th we spent Friday to Sunday fine tuning and sorting through most of the stuff on the boat. 
There are still some minor things but in large it is ready to go.
 
We are saying our farewells to Steve and Sue who were installing new “Hurricane Windows”, and Doug and Prudy, before tidying up the boat and leaving, it had been a hard 3 months but this time the sailboat will be ready and willing when we return.  
 
As we again hit the road two thing loom in our travels, the over 100% increase in gas and the rapidly increasing prices of everything.
Sam’s Club and COSTCO stop their pumps at $100 and it takes twice to fill up our 55 Gallon motor home tank.
 
Our already strained budget is now cut in half. 
I seldom get political in our newsletter but one would have to be brain dead to not see that something is terribly wrong in America! 
 
We stopped at one of our Florida favorites which is going to be one of those things eliminated in the near future.
From Hungry Howie’s we stopped at the Hillsborough County Rest area which was almost empty in the RV area. 
 
The only stops we made until arriving at Gulf Port Mississippi was at overnight rest areas and gas $4.17 with our Flying J Discount Card.
We Camped at Long Beach after dinner at Cajun’s Fabulous Fried Chicken, (and it is Fabulous at $11.69 buffet!) 
 
This trip we are going to visit Jeff at his farm because he is recovering from Back Sugary. 
Then the SunChaser will head north at the end of the month. 
Our friend Sue informed us that back in Florida it is now 94 and HUMID! 
Steve and other members of the sailing club are sailing to the Tortugas on a rented Dufour 47 foot sailboat.       
 
Jeff owns the Commercial Laundry we stayed at during the “Shelter in Place” time in 2020 and he had started his “Tub Farm” then.
He also has chickens and Lots of Eggs! 
Currently while he is recovering Rita is running the laundry and keep their Class A there, so we have the space they keep their Motor Home.  
Mississippi provided a severe thunderstorm our first night. 
Our main reason for stopping was to help Jeff with various chores while he recovers.
 
We have had some fun jobs while stopped.
Assembled a chicken feeder and small laying house that protects the eggs.
Dawn got to have and “egg hunt” as the free range chickens lay the eggs in places all around the farm house. 
We’re not telling Jeff but it is loads of fun for us!
 
This time of year starts the rain on the Gulf Coast and we had almost steady rain since leaving Florida.
This has been a great fun way to finish off a month of disappointment with our boat. 

Happenings

 

      

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