Yesterday, Dolce Vento sailed a refreshing “perfect reach” across the Bay making a speedy seven to eight knots (that’s flying for a sail boat). As we approached our slip the wind kicked up (which is never a sailor’s delight) and our hearts began to pound a bit. Like piloting an airplane, the most anxious time is landing – you don’t want crashing, smashing or missing the runway in any way, shape or form. Period! So with bow thruster at the ready, engine purring, me at the helm and John on the bow with his boat hook in hand waiting to pick up the first line, I moved all 46 feet of Dolce Vento into the slip. It took a few thrusts to the right and then the left, and a bit of reverse as the northeast wind pushed us away from our finger pier and into the main dock from the stern. Captain and crew were right pleased with themselves as they adjusted lines a cleaned up the deck.
Excited to be home because we looked forward the next morning when our 15 year-old dead water heater would be replaced. I fantasized about my much I loved hot on board showers. But the weather did not conform to our sunny expectations. Gray skies gave way to persistent rain during the night and continued all the next day. Tony and Harvey from “Shiver Me Timbers” (yes, that is the actual company name because they started out specializing in marine air conditioning and refrigeration) arrived in foul weather gear, ready to work.
The space into which the new slightly larger water tank must fit is claustrophobic small, so sawing commenced to enlarge the opening to the “basement like” area behind our aft master cabin. Step two was to remove the cover on the aft cabin ceiling under the helm that hides conduit and wiring strung forward. This exposed an array of unexpected frayed and stripped electrical wires that connect helm electronics to the distribution panel located at the chart table in the middle of the boat. (Now we know why the GPS Chart Plotter acted up like a cranky baby every now and then).
Think HGTV’s Property Brothers pulling down drywall only to find bad electrical switches and wires. You can only moan, cross your arms and sigh, then call for help, because repairs and replacements have to be done. There are no options. Truly, Dolce Vento is a case of “This Old House” and because we live on her, making it an all in one — “This Old Sail Boat” and “This Old House”. But, we believe we are lucky because we have good plumbing guys who work hard to make the right repairs. Not all boaters are so lucky. This is not a DIY project for sure and better to spend the money now rather than later when we might be at sea with failed navigation, beyond reach of help.