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  • Capt. Eric

Winter Life. Winter Works.

Enjoying the cold

During my stay in France Di and Princess got snowed in. Anacortes looked like a ski resort, to Princess' great pleasure.

Di enjoyed it too, though she had the more mundane responsibilities of taking care of the boat, checking that electricity from shore was still on, and making sure Enfin's water tanks were full before the marina shut the water supply off.

She even bought a snow shovel to clear our dock and free the decks!

Then, on a cold day one of the 3 AC units being used in heat mode failed. Di and I discussed on the phone and by video, and I was pretty convinced the compressor was at fault.

It took a few tries to get a technician to show up, but ultimately he confirmed my suspicion. Considering the age of the unit, it'll be easier and faster to replace the whole unit.

Princess happily opening a path in the snow

A new unit was ordered, an exact replacement of the existing one, but the supplier indicated that unfortunately fabrication and delivery delays would be counted in months, not weeks. Initially they said 5 to 7.5 months.

That certainly threw a wrench in our cruising plan: it seems we're just not finding a way to escape the PNW, especially if we have to wait all that time.

Luckily, after thinking about it some more and looking around, our technician found a comparable unit of the same physical size and capabilities that would be compatible with our existing systems and available at short notice.

It should arrive this week, and be installed "soon". Fingers crossed as to what that truly means, but I'm hoping we will be free to resume cruising in a reasonable time frame.

Luckily Enfin has plenty of backup and the 2 remaining AC units, with additional help of the furnace are able to keep us warm and toasty in any condition.

At 2 to 3 walks a day, with short dark days and nightfall at 04:00PM, winter days go by fast.

We're using this long stay in the mecca of trawler expertise to get a number of updates, upgrades and regular maintenance done.

Anacortes Cap Sante marina snowed in

The list is too long to include here, but the more time consuming and important are getting new engine mounts, doing regular maintenance on the generator, getting new covers for the settee, the pilothouse berth, as well as custom fitted sheets for our berths.

Di cleared the ventilation

At the same time we're using the opportunity to catch up on regular and routine medical matters. We have a good hospital nearby so Di is doing her "winter works" too.

Sharing her berth with, and keeping an eye on, me

Little Princess was ecstatic to get her pack leader back, and has been even closer to me ever since. She had taken the habit of sleeping on my berth while I was away, but is now happy to share her spot with me: Just like when we first adopted her, she makes sure to keep me in sight at all times.

Uncrowded Deception State Park

All these jobs don't mean we don't get to cruise. After France I was ready and eager to go for a local change of scenery. So we spent a few days at Deception State Park, still one of our favorites when there is no crowd.

On our way

Boat jobs are progressing slowly. The new settee covers are in. We love them. They look much better in person than in photo, and we're not afraid having Princess on the settee as they are easily removable and washable.

We hesitated redoing the whole settee with ultra leather, but were worried we wouldn't be able to be as lax with Princess as we are now. She spends a lot of time on the settee, especially when we're cruising as it's a spot on the boat that moves a little less yet allows her to see us close by.

New settee covers

So this works for the 3 of us. One day we may go for the full ultra leather upgrade, but for the moment we have a nice and practical solution.

Generator valve cover off, adjusting valves
New generator water pump

Generator valves were adjusted, and a new water pump installed. The old one is in the shop to be rebuilt and serve as future spare.

After much waiting and back and forth, it seems the engine mounts will be ordered this week. They appear to be in stock, so I'm hoping we'll go to the yard for install "soon".

"Soon" seems to be the preferred time measurement of most marine technicians around here.

Engine mounts will be changed "soon"

I also work on the boat, slowly going through the never-ending list. A simple and nice upgrade was to add a water counter in the salon, next to the water-maker's remote.

Enfin's water gauges are opposite and very easy to read, but they only show water levels between 90 and 220 gallons. Once the water level disappears below the gauges, it was anyone's guess as to how much water we actually had left.

Our new addition is a simple flow counter that measures water use from the pump in the engine room and deducts it from the total water capacity of the tanks. We reset it at 220 gallons when we fill the tanks up and it stays surprisingly accurate as we draw water down.

New water counter next to the water maker remote

It's really handy when the marina shuts the water down in freezing conditions.

With Covid it seems many people have found the benefits and joys of boat owning, so at the moment there is scarcity of everything boat related. Technicians, parts, marina space.

Luckily Nordhavn's local office is being very helpful so we are getting technicians on board, which is better than we could achieve on our own. They'd simply ignore us!

We got a carpet guy also lined-up. Enfin's carpet is in bad need of an upgrade. After coming on board and listening to us, he confirmed he'd do the job. I let you guess his time frame ("soon" for those in the back!).

Showing off my Valentine present

Life continues, albeit at a slower pace while we do normal maintenance and various upgrades. We celebrated Valentine's Day in our little cocoon, just happy to be back together and home, on Enfin.

Once we get a better idea what "soon" means for the various remaining jobs, we'll take the opportunity to go on small local cruises to enjoy uncrowded destinations before resuming our push south.

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