Wickford RI, old friends and new babies.

It’s Friday morning and was a chilly 63 degrees in the cabin when I got up.  I mention this as I wasn’t expecting to be “chilly” as I had recently installed a new Espar diesel heater to replace the old one that had given up the ghost and the plan was to turn on the heater at such times and enjoy the warm air.  How simple…

However, it’s never as simple as it should be with boats and as is so often the case, and getting things right has turned out to be a long drawn out process.  First, getting the parts took FOREVER to order as the dealer was busy, it would seem, with “bigger fish”.  I wanted to order it from a location that was fairly close to home and chose a dealer in New Haven.  Anyway, it is sufficient to report that it has taken a few months go get all the parts in place and FINALLY get the unit installed.

However, getting the unit operational didn’t work out as well as I had hoped.  The mistake I made was to try and use the old wire harness from the old “mort” heater and just match up the individual wires on a junction board instead of snaking all the new wires through the bilge.  My brilliant idea was to avoid ripping up the floor a project that I have done one too many times and didn’t want to repeat.  How simple, I surmised, to just label the wires, color for color, and note that the “new” red with white stripe wire in the new harness matched with the “old” brown with green stripe wire.  Simple, right?  NOT!!!

Here’s what the new-to-old wiring looks like.  An impressive mix of new and old.  It looks tidy enough to work…Besides, the heater looks great all snug in it’s new home, working or not.  Speaking of snug, working under the cockpit is really tight. It’s like wriggling in a cave, and a very small one at that.Anyway, when I installed the unit, before leaving on our trip, I came up short on a single plug for the fuel pump and had to wait till I was here in Wickford RI for it to be finally delivered. You’d think that the dealer would have provided a plug to go with the pump as the harness didn’t come with one in the first place. I guess that’s asking too much.  So, yesterday the part finally arrived and I decided to spend a little time getting everything in order.   Mistake…

After a few hours, I had plugged everything in and the heater wouldn’t start.  I called the tech support folks in Canada multiple times and finally figured out that it was the little red wire, one of many wires, that wasn’t working right.  I won’t bore you with the details except to say that I ended ripped up the floor anyway, which took a few more hours;  the very thing I had hoped to avoid by using the old wires.   That was clearly not a good decision at all.

So, after blowing the day messing with everything, I finally gave up and decided that I would just wait till I was back home where I will just rip all the old wire out and put in the wire supplied with the unit; something that I should have done in the first place. I’ll bet that my brother Bill, who’s good with such things, wouldn’t have taken such a shortcut.  I’d like to say “live and learn” but I fear that the future will show that while I have “lived”, I likely didn’t “learn” and will make such stupid mistakes again and again…

So, no heat this morning, and that’s why I am mentioning this at all.  Besides, it’s August and it’s supposed to be HOT.  Where’s global warming when you need it?

As you can imagine, Brenda wasn’t too pleased with me frittering away a beautiful day yesterday but happily, she has forgiven me and, as they say, “today is another day”.

For the last few days we have been on a dock at Pleasant Street Wharf,  our favorite spot here in Wickford.  It’s a favorite as it’s home to our great friends Eric and Sandy, old time friends, with the emphasis on the “friends” as opposed to “old” from our catboating days.  Sappho, a catboat and our second boat, which we sold to Eric over 20 years ago, is still here and in great shape, perhaps better than when we sold her so long ago.  Pretty amazing.   We had a great dinner with Eric and Sandy the other night.  It was fun to reconnect.  We hope that they will visit us in CT.  

While it’s not Sappho, our old catboat, there are plenty of these little yachts here in Wickford. Here’s one that sailed by the other evening.  It’s easy to see how catboats remain so popular.We also visited with our friends Teri, Mike and their daughter Julie who now has two children.  It doesn’t seem like very many years ago that Brenda braided Julie’s hair in the cockpit of Sappho when we were out cruising together.  However, if the truth were told, that was way back in 1990, 24 .lyears ago.  Time sure flys and it was so sweet to see her with her two boys.

We also visited my cousin Pat and her husband Bob who just built an amazing home overlooking the bay nearby.  I think that their garage is nearly as big as our home.    What a spot.

So, here I am, sitting in Pandora’s cockpit typing away thinking about our years past aboard and somehow everyone has grown up.  As my mother likes to say, “how is it that you have gotten so old when I am still so young”.  Me?  I really don’t feel like I am in my “upper mid 50s”.

The view from Pandora’s cockpit is lovely. Life is good… And, we are here yet again in Wickford among friends.

Today we head up to Bristol for another day with our Essex YC friends.   Last night we had a fabulous dinner with the group at the Wickford YC.   I ate too much.  It was a seafood extravaganza, prepared by our own EYC chef Michael.  We had quite a group. 

While many came by boat, some arrived via the “Tabernacle Choir Bus” from Essex, owned by one of our members.  It seems that the “church bus” is actually a party bus in drag.  The “tabernacle choir” is completely fictitious, made up by our member in a jolly moment.  I don’t expect that he will be stopped by the “Constabulary any time soon.   How about this shot of the “sacred” spot framed by a rainbow.  Perhaps they do have someone looking over them.  

I guess Brenda and I do too.   What a great day here in Wickford.



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