Saturday, August 27, 2016

Make it work.

 That's the new alternator tensioner. haha

Being a live aboard cruiser you definitely find yourself in situations where you are forced to fix things without the right parts or the right tools or both.  If you were sitting in the marina in San Diego it would not be a problem, just run to the marine store, pick up what you need and make it happen.  However, sailing the coastline of Mexico , and many other places in the world, if you don't have what you need on board you just have to make do with what you have. We become real, live MacGyvers at times.

I got to practice some of my MacGyver skills while delivering water a week or so ago.  We were about 45 miles out in the woods, at the top of the mountain and some 10 miles down a dirt road.  I think you call that "middle of nowhere". We had just delivered a load of water to one of our grower clients and were heading back when I noticed the temperature guage was about 20-30 higher than normal.  I pulled over and when I lifted the hood I immediately saw the problem.  The bolt that holds the alternator in place with tension on the water pump belt had sheared off.  What was left of it was still in the alternator which meant I couldn't just rob a similar bolt from somewhere else on the truck to get me home.

What I wound up doing seemed a little sketch but it got the job done.  I found a piece of 1/4" nylon line that I tied around the body of the alternator, passed it through a crack in the engine sidewall and then secured it to the blinker housing.  With some creative knots I was able to pull on the alternator enough to keep tension on the belt which turned the water pump and kept the engine cool.  It wasn't pretty but it took us all 45 miles back home where I was able to drill out the old bolt, tap the hole and put a new bolt in.  Problem solved!  My Mexican friends down south would have been proud of the ingenious fix.  Those guys can fix anything with almost nothing!

 From the alternator through the fender and secured to the blinker housing.

 The finished job with the new bolt.

Chalk up that fix to "fix it with what you got cruiser mentality".  And the summer wears on as we anxiously await our time to get back onboard in the fall.

Ciao for now.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne

Friday, August 12, 2016

More summer work.

Filling up for a second load and taking calls for more.

Marne and I have been very blessed this summer with work for the water trucks.  Better money can be made running water for wildland fires but for now we just keep the deliveries rolling while we wait.  This summer has been super busy so far as the calls for water deliveries continue to come in.  We are just grateful to have work in order to put some more money in the cruising kitty for this upcoming season.  Here is a look at today's double delivery to a grower way up in the woods northeast of Medford.  It took us about 5 hours to make the turn for a single load  We did two.  It was a long day.

 Pulling out of Mom's house early in the morning.'t pretty noisy.

 Almost at the top...

 Marne following me up the hill.

 We climb about 5,000 this speed.  It's definitely a slow go hauling 2000 gallons of water up a mountain. Patience is in order.

 You can't see her but Marne is back in that dust cloud somewhere.

 That green supplies us with US green that we will convert to pesos very soon.

 We definitely live in God's country.

 Mt. McLaughlin in the background.

 Waiting our turn at the water fill station.

 Fill 'er up!

 This is where our water goes.

After 40 miles of dirt road you are rewarded with a pair of dirt socks like these.  Shower time!

It was a long day but definitely worth the effort as we added about 2 months of cruising budget in just one day.  While we drive we pass the time thinking about spending time with friends in the warm waters of Mexico.  Until next time.

SV Liahona
Bret and Marne