Monday, March 25, 2013

B.O.A.T (Bring Out Another Thousand)

For a variety of reasons, last week was probably one of the most emotionally draining and stressful weeks aboard Sea Gem. In fact, it was so taxing, that at one point--independently of each other--both Eric and I thought it might be best if we moved into a house (with each other, of course). However, it was a fleeting thought, which we both agree would have been shortsighted.

So what happened? Life. Life happened, and then like clockwork, things started to break. Actually, things started to break about a month ago, but our breaking point didn't happen until this past week.

Here's how it all began...

About a month ago, we ran into an issue with our freezer. We have a custom chest freezer, built directly into our galley's counter top. After spotting condensation on the outside of the lower portion our cabinetry (below the freezer), it became apparent that the insulation failed. The result? Water damage to the interior of the cabinetry and our beautiful hardwood floor. Unfortunately, we can't just run to the freezer store and buy a replacement for our current freezer model, as our freezer doesn't have a model:


Our options are either to have a new custom freezer built or to find a freezer that will fit into our current space. As you might guess, neither of these options is cheap. And with either option, we will need to have some of the cabinetry replaced and a small portion of our floor mended--also not cheap.

The good news is that we had planned on renovating our galley anyway, so we'll just be doing that sooner than later. Eric and I have also come to the realization that we really don't need a freezer. This is not to suggest that we didn't use our freezer--we did--but we only used it because we had it. The other good news is that if for some reason we absolutely had to freeze something (although I can't think of a legitimate "freezing emergency"), we could always rely on our ice maker to keep a few small items frozen.

In order to prevent further damage to our woodwork, we needed to turn of freezer off. Unfortunately, disconnecting our freezer turned out to be a time-consuming, irritating, and expensive ordeal involving the help of two separate handymen (excluding Eric). Here is a glimpse of the action:

First Attempt at Disconnecting the Freezer
But finally it was over and the freezer was off.

Then, our refrigerator stopped working. It is one thing to make do without a freezer, but not having a refrigerator is another story. As it turns out, our freezer and refrigerator are interconnected, so when we turned off our freezer, we inadvertently turned off our refrigerator. In order to get our refrigerator working again, we needed to have another repairman come out and sort out the connections, so that the refrigerator could run independently of the freezer. To further complicate the situation, during the process of turning the refrigerator back on, we discovered there were multiple leaks in the entire refrigeration system which needed to be fixed--a problem that was camouflaged while the freezer was running.

Then, we had some issues with our drinking water, as I explained in a previous post.

Then, the toilet in our master head (bathroom) started having problems, which I believe Eric will explain in a future post.

Then, after a light rain shower, our TracVision antenna stopped working--presumably water got into one of the cables, so now our TV doesn't work.

Then, the toilet started acting up again.

And so on and so on...

So you see, our readiness to abandon ship was cause by the totality of small problems combined with an endless amount of other non boat-related stresses. Fortunately, at the end of the day, every boat-related problem is fixable and not everything has to be done at once. We can certainly live without TV for a few weeks. The toilets, not so much...  

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