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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Waiting on the Weather


TROPICAL STORM WARNING S OF 24N FROM 71W TO 75W TONIGHT AND FRI HURRICANE CONDITIONS EXPECTED FRI NIGHT AND SAT S OF 26N FROM 69W TO 75W TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS EXPECTED N OF 24N E OF 72W SUN AND MON

This was the 5 p.m. National Weather Service forecast for the Bahamas, showing us that the tropical storm season isn't over yet. We are a good ways north and west of the Tropical Storm Warning area, tucked in the lee anchorage between Staniel Cay, Big Major's Spot, and three smaller islands, of which Thunderball Grotto is one. We have 150' of chain out, and are using our storm bridle as well, just to be prepared if the winds pick up as they are forecast to do. For most of the day, we've had winds of 10-15 knots, although when the cold front from FL comes through winds could pipe up to 25-30 knots tomorrow. Oddly though, the winds are very light at the moment -- 4.4 knots as I look at the wind indicator, and it isn't predicted to increase until tomorrow. Ok, we will wait!

As if we haven't had enough on our plates, what with continually checking the most recent weather updates and comparing forecasts and predictions of the various sources, earlier this evening we had McKenzie aboard, doing us a huge favor after a full day of work, getting our freezer coolant gas recharged. We confirmed with the manufacturer what gases would work, (R12 413a, 401a, among others) although it took a a bit more scrambling and several phone calls to locate a canister of compatible gas for the system. (The promised canister of 401 never did make the mail boat yesterday, apparently...!) 

Clearing out the compressor system before changing the gas
So tonight, McKenzie did his best, cleaning out the compressor system of the old gas, changing out the dryer and getting the new gas charged up. There was an issue with one of the valves leaking when he'd try to check the high pressure side, but he changed that out and charged up the system as best he could. We determined we would wait and see how well the freezer is working by the morning...hopefully it will be fine! Not precisely the definitive way we hoped it would turn out, but we are keeping an eye on the freezer temps, and hope it will continue to cool down into the single digits tonight.  

Impending rain...no real wind to speak of,  just rain!
Of course, by the time the freezer was operational again, it was raining a bit. In the time it took us to clear the tools and things off the flybridge and stow them back into the dinghy, it was an utter downpour! Ron ended up taking McKenzie back ashore in the deluge, while I scrambled around, prepping an easy and quick dinner. Gratefully, we had a break in the weather so that after Ron returned, we used the dry moment to haul Eclipse up into her chocks and secure her should we want to move in the morning. As always, we will continue to monitor the weather!

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