Engine Maintenance & Friends Aboard!

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 7/16/2023 – 7/23/2023

Good morning! Here is our latest YouTube video.

Last Sunday, we took the dinghy to shore to grab some cash from the ATM. We pulled up to the dinghy dock, tied off, and walked to the bank. In classic island fashion, it was out of service! So, we climbed back into the dinghy to head home; only our outboard wouldn’t start. Ray pulled and pulled, popped the cover off, tinkered around with it, and pulled again, with no luck. We had decided to start paddling when a local on a boat nearby saw us struggling and came over in his dinghy to help. He offered to tow us, but we told him we had no money to give him in exchange. He chuckled and said, “Don’t matter. How’d all that money work out for those guys in that submarine, eh?” 😳

He towed us over to the marina and told us to wait while he walked to the local mechanic’s house to see if he’d come to help us on a Sunday afternoon. He returned a bit later with Patrick, the mechanic. Patrick pulled out his tools and got right to work.

Watching him, it was clear he knew what he was doing. He was able to get our engine up and running but wanted to make sure we were properly taken care of. He said to come back Monday morning so he could perform a full service on our outboard. After all that, we decided to grab a late lunch on shore then head home for a movie night. ❤️

Monday morning, Ray met with the mechanic for the remainder of the outboard service. I stayed home to take care of a few things in preparation for the next few days: I cleaned the boat, made a provisioning list, and set up our guest cabin for a couple of our friends who were coming to stay with us later that week. Be honest, how do my towel animals look?! I was going for a crab and an octopus…🤞🏼

The next afternoon we motored around the island’s South side to Clarkes Court Marina.

We got a spot on their dock and grabbed a snack at the marina restaurant before wandering around the property. The marina has a boatyard/haul-out facility, a large marine chandlery, and several storefronts for various marine service centers.

We dropped off our laundry at the laundromat and took a taxi to the grocery store to provision.

The next day the mechanics from Palm Tree Marine arrived. They flushed our coolant system on both engines and examined the valves. Valve adjustments are a critical yet frequently overlooked maintenance task for diesel engines. This is an excellent article if you’d like to dive into the mechanics and importance of engine valves. Although ours weren’t particularly out of whack, they recommend adjusting them every 1,000 hours, and we’re at 1,400 hours. The mechanic talked through the process in our latest YouTube video!

We noticed a difference immediately! The engines sounded significantly smoother (less rattling) after the adjustments were made. We had checked another task off our to-do list. ✅

Our friends, Nick and Megan, arrived Wednesday afternoon. They sold their boat a little over a year ago and have been searching for a new one. They’ve had their eye on a catamaran for sale here in Grenada and flew down to check it out in person. So, the four of us spent the afternoon walking through the boat. Deciding whether or not to buy a used boat is a lengthy and complex process. They’ve been doing an excellent job of documenting the ups and downs of their journey on their YouTube channel

The next day the last of my provisioning order arrived. We did most of our shopping in person at IGA, but I decided to try a meat delivery service this time to help stock our freezer. I ordered from Meat & Meet, and they delivered it to the marina that afternoon. Everything arrived individually vacuum sealed and labeled. I was impressed with the quality considering the price they charged!

We’ve since eaten some of the deli meat and tuna, and it was great. I will be ordering from them again! 

Nick and Megan spent the day further inspecting the boat they were interested in. We all met up that night for dinner at Carib Sushi, our favorite sushi spot on the island!

After dinner, we stayed up late chatting. The four of us first met in the Bahamas a couple of years ago and instantly clicked. Despite our different backgrounds, we have nearly identical outlooks on life. We discussed everything under the sun, only stopping out of sheer exhaustion. 😴

The following day I baked my first batch of muffins using my sourdough starter. I like to pick up a new project or skill every hurricane season. It helps break up the monotony of being “stuck” somewhere for months. Last hurricane season, I got my Captain’s license; this season, I’m learning how to bake sourdough. I started cultivating my starter a couple of weeks ago, and it began doubling and falling last week, indicating that it is ready to bake with! So, I made some sourdough banana walnut muffins using honey, olive oil, local cinnamon, and those teeny tiny ultra-sweet bananas. 🍌

They turned out perfect! We ate the entire batch in 2 days. 😍 Baking a loaf of bread still seems intimidating… but we’ll see what next week brings! 

We left the dock Saturday afternoon. We had planned to anchor nearby but decided to sail back to St. George’s instead. We hoisted the sails and shut off the engines. With steady wind and following seas, we had a beautiful trip!

Nick and Megan were smiling ear to ear the entire time. It was a good reminder for them of what all the boat-buying shenanigans are for!

We picked up a mooring ball and immediately jumped off the stern. The water was calm and crystal clear. We blew up our floaties and relaxed for a while before having dinner in the cockpit and watching a movie. 

I’m not sure what the plan is for today, but there has been talk of a quest to find some tacos… 🤔

I hope you had a great week! ❤️

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