Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hello From Winlink

Stuart Florida, N 27 11 44 W 80 15 41

Good news. My ham license finally arrived (KB1NCH). Today is my first attempt to use Winlink (The free email for HAMs only) compared to Sailmail (the $250/year email for anyone who pays the fee.) This is the first

This morning I decided to do a quick double check on the engine after it's first 7.5 hours of use. I checked the fluids, then I checked the pan under the engine. Uh oh. I found a lock washer painted red. The whole Beta engine came painted red so the color was a solid clue that it came from the engine and not something else. A little more searching and I found a nut to match the washer.

It looked like the nut and washer from one of the control cable connections. I opened up the cockpit floor to see below. Sure enough, the nut and washer came from the throttle linkage connection to the cable. It was a tight space in there but within 20 minutes Libby and I had the washer and nut back on and securely tightened.

New things need frequent inspections to guard against infant mortality.

We decided to backtrack to Stuart Florida just because it sounded like fun. The trip up was nice and by 1300 we were in Stuart and riding on one of their moorings. A couple of dolphins swam up as we picked up the mooring. They must be the Stuart welcoming committee.

Soon after I discovered a free WiFi connection. It is not from the marina. I think it must be an unsecured modem in one of the nearby homes. OK by me.

We also lucked out finding a refrigerator technician who could come tomorrow to recharge our fridge with Freon (or some environmentally acceptable alternative). He was the fourth one we tried. All the others were solidly booked a week or more in advance, and we really don't want to hang around a week for any more repairs.

This evening we took a walk around the town. It is very nice. Stuart has one of those touristy downtowns with lots of little shops. My friend June on Albion would love it. Most likely she's been here already. I understand now why Stuart, along with Vero Beach and Marathon, are among the cruiser's favorites.

p.s. With Winlink I can now use the Winlink position reporting system to leave a bread crumb trail on the map. To view my current position, click on Position Report in the Links section in the right column of this blog page. To view the bread crumb trail (only one crumb so far) click on the Track link.

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