As of Wednesday afternoon, WE HAVE HEAT! Hooray! The sun has contributed, AND the Kabola is working after much investigation and tinkering–Walt thinks that corrosion of a wire or a loose connector caused the failure of the system. Whatever the explanation (he plans to look further), we are both very glad to have warm cabins once again!
Under two comforters, Walt and I finally thawed out during Tuesday night after a rather too cool afternoon and evening and lots of hot tea. The smoke detectors remained quiet as well–we DID consider their alarming us about carbon monoxide and not simply smoke (which they are designed to do), but their patterns of beeping were not signalling CO danger, and the propane stove was turned off. At least we woke up alive on Wednesday morning!
Walt phoned US Customs regarding our return to the States (we received clearance thanks to our NEXIS “trusted traveler” cards and didn’t have to report to a Customs dock for inspection), and we were just about to leave the dock in Port Browning when the Kabola expert called, and he and Walt went through another round of heating system diagnostics, with no success. The skies were filled with unhappy-looking clouds, but it wasn’t raining when we untied Braesail at about 11 am and headed for Anacortes, where we hoped that the heater problem could be solved. We bundled up in sweaters and sweatshirts and our foul-weather jackets and sipped hot tea from large insulated mugs to ward off the chill. We had some following winds and seas and some assistance from a current as we traveled east, and were passed by two huge tankers along the way. Skies began to clear and streaks of blue began to appear to the west and north as we motored, and we hoped that the sun might make an appearance in our vicinity at some point.
Walt’s phone rang when we’d been at sea for about half an hour, and it was the “Kabola Man” making some further diagnostic suggestions, which Walt decided to implement once we were out of the wind, attached to a mooring buoy, and without the engine noise that would keep him from hearing heater/blower sounds as he worked below decks. We decided to stop at noon in Fossil Bay on Sucia Island, have lunch, and see about the Kabola, and as we headed toward one of a number of anchoring balls in the bay, the clouds dispersed and buckets of sunlight poured into the cockpit! I managed to snag the buoy with our boat hook and push a bow line through the ring at its top, but I had thought that I would be performing the process on the port side of the bow, and so had the line arranged there. The floating sphere instead came around the bow onto the starboard side, where Walt had planned for it to be, given wind conditions, and the bow line became tangled as I tried to move it starboard around the bow pulpit. Walt managed to unmess my mess, fortunately, and we were soon attached to the ball, I was in the galley making sandwiches, and Walt was back at solving the Kabola conundrum. After lunch, I soaked up the sunshine in the cockpit, appreciated the endless wonder of the astonishing “honeycomb rocks” lining the shores of the bay,
and did some blog post writing and publishing while Walt worked below. Was I ever overjoyed to hear him exclaim cry out that the heater was actually WORKING once more and the saloon and other cabins were warming up at last!! Hallelujah!
Once Braesail and its crew were comfortable, naps were taken and reading and writing projects were pursued until “happy hour” brought chips, salsa, sparkling peach juice, and dried cranberries. Later on, Walt thought that he saw an otter perched on Coracle’s side when he ascended into the cockpit to zip up the side curtains for the night–I wish I’d seen it! He made burritos for supper, after which we returned to our work (I nearly finished this blog) until it was time for MORE tea and cookies and preparations for a lovely, WARM night and the giving of thanks for the blessings of a functioning heating system and a brisk, beautiful, nearly cloudless afternoon in a remarkable place!