21 February 2022 – Tie up loose ends
This winter was noticeably colder, wetter and windier than last winter. One night our Spreco Silentwind Generator suffered some damage when a rope was caught in the blades.
The generator and blades are 11 years old, so it needed a tune-up anyway. I had to get replacement blades (carbon fibre, balanced and matched) from the USA – together with a replacement nose cone, which inexplicably blew away in the storm. I took the machine apart and replaced the rotor bearings myself, and then thoroughly cleaned the commutator and brushes.
On the recommendation of our taxi friend Ahmet, we took the body of the generator in to get it painted by an automotive painter, and then afterwards had some custom vinyl letters made to show a Canadian flag. The Spreco decals were totally cleaned off with the painting process anyway, but the generator paint job was supreme.
Diane and I reinstalled the wind generator and it is now fit for service.
One day, I realized that although we are plugged into a 32A shore power pedestal on the dock, with most of the cable and switches designed for a maximum of 16A – one critical plug (from NZ) was actually limited to only 10A.
During the winter time, we regularly pull 10-14A from the shore power plug to heat the boat, make hot water and cook. So, I decided to get rid of the NZ plug, and replace the connectors, box and breakers with safer 16A rated connections AND a digital meter (to monitor the KWhr consumption as well).
In the winter time, the wave surge coming into the marina can make it occasionally unpleasant, not unlike all marinas in the Mediterranean Sea. I have to say that this problem in Alanya Marina is trivial compared to some other marinas we’ve looked at, but even with floating docks – the boats can move around a fair bit. Most people use a SS “spring” attached to their stern dock lines, and although we did not use them last winter – we decided to make this modest purchase ($100CDN each) and make use of them this winter. The stern lines are getting old (maybe stretched to their limit), and creak and groan a lot, so the addition of the springs quiets the noise and the movement.
We have had a puzzling problem with our BBQ since we arrived in Turkey. It is getting harder and harder to have our North American fibreglass BBQ tank refilled. Many countries have insisted that we use a tank that has passed their national standards (Australia and NZ are two recent examples) but that can make connecting to the BBQ a challenge. However, here in Turkey, the tanks and valve fittings are very different to the North American standard. So, I simply bought a Turkish tank and valve, and connected my hose to it.
It took me a long time (nearly 1.5 years) but I finally clued in that what I had was one valve AND REGULATOR, effectively putting two regulators in series. The Weber cast aluminum BBQ has its own regulator and not only doesn’t need a second regulator at the tank – but the flame and heat output was greatly diminished by it. Once we realized the problem (by looking at another foreign cruiser’s tank and valve), we easily corrected it by buying a different valve, one that did not include a second regulator.
I finally corrected an error in design of my 12V house bank battery system. I realized a few months ago that standards call for a fuse to protect the battery bank from high current shorts that can ultimately lead to fire. I installed a 225A Blue Sea System Class T fuse, like this one.
The battery bank BMS currently limits charging and discharging current to 150A, so a 225A fuse seemed appropriately sized. I could, if necessary, replace the fuse with an larger one in future.
Now for some plumbing work! We have a very good water filter, situated at the galley sink – Seagull. This system (filer, housing and facet) is made by General Ecology and is quite pricey at nearly $1,000 CDN to replace. The Seagull uses ultra fine micro straining and physically removes disease bacteria, pathogenic cysts like Giardia, Cryptosporidia, and other specific parasites and debris down to 0.1 microns (0.4 absolute). Removing the pathogens also removes the disease toxins they contain and is far more superior to “poisoning” organisms with pesticides and allowing the pathogen residue, toxins and pesticides to remain in the water to be consumed.The problem is that our facet has been dripping for over a year, and there are “no replacement parts” on the market. I figured there must be some ceramic washer or part inside that needs changing, but these parts are not sold, and there is no discernible way to take it apart for service anyway. So, a replacement is necessary. However, I do recall that I originally bought this equipment from Defender, a US chandlery in Rhode Island – so I was certain that the threads are US standard National Pipe Thread (NPT). Why is this important? This system is sold around the world, and although US, Canada and Mexico use NPT threads, the rest of the world uses BSP plumbing connections. I have learned, since leaving Canada, that NPT and BSP threads are not compatible due to the differences in their thread forms, and not just the fact that most sizes have a different pitch. Therefore, since I was certain that the pipe threads were NPT, I was confident and ordered a replacement facet, which cost about $300CDN, delivered and taxed (18%) to Turkey. Thankfully it fit and this job is done.
About every two months, we’re getting a social function in the marina, and things are gradually returning to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this Valentines Day function, the Tennis Club hosted a small gathering of about 20 live-aboard cruisers for hamburgers and avocado salad. It is pleasant to once again be able to socialize with cruisers of other nationalities.
I’ve been biking and walking a lot, as it is now 11 weeks post surgery, and my knee recovery is going very well. I have most of my mobility back, and am walking/biking without pain. Here, I am out for my daily walk, and a banana plantation worker has just offered me a fresh banana!
We are next headed “back to Cairo Egypt” for what I called “unfinished business”. When we passed through the Red Sea in March/April of 2020, our intention was to stop for a month and visit the sites in Egypt. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic struck and these easily reachable site were then off limits. So, we spent three months in Egypt but really didn’t see any antiquities. Therefore, we decided that the pandemic has eased enough to fly back and give this another try. My next post will focus on what we saw in Egypt, 23 February to 3 March.