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Getting Back Into the Swing Of Things

Posted by on September 14, 2019

Slowly things are coming together for us after the excitement of Dorian passing through. We’ve had some very hot days with no wind and lots of biting bugs just to remind us that it is still summer in the tropics!

As far as projects go we found that we had some rot at the base of our binnacle. For my non-sailing friends our binnacle is a waist high round base in the middle of the cockpit where our steering wheel and compass are attached. As you imagine it is an important working part of the boat. Brian had at first thought that it was just rotten a bit and a small part of it had to be repaired but upon inspection the entire base has to be replaced. Now this is not just a part that you go off to the store and buy so Brian had to work his creativity and fabricate a new one.

Brian checking out the underside to see how the binnacle is attached.

Rotten base

Removing the rotten base from the Binnacle.

Binnacle standing back upright now that Brian has removed all of the rotten wood from it’s base. Waiting for new base to be fabricated.


He took 4 pieces of of 3/8 marine grade plywood, cut, shaped and and epoxied them together to make a new strong base. He is still working on it and now has to figure out how to mount it properly under the binnacle with the helm and cable going through.

Cutting the plywood for the binnacle

Using the water jug as a weight to compress the pieces together

Now time to shape the base


Cutting a round hole for the cables to go through

Final coat of fiberglass then more sanding


Ready to be installed


Another unexpected project came up as well…our dinghy engine. The valve cover rusted through and it was leaking oil like crazy. So much that we were not able to go short distances without refilling it or causing it to overheat and shut down. So back to rowing for us while we waited for engine parts.

Back to old school and having to row our dinghy while we wait for engine parts!


On a happy note we have a new oven on board….a solar oven and it is so cool! In all of the years that we have been on the boat we have never had an oven. We’ve only had it for a few days but I have to say that it is amazing! My bread making skills are not quite as amazing but I can work on that. So far we’ve made a couple of breakfasts of potatoes and eggs, bread (that did not rise that great but tasted OK), eggplant Parmesan (was awesome), a spanish rice and black bean bake (was great) and we also made some apple and rum bread pudding (this was really good. We used what was left over from the first loaf of bread). So far we are really liking the oven. It is awesome to cook without heating the boat up. We’ll have more pics and info with our next post.

Trucking our solar oven down the sidewalk from the post office.

Solar Oven coming home…down the dock it’s getting loaded up…look at those big muscles my man has!

Solar Oven coming home, nice dock too…Moon is in the background in the harbor.

One of the locals watching us as we go by

Opening the box with the Solar Oven…it was like Christmas!

Solar Oven right out of box

First meal cooked in solar oven. It was eggs, onions, left over pan fried squash, topped with cheese in one pan and potatoes and onions in the other.

Our first meal cooked in our solar oven. Potatoes and eggs for breakfast. (Toast was made o my stove top) I agree that it could look prettier but it tasted good!

First loaf of solar oven bread


As always we try to have some fun in where we can and before our engine went out we were able to go Carlos Rosario Beach on the NW side of Culebra where we had an amazing day snorkeling in the crystal blue sea. This is one of our favorite places to snorkel in Culebra as you can see it is beautiful!

Some of the corals off of Carlos Rosario Beach

Brian exploring Carlos Rosario

Pretty purple coral fan

Lots of blue tangs!

Dinghy ride back from Carlos Rosario

Hector The Protector protecting Culebra


We spent a few days in the main harbor of town waiting on the dinghy engine parts that thankfully did arrive…yea! Now we are back at Dakity Reef where Brian is going to work on the engine, the binnacle and anything else that inevitably will pop up that needs to be worked on. Always something on a boat!

Sunset at Dakity

Sunset at Dakity looking towards Vieques, PR


Until next time, take care all….


Jennifer and Brian


4 Responses to Getting Back Into the Swing Of Things

  1. Claudia J Robinson

    Congrats on the solar oven! Sorry about all the repairs,Brian’s doing a great fix it job as usual. Loved the snorkeling pics, especially the fan coral.

    • admin

      Thanks we love the solar oven too!! Been using it lots and more pics to follow..take care!

  2. Bc

    Going to miss y’all, but it’s great seeing you guys do what you love. Tell B great job, like always he nailed it. Can’t wait to see you guys again. Wishing you guys only the best. Safe sailing my friends. Love y’all.

    • admin

      Thank you BC! We miss seeing you and all of our friends when we are away! Love seeing your posts on FB! Take care.

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