December 2011 - Grenada

1 December 2011   Mount Hartman Bay, Grenada
I continued to bleed refrigerant out of the system.  I found a guide on the Internet about how to recharge a small Danfoss fridge – it says that the low side pressure should be 3-7 psi when the fridge is cold. By the end of last night I’d managed to get the pressure down to 30 psi, so I still had a long way to go.  It’s a bit tedious because I don’t want to let too much and have to start again, but on the positive side at least I’m learning more about how the system works. 

We went for a dive, on the west side of the entrance into Mount Hartman, but it was far too shallow, murky and mostly sand with a few rocks - nothing much to see.  We had a look at the east side of the harbour entrance which looks more promising.  A local boat was fishing there and couldn’t get their anchor up, so I snorkelled down to 10 metres and freed it from the rock & coral for them.

We chilled out in the afternoon, interrupted by my 15 minutes cycles venting refrigerant from the system.  I read a book  on boat refrigeration, which I borrowed from  Ken on “Silver Heels 3”.

Jeff and Pam from “Foggy Mountain” came for sun-downers.

2 December 2011   Mount Hartman Bay, Grenada
I another day venting refrigerant from the damn fridge.  I had it down to 25 psi in the morning, but it was still at 18 psi before I went to bed.  It’s frustrating, but “Slowly, Slowly Catchee Monkey”. 

I filled our dive tanks and we went for a dive on the east side of the harbour entrance.  The wind was quite strong with 2 foot waves as we tied onto a green navigation buoy about 50m upwind of a breaking reef.  The dive site was good, but only 12 metres deep – there’s lots of rock and reef formations.  We saw quite a few lobster and caught two - 3lb and 1 lb.

Revenge of the Lobster

When we arrived back at the surface, the wind and waves had picked up as a squall approached.  We climbed into the dinghy and sat in the pouring rain for five minutes until I decided that we might as well slowly head back.  I started the engine, jumped into the 2-3 foot waves and untied us from the buoy.  When I climbed back on board, I discovered that the outboard had stopped.  By this time we were being quickly blown back onto the breaking reef behind us. Don’t panic Mr Mannering!

Glenys frantically threw the anchor over board while I tried to start the engine.  The engine wouldn’t start and the anchor didn’t seem to be holding, so I dived overboard and swam down to jam the anchor beneath a rock.  We stopped only ten metres from the breaking reef – phew!

I fiddled with the outboard and managed to get it going a couple of times, but then it would stall after 20 seconds.  We dug out the paddles, but we were not able to row to windward against the 25 knot wind.  It was a pretty hopeless position.  The weather was miserable, so I was unlikely that any one would be passing within hailing distance for hours.  We sat and sulked for 5 minutes.

I continued fiddling with the engine and then magically it started and continued to run.  We dragged up the anchor and bolted back to the boat to recover.

After lunch, Glenys cooked the lobsters while I looked at the outboard.  I couldn’t see anything major wrong, so I guess that we had water on the electrical system – I sprayed the electrics with WD40 and I hope that the engine will be OK.

The lobster tasted great with a nice, chilled bottle of red wine.

3 December 2011   Mount Hartman Bay, Grenada
I carried on venting the fridge.  Just before lunch, I decided that it was good enough when the pressure came down to 10 psi rather than 3-7 psi on the basis that I’ve got a leak, so it will self-vent over time.  I ordered a set of refrigerant charging gauges from the UK - they will be delivered to Brett who can bring them out with him in a few weeks’ time.

Glenys made a marvellous Lobster Bisque for lunch.  I did a few small jobs in the afternoon including going up the mast to change the anchor light bulb for an LED lamp that uses a tenth of the power.  I went for a run in the dinghy and the outboard seems to be behaving itself.

We had lobster curry and rice for dinner.

Approaching Hog Island Anchorage

4 December 2011   Mount Hartman Bay to Hog Island, Grenada
We went to a boat jumble in Secret Harbour Marina.  Amazingly, we got rid of a few things and didn’t buy anything else – this is the first time that Glenys hasn’t been tempted to buy more stuff than she sells...

The outboard kept cutting out on the way back, so I cleaned the fuel filter and hopefully that will sort out the problem.  The last thing that we need is an unreliable outboard motor because it’s almost impossible to row the dinghy even in gentle winds.

After lunch, we motored around to Hog Island and chilled out for the rest of the afternoon.  Around four o’clock, we went to the Roger’s Sunday Barbeque on the beach.  There were a lot of people there, locals, tourists and yachties.  One of the British cruisers was playing blues on an electric guitar, so we had a pleasant time chatting to other cruisers.