Day 131, Year 5: Just Unbelievable
Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010
Weather: Hot and Hazey
Location: Bolgatty Hotel Anchorage, Cochin (Kochi), India

4 pm–I am being held prisoner in my own boat. Right now I am standing in the forward head, jammed in with about 90 rolls of toilet paper, 20 kilos of onions, and crates filled with rice, crackers, etc., etc. The two refrigeration repair men, Nazar and Rafik, have been here all day again today and every time they think they have found the problem, they find another one. It is late afternoon and we had all waited expectantly for an hour while they vacuumed out the system. They then filled the system with refrigerant gas and we waited to see the freezer starting to chill. Not. Now they think a valve on the cold plate is the problem. That will cost another $65 for the valve and who knows how much we are paying for labor. I had to escape to the bathroom because they were going to start releasing refrigerant gas from the system and I was sitting in the line of fire. This is the second time today and probably the fifth time this week the system has been vacuumed while we wait and wait, only to find that the leak just fixed is not the only culprit. And all of these leaks are in fittings they have applied. I know these guys are sick of working on this system and Mark is really tired of standing, watching, and waiting. And just now I am told that they have to go to shore to buy a part. At best it will 6:30 pm before the part can be installed, the system vacuumed AGAIN, and then filled with refrigerant gas in order to see if it is working.

7 pm-Now I am sequestered in the aft cabin. The work continues, but now that everything has been checked we are told that the new compressor is not working. Let’s see, we paid $600 for the compressor, $150 in shipping fees, in excess of $125 in Customs fees, and have wasted untold days trying to get the compressor from Customs in Chennai and seven full days of having people working on the boat since we arrived here. And we have no idea how much that is going to cost. But, it is not working and that is that. It was working yesterday, so we can only believe that they have done something to cause the problem. But as a last resort, we had them try the old compressor, but they say it is not holding pressure either. It is just too much. I have never seen Mark so upset and there is absolutely nothing we can do about this. I know a lot people sail without a freezer and many without a refrigerator, but this is just not our style. It is going to be a very, very, very, very long fifteen months until we get home. We don’t think there is anything we can do about this fiasco, so we will just have to move beyond it somehow.

The good thing about today is that Lynne returned safely from her trip to visit with her mother in Florida. Ed, Lynne, and I made a quick trip to the supermarket this afternoon to do a little provisioning, but we didn’t get much of a chance to talk. We thought we would do that this evening over dinner, but that was not meant to be. I don’t think I’m ever going to get that artichoke pizza.

We did put our woes behind us long enough to talk to Heather, Jed, Sam, and Jonah on Skype. The video worked great and we got to see Jonah crawling and pulling up. And we got one great big smile. Sam wanted to read a book with us tonight, so we read Animalia by Graeme Base. We have a copy of the book and Sam has one as well, so we could read together. He then decided that he had to get the whole family to hide in the closet and we got a couple of good Skype photos of the Goldstone clan in the closet. We missed talking with Justin, Jo, and Ziggy again this morning, but we did talk with Justin and will talk to them on our Monday morning, their Sunday evening. We are really going to miss being able to see our grand babies via Skype. That, too, is going to make this a very long cruising season.

100306 Day 131 Sam and Jonah Skype Call