In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

by sarah hair Email

Well, North Myrtle Beach, actually.

We got off the ground around 3:00 am and went all the way to the dock and crashed. Exhaustion had set in by then, since I waited on deck with a book until we came free, which was from about 8:00 pm until 3:00 am.

We actually worked on the boat today and sent John up the mast. I had to grind the screws off the old mast head light fitting while he dangled up there, but he did some other things like removing the forestay and replacing a pin.

Unfortunately, our fancy dancy mast head light which is approved by the coast guard and everything arrived with a big problem. It interferes with our vhf radio so badly that we can use only one or the other. A navigational disaster when you think about it. Do you want people to see you? Or do you want to hear them coming? Choose wisely. You only get one shot.

At our request the manufacturer kindly replaced the defective unit rather than recalling them, but before we installed the newest new one, the defective new one which we have not even had for a year burned out and shorted to the mast. The housing is actually designed to ground to the mast, which seemed not-so-good to me, but we had to replace it anyway, so today was the day.

Good news was that John had to go up the mast to replace it and while there he found out that a key piece of hardware was completely split through leaving the forestay on a tiny shred of mangled and compromised steel with a large fissure. It could have snapped at any moment and sent the mast crashing down around us all, so finding it is a good thing.

This piece appears home made and the stainless steel was bent and cut without being ground down. The edges are rough, so it is no wonder it had so many points of failure. The amazing part is that we had the mast down a year ago (almost) and we hired a professional rigger to go over it with us, but none of us noticed the failure in this piece. Even without the cracks and breaks, the design itself should have set off alarms in us all.

In other news, there is a swimming pool here! As soon as we finished our lunch of home made baked beans, veggie hot dogs, and mashed potatoes, we headed for the pool and soaked it up!

e might go out for a walk and see the area. For now, we have seen the marina and will be waiting to replace this part...

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