Friday, June 29, 2012

The float switch saga

Although I am not feeling 100% OK I am getting antsy about getting out of Horta and on to Ireland.  I have a couple of repairs that I want to accomplish before I leave.  Top of the priority list was to replace the float switch for the "everyday" bilge pump.  (There is also a high level bilge pump and switch that is working fine.) I pumped out the last of the water in the bilge, took out the switch and headed for the marine parts store.  They didn't have a float switch, but they did have a switch and pump combo pack for 85 euro.  (Food and booze here is cheap, boat parts, not so much.)  I then spent a couple of hours hitting every story within walking distance that might have a switch.  No luck.

While out I stopped by a drug store to purchase vitamins.  I hoped that they would help me knock down the last of what ails me as I had run out while on transit from Bermuda.  I guess not only boat parts but US drugs  don't come cheap - a 100 pill pack of Centrum 50 + vitamins was 36 euros.  Wow!  I swallowed hard and paid the nice lady.

As I continued my walk I headed North from the marina.  Most of my previous ventures had been to the South.  I found the shopping district.  There is a beautiful square with a bandstand, an open air fruit market, butcher shops, and a large number of primarily women's clothing stores.  I didn't have the camera but I will take it tomorrow when I go food shopping.

I walked back to Reboot past the marine store but just could not bring myself to spend 85 euros.  When I got back I dumped the float switch in a bucket of soapy water and cleaned it up.  In the process I discovered that the switch actually had two parts that snapped together.  After cleaning up the switch and putting it back together I hooked up the multimeter.  Eureka!  It worked!  85 euros saved.

As an aside the refrigerator is working again.  It seems that the holders for the fuses are loose.  Perhaps I can get it to work more consistently before I put perishable items in it for my trip to Ireland..

I spent this evening in a local bistro talking to a couple from Connecticut.  They are part of a family group of 14  whose parents immigrated to the US from the Azores in 1958 when the volcano erupted.  With the exception of the parents none of them have ever been here.  What great fun.

Fair winds and following seas.

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