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What in the world have I gotten myself into?

I arrrived in Sturgeon Bay Tuesday afternoon to do some provisioning and prepare the magnificent Steel Magnolia for her trip south to her rightful home. My first night aboard the new ship was nothing if not eventful.

My first discovery was that the shore power system on the boat is woefully inadequate. To make a complex story simple, there is not enough shore power to run even the simplest of onboard systems. The result is that if you turn on more than one of the air conditioner/heater systems, the breakers trip. You can’t have heat and also charge the batteries. If you want hot water, you have to turn off the heat and the battery charger. If you want coffee, you can’t have heat, etc. etc. Finally, to get a good night’s sleep, I just ran the onboard generator which allows everything to work.

I thought the hot water system was not working at all so I couldn’t shower last night or this morning. I figured this because I kept running the kitchen sink with the lever all the way to the left. Finally, I discovered today that there was hot water everywhere else and I just thought the kitchen plumbing had two cold water lines to it. Later, I found that the kitchen is hooked up backwards so hot is to the right and cold is to the left. 

Then there are the toilets which don’t flush correctly because they are the wrong type of toilets to be mounted below the water line. The only toilet useful for serious business is the powder room off the galley.

And then there’s the issue of space. I admit that I’m spoiled rotten from used to my 72’ boat with a 21.5 foot beam, but there is nowhere to put anything on this boat. The only way to access the closet and drawers in the master stateroom is to crawl across the bed. All of the kitchen cabinets are full and I still have five unopened boxes of “stuff” to put somewhere.

On top of all this, I have a cold and the weather up here is unreal. It’s been snowing lightly this evening and there are gale-force winds. It doesn’t look like we can leave until at least Saturday afternoon and then Sunday another front is coming in. I feel like crying.

So finally this afternoon, I decided to take charge of the situation and went to a local liquor store. They had no French Burgundy so I settled for a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon (101 proof). I brought that back to the boat with it’s one heater working and fortified myself for the remainder of this experience. Suitably relaxed, I then headed out in search of a warm pub where I dined on a grilled chicken sandwich and a glass of chardonnay. Now that things are under control, I’m feeling much better.

The boatyard has done some of the work I requested. I’ll spend the next two days trying to beat them into submission and buying provisions. I hope to get away Saturday, weather permitting. I was looking for a project when I bought this boat, so I guess I got what I was looking for. Right this minute, I’d rather be dog sledding, but I’m sure things will get better. I’ll keep you posted. 


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