Well……..here we are, still at Cape Eleuthera Resort, on the southern end of Eleuthera Island, Bahamas (this is Gordon writing this section of the Blog, since Kim is busy painting her toenails and eating Bon-Bons with Schooner, the Wonder Pup. (Yeah right! Lol.)) Anyway, we are still here!
Yesterday, we found out that there might be a small arc welder here on the island. You might remember from an earlier posting of the Blog, that we lost the use of our generator due to one of the pulleys separating from the electrical-end shaft. If there really is a welder here, we might be able to secure the pulley to the shaft (via the welds) and run the generator between now and when we make it back to the US. This would make our life much easier out here at anchor. Well, we decided to stay an extra night and hope for the best.
This morning, our hopes were rewarded when we learned that there really was a small, “Lincoln” 120v. MIG welder here at the resort. No one here knew how to use it, and no one here knew how to set it up, but there was darn sure a welder here and, after about 20 minutes of cleaning and wiping and reinstalling the various components, I had it running and feeding the fine welding wire through the welding nozzle. (I hope no one here finds out I haven’t used one of these things for about 20 years :-).)
One of the managers helped me get the welder back to the boat on the back of his golf cart and I soon had it below and ready to go. It was like I told the Manager (his name is Daniel,) however, it would take 30 minutes to set up the job, 15 minutes to do the job and 30 minutes to put everything away when the job was done. I wasn’t too far off, as this job was a 30/30/30 minute project.
I finally got the pulleys aligned on the generator and hit the pulley with the first “spot weld.” I realigned the pulley and hit it with a second “spot weld” that was 180º from the first. From here, it was a process of gradually turning the pulley and filling in the spaces in between welds with more “spot welds,” until I had the entire joining surface, between the pulley and shaft, filled with weld. While it’s been 20 years since I’ve used a MIG welder, the welds look O.K. and held up when we test-ran the generator.
Ya’ never know how long a repair like this will last, especially when you’re using a lightweight welder on a shaft that’s not really designed to be welded. But, we know that it will last longer than before it was welded (IT DIDN’T WORK AT ALL) and this repair gives us that much more chance of a successful trip when we have the kids on board next month. The important point here is, the people at Cape Eleuthera Resort really cared how we were doing and went out of there way to help us in our time of need. It’s just one more reason why we love this place and stay here whenever the opportunity presents itself.