Books, Charts and Radio

Our old VHF radio works fine.  It is an ICOM M502.  The previous owner I guess installed it or had it installed with the remote microphone connection in the cockpit.  The microphone, however, was well sun-dried, rather like a raisin.

The cable and case which appear to have once been white were that dull yellow color the sun cooks plastic to when the stuff sits in the sun too long.  The cord, which was once the cool, curley-Q design was stretched out and pieces of the cover were disintegrating.

Pieces of it liter the sole of the boat and the cockpit floor every time I connect it.  It was well past due for replacement.

I had counted the pins on the mic connector before I departed the boat for Colorado last month and stopped in the local ham shop and found a cable I could attach by using the old connector and mic body.  Picked the surplus cable up for a couple of dollars.

Unfortunately, I’m really having issues with my close in vision for doing soldering and stuff like that, so I considered perhaps I could get a replacement mic already to go.  Sure enough, I did some searching and found a black one, a white one and a few extra items I don’t need, so I ordered it.  Cost 100 dollars, free shipping.  Not bad I guess.

It will be here next Tuesday.  I can use that now.  I’ve packed the old microphone and new cable into a plastic bag and stowed it under the nav station seat for after my eye surgery so I’ll have a spare again if needed.

Our plan is starting to flesh out.  We are going, at this point, down the ICW a ways.  We will decide about whether we will sail out and back in to the Bahamas, or go all the way to Florida on the ICW later.  We, as usual, will have several plans and back up plans in case something goes wrong.

With all that in mind, today I ordered the rest of the Explorer charts for the Bahamas.  We already have the last edition for the Near Bahamas, including Marsh Harbor and Abacos.  So, I ordered 2 more chart books, a full chart of the Bahamas for planning and a copy of the chart for Abacos Sea, which I promptly found a copy thereof after ordering.  Oh well, spare.

We’re looking over some cruiser guides as well, but I placed an order for the Waterway Guide for the Bahamas.  Might not get any others, but at least we will have that one.  We will decide on other books if necessary once that one arrives.  We have most of the Waterway guides already, and they have been decent for the ICW, helpful.  There are things lacking occasionally which I find in other books.

The biggest issue with books is we have no real room in which to store them.  I’ve got to empty out a couple of lockers under the seats, consolidate things, and make some more room for stuff we truly need to keep.  At this point I have SOME room in the forward head, which doesn’t work.  I’m about to rip out the toilet in there and put in a working, manual pumping head without the holding tank.  I hate the way the system is here on the boat, without a way to empty the tanks overboard in the ocean without climbing into a rather precarious position on the fore-deck.  That tank has to go.  It takes up a lot of space anyway, a place I can store… say books. Or Food.  Or chain.  Or an anchor.  Anything but poop.

So, new books, new charts, new microphone, and in a few days, new lenses for my eyes.

Then I can actually read the charts and books.

And the microphone display.

And see the little ants better.

(We have little tiny ants aboard.  I’m hunting for them now, I think I know where they are coming from, so I will find them. And kill them. And their mommy too….)

5 thoughts on “Books, Charts and Radio

  1. Rick, I love it, same stuff we’re working on with regard to the heads but we don’t live in her yet. I’ve had to get a new water pump, engine start panel and sail cover, this week alone. We live three hours from the boat, so it’s a matter of remembering what I need. We have an HF Imcom with modem on board, but have not learned to use it yet, but I have our call sign. I can’t wait to get rid of holding tanks and put in an airhead style toilet

    • I would suggest a couple of things here. First off, make a listing of things AS YOU FIND THEM, don’t wait, but keep a notebook handy and write down notes, go through the notes later and make a list from your notes. The next thing to do is to organize that list into “Need to do before launch” and “things that can wait”. Of those that you should do before launch, those things that will sink the boat are most important. ANY thing else that can cause a danger, start a fire, make things fall, things fall out if inverted (whether temporarily or under bad conditions) should be fixed right away.

      The second thing is organizing your work. I am terrible at organizing most of the time. I use a program on my tablet called a “Mind Map”. I start with the base problem “The Boat” or whatever, then I made several categories, labeling them as “critical”, “high”, “Medium” and “Low” priorities. Critical is something we need right away, usually safety issues like leaks (to us, leaks are dangerous and annoying and sometimes annoying is worse than dangerous because they can turn dangerous or make you tired and then you become dangerous yourself). Water dripping into the bed falls in that category. Otherwise it is just a pain.

      I use mind mapping because I can move the stuff around on the page, connect it from a low to higher priority or move it down, etc.

      Air Head and Natures Head were our choice. They won’t fit on our boat though. Went with the C-Head. And even it won’t fit in the forward area. We’ll work something out soon enough.

      HF radio is my favorite for a lot of things, but I’m a ham radio operator too/first. I CAN set up to run email via Airmail and the ham radio, but haven’t really tested it aboard the boat yet. There hasn’t been a need to do so yet. I’ll test it going south though, so we can be sure.

      That’s all for now.

    • Rick, this is great, thank you for the detailed reply, I think you’re totally right. I’d like your permission to copy and paste this reply into a blog, as this is great info I’d like to share-


    • Absolutely 🙂 Please do. I’m sure there’s other, even better advice out there. I’m just going from what I’ve learned the hard way.

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