About Us

Welcome to our blog, describing our voyage aboard Bravo, a Kelly Peterson 46 sailboat with homeport in Seattle, Washington. We headed south in 2010, destined for Mexico and beyond. Cheers, Adam and Cindi

"As for me, I am tormented by an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts." -Herman Melville, 1844

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Adios, Puntarenas

Well, the past 2-1/2 weeks have indeed been a marathon of boat projects.  Remember that refrigeration hassle???   We never heard back from literally the one source of parts for the system in THE WORLD, who's now traveling in Portugal.  After waiting for several days, we decided to vacuum out the brand new R22 refrigerant we'd just put in, and order and replace with the original refrigerant, HFC 404a.  Didn't know if it would help, but we thought at least it would have us back to factory spec, so that we could decide whether or not to replace the entire system.  (Even though an ex-factory tech told us that the R22 would work fine as a replacement)  Several days had been spent speculating, deliberating, and navel gazing across 3 continents.  You ask 10 techs what the problem is, and it's a guarantee you'll get at least 11 opinions!!!

Refer unit icing up at the suction valve.....not good!!!
Turned out that this new refrigerant did the trick!!!  Our original thought, that the system was just low on refrigerant, was spot on.  Put back the specified amount of the specified gas, and bingo, bango, the system is running as well as the day it was installed.....no icing up, no 3 hour run times to cool the plates.....life is good, as I sip a coldie this evening!!!  It had been low on refrigerant to begin with, and adding the wrong stuff was not the answer!!!

It's now time for us to leave Puntarenas.  Kind of a strange place, really, with it's gritty fishing port atmosphere interspersed with a fairly minor recreational boat population.  Great spot to get boat work done, though.  With the large commercial fishing fleet, it's easy to find parts and technicians to help with mechanical systems and equipment.  (Don't look for a sailmaker here, though!!)  While here we fixed the refrigeration, welded our exhaust system, replaced the hoses on our propane system, and (hopefully) fixed the controls on a finicky diesel generator.  Not bad.  The people at the Costa Rica Yacht Club have been a terrific help, lending assistance whenever possible to make our stay here as pleasant as possible.  Tomorrow we'll be on our way, continuing south to explore more of this interesting country.

Typical chemical barge passing by our mooring in the estuary.....These guys run day and night.
The biggest outboard motors in the world, with their fuel tank sitting between them!

No comments:

Post a Comment