After the anchor fiasco, the next couple of days have been relatively uneventful. I have moved my anchoring spot a few times as the current and weather have been a bit tricky to get a good spot set. On Christmas morning, a couple of other boats left and I was able to get a very good spot, closer to the East shore and out of the channel. This is good as it is predicted to blow from the East for the next few days.
The waterfront in West Palm Beach has a huge holiday display and nightly music and light show that plays from about 7pm to 11pm. Probably a lot of fun if you are visiting but it has started to get very repetitive as the same songs play over and over again. Sound carries so well across the water and I am pretty close anyway.
I have done some work on the fuel system as I am determined to find where the source of an air leak might be. I pulled the Racor primary fuel filter out, took it completely apart and cleaned it well. One item I suspected after online searches was that gunk buildup can cause the ball valve to stick and cause fuel delivery problems. I am not sure if this was the cause, but the filter housing and parts were pretty filthy and looked like they had not been cleaned in years. The drain plug was almost impossible to get undone.
After putting the filter back in, I tightened every fuel line connection in the engine room and wiped down all the lines so I could better see if there were still any leaks. I ran the engine a couple of times and noticed that the line above the lift pump had a slight leak. I pulled this connection, carefully re-seated it and also tightened up the clamps around the priming bulb as there was a little fuel there on the line. As of this afternoon, they are all still dry so my fingers are crossed that one or the combination of these things has solved my problem.
One additional project I crossed off my list was installing some 12V power outlets. I installed a cigarette lighter type connection in the aft cabin for my CPAP and installed a combination USB/12V power outlet at the nav desk. This should allow me to recharge phones & laptop as well as any other electronics that need occasional charging.
So, I continue to check off project items as I prepare to head further south in the near future. I need to change oil, re-provision a bit and get some additional miscellaneous equipment for the boat.
On an interesting aside, I have been reading Robinson Crusoe as a Kindle download. One of those books that has been a cultural reference throughout my life but I never actually read it. Crusoe is shipwrecked and learning to survive completely alone. The narrative conveys the range of emotions Crusoe goes through as he deals with extremes of fear for his life and then joy of his miraculous, lone survival, and finally the ongoing determination and effort to marshal the resources and skills needed to continue. While not quite at the same level as in the story, I feel a kinship to Crusoe after many of my own moments of trying to pull things together in adverse conditions. Not bad for a 300 year old book.