Saturday, December 17, 2016

Neck Deep In Refrigeration

We had hoped to be done with the major refrigerator and freezer remodel by now...but we remain a construction zone aboard Astarte. We started in late November and now it is mid December. Many businesses in New Zealand start to shut down this week for the Christmas holiday. The company doing the work for us closes on Wednesday and we are not sure about the actual refrigeration man's scheduled shutdown. So the big question is: Will we be spending the two weeks Christmas/New Year holidays anchored in the Bay of Islands eating out of tins? We remain hopeful but less optimistic than at the start of the project.

So why the delay? We had to have a new “box” constructed when the old one couldn't be removed from the hole. We opted for a stainless one that we were told would be faster than building a fiberglass one. So we went that route and had someone contracted. After several weeks, hours and hours of conversation, design time, drawings, mock-ups built etc., the stainless guy decided he wouldn't build the lid. Now what good is a refrigerator box without a lid? If he had told us up front, we could have rethought the stainless tank...but no, he waited until well into the project and after a whole lot of hours spent working on the project thinking it would be a stainless lid. Now everything had to change.

This will be a very expensive lid. We have paid for all the time planning and designing the stainless lid and now, more time on planning and designing a fiberglass lid and lip. More construction time and not the box we had envisioned. Plus, we are now well into three weeks which is certainly adding to the cost of the project.

The good news is that the work done so far looks great. The box will be much better insulated than the previous one as we have lots more insulation than was previously in the hole. Michael had done as much work himself as he can, leaving the finish work to the pros.

We like the new counter tops we picked out and the sinks are all shined up and a new faucet installed. Now we wait and hope it will be completed before everything shuts down.

The marina is emptying out as everyone heads out to spend the holidays at anchor in some pretty spot. We hope we can join them, and most likely will, but it may be more of a “camping” trip than a more typical holiday time aboard Astarte. You certainly realize how much you depend on your refrigerator and freezer when out at anchor. We can't plan yet on provisioning not knowing if we will have a fridge or not. Do we buy all canned food and pastas or can we splurge and load up on meat because we'll have a way to freeze it?

The good news is that the water in New Zealand is very chilly so at least we can put a bottle of bubbly in a sack and toss it overboard and it will chill so we can toast in the New Year.

More when we know more!

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