20 May 2016

Although we had a fabulous getaway for a few days with Renee and Dave on S/V Alegria in Maho and Leinster bays on the north side of St. John, we decided to return to St. Thomas because the refrigerator still refused to cool down below 52 degrees (F), not cold enough to keep food safe for consumption (or keep beer cold).

We said “see you later” to Alegria remaining hopeful that we would see them again before too long with a working ‘fridge and an opportunity to move through the BVI and then south through the Leeward Islands as summer and hurricane season are still looming.

Without going through all of the laborious details of our further trouble shooting, head scratching and calls for additional technical support in the states, I traveled out to the Home Depot store and back on the Safari bus on Thursday, purchasing a sheet of 1” Styrofoam that Carrie and I cut to size and taped it to the bottom and sides of the refrigerator box with some special insulation tape that our friend Jaime pulled out of her magic bag.

While we were hopeful this would do the job we also placed an order for a new Condenser and Evaporator set.  We actually had the unit sitting on a Customer Service Rep’s desk asking that she hold it for a day while we let our unit try to reach a suitable temperature.  With the temperature probe in the far corner of the box we hoped to have it read around 40 degrees F and let the system cycle on and off as needed to maintain that temperature range.

Then we started the unit up to cool down the empty insulated refrigerator box while cooling the contents separately on ice. It appeared to be working as we watched the temperature fall throughout the afternoon! We successfully reached the long awaited 40 degree mark at about 8 PM and dialed the thermostat back to see if the system could maintain this temperature through the night.  Between 11:30PM and 2AM I sat with our recovering refrigerator and my book, observing the system successfully cycle on and off and maintain the temp between 39.4 and 41.7 degrees.  I patted the Refrigerator lid with a smile and crawled back in bed for a few hours more sleep.  At last!

In the morning I shared the good news with Carrie, and after a High Five, a quick trip to the grocery store and a quick “Goodbye” to our friends Jaime and Keith on Kookaburra, we dropped our mooring lines and headed out East Gregory Channel and east along the south coast of St. Thomas.  It was an upwind motoring trip with our Main sail reefed for stability, but the winds and seas were still fairly light with the sun just starting to warm up the island.  As we passed through Current Cut into Pillsbury Sound between St. Thomas and St. John we turned more to the northeast and set our Headsail, then turned further north of east when we cleared the USVI and shut off the motor for a beautiful sail to Jost van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Along the way we got a cell phone call from Dave on Alegria.  They were at the Baths on Virgin Gorda Island and saw online from Jaime that we were underway and headed east.  We’ve arranged to meet in Cane Garden Bay on the north side of Tortola tomorrow for a day or two before we go our separate routes.  They’re heading back to Puerto Rico for the summer and we’re on to Grenada.

I have had to peek at the temperature every so often to reassure myself things are still working, but we cleared in to the BVI just before noon and enjoyed a lunch onboard with COLD DRINKS!  Woo Hoo!!  We secured to a mooring in Great Harbour and are looking forward to some dancing at Foxy’s Beach Bar and Restaurant this evening.

Oh, by the way today is our 10th Wedding Anniversary, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 10 amazing years of living and cruising with my best friend, lover and Cruising Buddy.  I love you Carrie.