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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ship Wrecked in Key West!!


Feb 9 and 10, 2014

Most of my blogs are upbeat and so is this one, in a humorous way. Everything can’t go perfectly all the time and so I tell my tail of a breakdown in paradise. Last week, I off loaded the camper for the duration of our stay here at Trumbo Point. All was well, until I had the truck parked in the sun for a day or so, in extreme heat. When I got in it, I noticed that my air pressure gauge, on one side, read zero. Normally, each rear air bag should read 20 to 40 lbs. Hence, I started to look for an air leak.View of the cluster of fittings under the dash! Which one is leaking? The soapy water bottle and my trusty high powered LED flashlight were my tools of choice. Most of the fittings are under the dash with only one at the rear of the truck, at each air bag. This dilemma lasted a couple of days. I was thinking of different solutions to fix the problem. Several trial and errors later…after several trips to Advance Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Home Depot and Ace Hardware store, I finally isolated the problem, but unable to find the exact leaking point. I now figured a solution on a temporary fix. You can’t run the truck without at least five pounds of air, or damage to the airbag would result. The solution was to isolate the damaged section and add a manual air fill near the rear tire. I have a bicycle air pump and was able to pump air up to 25 psi (pounds per square inch). This is more than enough, when I load the View of isolated fittings at rear of truck! The temporary fix!camper. This 25 psi will double to 50 psi. So, this problem has been put to bed. Other problems we encountered were: a windshield wiper blade that separated, the camper battery was not charging properly (I had it checked and everything was ok). I think it was a lose connection in the power cable into the camper. All is well now. The solar panel keeps the battery up very well. I use the generator sparingly to recharge all of electrical battery devices.

While we are on maintenance issues, I must say how wonderful it is to wakeup in the morning and just go outside and chammy (chamois) down the morning dew off the truck. The dew makes the truck shine after a good wipe down. This, by itself, is enough satisfaction for being here!

Now, let me talk about exercise. One of our goals for being here this winter was to live a better life style, both in diet and exercise. My high end pedometer says that we are walking in the neighborhood of five miles a day. (10,000 plus steps). We’ve been using our bikes as primary means of transportation. Yesterday, we rode around the Island and put 16 miles on the bike odometer. Helen’s been preparing healthy food and I’ve been cutting down on in between snacks. In the long run, it has to pay off. We also have been biking over to the Navy side of Key West at Truman Annex. Here, we often visit the recreation center. The remarkable thing there is theVery Exclusive "Sunset Key" availability to select hundreds of movies to watch on a large screen. The seats are large stuffed, leather recliners, much like in your home. So far, we saw “Last Vegas” and “Captain Phillips” …The Somali pirate story of a container ship being held hostage. The Last Vegas movie was very funny. It starred: Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. We don’t go to the movies very much back home, so it is sort of a treat and a change of pace to do so here. Oh, this activity, on base, is totally free. Going through the movie selection book, we noticed that some movies are so new that they can’t be shown until the release date, just like previews of coming attractions.

Other features, of the Navy side, are a well equipped gym, covered picnic areas and a quarter mile of beach also with covered picnic tables. We often spend  time here reading books, stopping often to watch sailboats and jet skis going by in the glistening water. Sunglasses are a must even with overhead cover.

Of course, one has to remember that all of these amenities are not here only for our enjoyment, but for the men and woman who are stationed here. Key West definitely has a big military presence! Many agencies are here from Customs, Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement and Home Land Security. Everyone knows that we are only 90 miles from Cuba, but also, all of Central America is not that many sailing days away. Many illegal operations are ongoing, just offshore, and these organizations keep them at bay.  

That is what we saw and did! 

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