To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Ph. IV, day 8, Boot Key/Vaca Key

We're moored on ball K-9 (at 24°42.250′N 081°05.550′W) in Boot Key Harbor.

Boot Key Harbor
Boot Key Harbor


I've ordered a replacement for the mast-head OGM-LXTA-S light. It's a sealed unit. Maybe Weems & Plath will repair or refurbish the old one so I can have it is a spare. It mostly works.

Yesterday, I prepared my wire crimp and heat-shrink stuff. I even bought some more of the fancy crimp-and-heat-shrink connectors at West Marine just to be sure.

We broke out our rock climbing gear. I put on my work-aloft apron and went up the mast. To find...

The wires were solid. Solid. I had to cut off the old silicone tape to check them. And they were fine. Sigh.

So I removed out the bulbs so I could take a close look at them.

The "festoon" double-ended bulb -- the actual forward-looking range light was fine. Rock solid.

The "main spreader light" -- the one that shines down on the foredeck, was dead. And rusty. So.


I walked down to West Marine for bulbs.

I went up and replaced the "festoon" double-ended bulb. It works.

The new main spreader deck bulb, however, doesn't seem to work. This is not completely surprising. The new bulb is an LED, and if the wiring on the socket is reversed, the bulb won't light. I think I can swap + and - wires in the Perko fitting. Taking it apart is kind of delicate while swinging in the air. Maybe this is something that we won't fix until we're at a dock.

I think we've almost never used the main spreader light. We wear headlamps at night. When the mast-head instrument arrives, I'll check the bulb and wiring again. Maybe I didn't get it seated correctly. It's a tricky fitting.

We've been told that doing the work here is much easier than trying to do it in Key West. The mooring field here is quite a bit calmer.