Day Twelve

So many things to talk about.  

  • The bugs here are more attracted to incandescent light than LED.  Campers take note!
  • I’m about 20 miles from where I started​ from!  Gotta get a move on, or as Greg at the place I left from said ‘get your ass in gear’. 
  • I like this area.  Can always find quiet spots.  Like the place I am this evening.  I cannot see any evidence of humans in any direction.

  • I just realized that the washdown pump I mentioned earlier is also great for outdoor showering.  I’m out of water, and would go in the lake but it’s all mud and weed up in the bay.  Yuck.
  • Have found that I can get drinking water for a few days after running out by playing with the valves on the tanks.  One of the shortcomings of this boat is that it has small original water tankage – I think about 50 us gallons or 190 l.  The previous owner had added an additional tank with a good management system.  I now know it well.
  • I  like how easy technology makes some things.  Anchoring is tricky business as my buddies over on Trawler Forum (I’m Jeff F there) can attest to, endlessly :-). Anyway. I now have a nifty anchor watch app on my devices.  Makes sleeping easier, I can monitor position from my bunk.  Cool.
  • I’ve got to get better at using my tablet.  Am trying to use sliding keyboard so may have some typos.  Making progress.

So, twelve days 20 miles… I’ve had some challenges, mostly with the motor, but elsewhere as well.  Yesterday I bought a new set of batteries.  This isn’t lightly undertaken… Been thinking about it since last summer.  I thought I might get one more season out of the existing super nice gel batteries, but they were 8 years old and getting tired, and power management wile hanging around at anchor not moving sort of forced the issue.  Anyway, I knew what I would replace them with, and they were available I’ll the road in Simcoe so I lugged 500 pounds of batteries from the boat into the dinghy then the Prius and returned with the new ones.

I thought I was being very deliberate in doing this.  I took a bunch of pictures when taking the old batteries out.  But when I installed the new ones there was one fairly heavy cable that I got a spark on when I connected it.  Not huge, but noticable. I connected it nonetheless, and made a mental note to see what it was, as I thought I had shut everything down.  Then I looked at my pictures again and realized I had connected it to the wrong terminal.  Swapped it back and moved on.

After completing the install I turned on the invertor – that uses battery power to provide AC to the fridge, power my devices, and maybe pop some popcorn if the battery is good.  Batteries did not seem to be fully charged, and so I started the generator.  Normally this charges the house batteries. But after an hour or so no improvement in charge… Hmm.  Did some further investigation and it turns out the charger isn’t working.

Now, a few things come out of that 

  1. That’s a $500 piece of kit.  Can I fix it?  Or replace it with an old castoff from Kijiji?  Lots of research to be done… 
  2. OMG does that mean I had a charging problem that I was unaware of, and my dianosis of bad batteries was incorrect?  I fretted about that for a while, but realized I had other corroborating evidence.
  3. What am I going to do in the short term to ensure I have power?

Fortunately I was underway today for a few hours so the main engine topped things up.  Gotta take that into consideration until I sort the charger out.

This morning I got up with a plan to get underway for some further motor tests.  Went to start the motor and the temperature guage wasn’t working.  When I went to investigate I found that the motor harness had melted connectors.

Now, I have experience with this.  Last year I had a cascading set of failures that started with the temperature guage and then got ugly.  I finally traced it to melted cables in the motor witing harness, and it was a mess to sort out properly.  I was alert for a reoccurrence but didn’t really understand the cause until now.

Fortunately a) the damage isn’t extensive, b) I finally understand what happened last year, and c) I know how to prevent it in the future.  But it took the better part of the day figuring it out.  It was my brief wrong connection that did the damage, but I have a much better grasp on the whole system now.  Gotta learn the hard way!

Just got up to have a widdle and it’s buggy and steamy outside. Am going to keep the AC on tonight.  No lights apart from the mainland a few miles away.  All alone in Big Rice Bay.

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