Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Captain's ball

By the time we had tied up at the Pungo Ferry bridge marina, we realized that the alternator was not working. I am such a good marine electrician that I had no idea in the world why this damn thing which had been working fine last time I sailed was out. Anyway, having no way to get help we went to sleep and went to bed after a nice fish and rice dinner washed down with Pinot noir.
In the morning, I had decided that we were not going to push it and that we were going to stop in Coinjock, only 18 miles aways, and get a marine electrician come and solve the problem.
We got to Coinjock around 10:00 a.m. and settled down for a quiet winter Sunday at the dock in a dead place with only a few duck hunters around.
Next thing that happened, we lost the A/C starboard circuit, which is the one I use for the music and to power the screen that I have in the cockpit for navigation.
Having little to do, I kept looking around in the engine room until I found out that there was a fuse between the alternator and the regulator that was blown. We replaced the fuse (which was for obscure reasons a 2 amps fuse) and put in place a 10 amps fuse after consulting with Thom Diekman (previous owner). Still apparently without any success.
Then, talking to Mike (Country Boy) apparently calling me from one of our "emergency parties", I learned that I had to wait for one minute after starting the engine before knowing if the alternator was charging. We put it off for after dinner and went for the Coinjock restaurant specialty with our neighbours, a couple of MD's from the UK.
Returning to the boat, we started the engine and waited for that one damn minute and realised that the alternator was working. I called Dave (Mike's partner) to give him the good news and we all went to bed.
We left Coinjock early in the morning, headed for the entrance to the Alligator/Pungo river canal, knowing that we did not have enough day light to make it through the canal.
At around 7:30 I called Ezio in the Bahamas to say hello and I montionned the A/C circuit problem, as a passing comment . He told me to look for a ground fault breaker which I did. I found one in the aft bathroom, reset it, and all was well.
The rest of the day was uneventful, although brother Green Eggs kep complaining that it was damn cold (almost 40 degrees), and we dropped the hook in front of the Tuckahoe point at the entrance of the Alligator/Pungo river canal.
A few "Martini Gin on the rocks", french way, kept us warm until dinner time.
The whole time we had the secondary monitor in the cockpit so that we had the navigation monitor up there. The problem was that the screen would go blank every 10 minutes.
I tried getting into the BIOS setup, then into the control panels, nothing would work so that we had to have one of us touch the trackball every now and then (at leat before 10 minutes were elapsed) so that the screen would stay on.
We are now thinking of looking for a female volunteer whose job would be to touch the captain's ball (it is my trackball) every 5 minutes so that we can navigate safely.

No comments: