On Monday I focused attention on the boat’s power, power supplies and batteries. I went thorough and checked the levels of all the batteries (they were all good) and started ruminating about all the battery power we have. We have the following:
Quantity Type Voltage Purpose
6 Group 27 12v Cranking engines1 4D 12v Cranking Generator
2 Group 27 12v Runs electronic equipment
2 8D 12v House DC system
2 8D 12v Fridge and a few AC systems (through inverter)
Now, all of you who know about such things are saying, “My God, you have way too many banks of batteries! Except for your engine and maybe your generator battery you need to consolidate your other three banks into one!” In principle, I agree with you. The problem is that the boat came with a separate electronic equipment battery bank with its own batteries and battery charger that is connected to the port engine alternator. And the house DC system is very extensive. There are two sets of DC lights throughout the boat. One set is very dim and might (though I am not sure) be for use when the boat is underway at night or at some other time when you want very dim lights. The other set is almost as bright as the AC lights and they are in the staterooms, the galley, the passageways, the heads, almost everywhere you would want a light. Also, the DC system takes care of the water pressure pump, flushing the toilets, the sump pumps (the devices that pump water out of the showers and overboard) and the macerator pump to get the uh … er … sewage overboard (which we don’t use because we have our high tech lectra sans sewage disposal systems – which are also powered by the DC system). So, while I could probably combine the electronic equipment bank with the DC house bank, it would cost some money, plus it would not solve my biggest problem.
The real problem is the inverter system. The big draw is the refrigerator – which I figured should draw about 102 Amp-hours per day. Together with a few other odds and ends the AC system should be drawing down about 25% of my inverter bank battery capacity daily, and it shouldn’t take me five hours to recharge. In spite of my research, I don’t think I have figured out what’s wrong. I say I don’t think because I have generated a few hypotheses that may or may not help explain the problem. Anyway, when we are on the hook next weekend, I am going to try some experiments. I really don’t think they will provide the solution to my problem, but I will try them anyway. And you, faithful readers, will be the first to know the results of these truly ground-breaking efforts. I know, I know. You can hardly wait. I think what I really need is a battery monitor, but I have to wait until we get back to the States. I have one for the inverter batteries (kind of), but it doesn't tell me everything I need to know.
On Wednesday we went to the Jib Room – the restaurant attached to our marina – for BBQ ribs (which they serve every Wednesday) and we stuck around for what they call “rake and scrape.” My ribs were pretty good, though Ann thought hers were a bit dry. But that’s not what was important. Rake and scrape is what the locals call limbo. Well, I went under the bar at 5’11” and called it quits. There were a few people who went under at probably 3, maybe 3 ½ feet. Then there was Desmond. Desmond works at the marina and is a “limbo professional” if ever there was one. At 2 ½ feet I thought he was doing well. I was amazed at 2 feet, but honest-to-god when he went under the bar at about 18 inches, I was astounded. I swear the distance between the front of my chest and the back must be `” and, though Desmond is thinner than I am, he is about the same height and he still has a chest. Man oh Man!
|If you look closely, you can see the extra lines we added.|
The other big difference between these breezy conditions and the big blow is that my XM weather station works. I can watch the front move through Florida and head straight for us. It is really kind of cool!
|The process of alphabetizing spices|
Ok, since it was something of a slow week, I decided to do some intelligence work to supplement my income. Now those of you who are not cleared for Ultra-high top secret stuff need to turn off the computer and go to bed. For the rest of you I am offering you one of the most astounding analyses you have ever seen. Not only am I providing strategic warning of an impending military confrontation close to our own borders, but I may also have advanced the field of intelligence analysis by several decades. I, therefore, humbly offer the following for your consideration.
Most of us believe Canadians to be a bunch of polite, friendly, maple syrup loving people who frequently wear floppy hats and love their hockey. Here is another anomaly for your consideration. How many friendly, polite hockey games have you seen? Fact: I have seen none; in fact, hockey teams can be very unfriendly and impolite to one another. If friendliness were a real characteristic of Canadians, how could they play hockey? Or is it possible that the so-called friendliness and politeness is a grand deception scheme designed to lull Americans and deceive Bahamians – until it is too late.
Another item for your consideration: Many people think that most Canadians speak English like Americans, Australians, Brits or New Zealanders, right? That is not exactly true. Fact: A lot of Canadians say, “eh?” and others say “eh!” Could this be some sort of complex code (which might be dependent on specific inflections in the spoken word), or alternatively a challenge and password system used by Canadians when they come to the US on their way to the Bahamas? Because they tend to look like Americans and some Bahamians, it would be important for Canadians to be able to identify one another before engaging in war planning or war-like actions. (It would be interesting to analyze the language that French Canadians use to see if there is an equivalent expression in that language.)
Diligent readers of this blog will recall that the islands of the Bahamas were settled by colonists who remained loyal to the Crown after the American Revolution – just as the citizens of Canada remained loyal to the Crown. Fact: Today, Canadians appear to look more kindly on the Queen and her family than many Brits do. Could there be a cabal between Canadians and ancestors of these Loyalists? Could they believe their mission is to recapture the Bahamas for the family Windsor?
And finally, when Ann and I were visiting one particular island in the Abacos, we saw several Canadians sitting around, drinking beer (and it wasn’t Molsons either) and speaking in hushed tones. Fact: The name of that island was Man O’ War Cay! Canadians are well known for their sense of irony. Where else would they plan an invasion of the Bahamas?
I know I have given you a lot to think about. We will continue our intelligence work down here in the Bahamas and will file another report in the Blog when circumstances warrant. Just watch out for those Canadians.
ANN'S NOTES: It has been a slow week on Traveling Soul...but unlike my husband I don't count the number of boats that are flying a Canadian flag. My analysis is as follows...they are here for the same reason we are...it is COLD in Canada in the winter....just like in Virginia and we all have boats that can take us away from that cold weather. Now if they do attack I may have to rethink my explanation.
I have been busy getting ready for Tim, Carrie, Caylin and Gavin to visit. I cannot tell you how VERY EXCITED I am. The first thing I had to do is clear off the bunk in the forward cabin. I call it the' train
room'...it reminds me of traveling in Europe on a train at night in bunk beds. Anyway the lower bunk had can goods and food stuff in storage boxes. I figured that Gavin did not want to sleep on top of cans of green beans and cream of mushroom soup. Actually it was rather fun to reorganize that cabin and to meet the challenge of fitting it all in a smaller space and still be able to get to the canned goods when needed. While I was on a reorganization roll...the galley spoke to me. When we moved on board I just put all my spices in a drawer and was grateful that they all fit. However they were all mixed up and hard to find the right spice while in the mist of cooking....so....I now had an empty large box of Splenda that had just been empty from the 'train room' reorganization. And...the box cut into strips were perfect as dividers....are you following me? What could more perfect? I get to recycle a box...save money...and have a perfect drawer full of spices all in order. I was a happy 'boater'.
During the day when we have a slow week I manage to keep busy...I do a lot of reading and I have picked up my cross-stitching once more. I have always enjoyed my time with needle and thread. I have also discovered the art of bread making. I have found out that many women bake their own bread on board...even some small sailboats. I figured if they can do it...well...so can I. I now have several recipes for making bread. The one down side if my stove and oven are twenty years old and the oven runs fifty degrees hotter than the dial...needless to say I have to check the bread and adjust the temperature...the effort is well worth it in the end..!!
Friday late afternoon is when the family arrives and the excitement factor will be high...
More to follow next week...