Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 16, 2014 Day of Discovery

Dave decided to call this our “day of discovery”.  He needed to start poking around to see what was or wasn’t working.  Our wifi booster and external GPS are not working.  Dave was noticing a problem with our engine battery.  The wifi booster was getting power but not turning on.

Gary, our buddy boater, was looking for a small motor for his dinghy.  So we started talking about getting a smaller one, too.  Right now, we have to use a lift to get our 100 lb 15 HP Mercury outboard motor off of the motor mount and onto the dinghy with a pulley system.  That’s ok when we are going to be using it for a week.  But when we stop somewhere overnight or for a couple days, we would rather have a quick way of getting the dinghy in and out.  They found a good deal on 2.5 HP propane motors here in Wrightsville Beach at the West Marine.  Someone at the store would deliver them here and throw in some free fuel.  So the two of them took off to wheel and deal.  Dave had to row to Gary’s boat and then row to shore.  With the threat of rain, I chose to stay on board the boat.  They made it to shore just as it started to rain.  The wind and waves made it an exciting trip.  Now for their mile or more walk in the rain.  So much fun when you don't have a car. 

Both the main and auxiliary batteries were reading too high.  The main went back to normal with a reset, but not the auxiliary.  So before Dave left to get the new dinghy motor, he shut off the solar panels.  While he was away, the monitor started flashing because the batteries were too low.  So I called Dave and he had me shut down all power but the essentials, like the bilge pump and the refrigerator/freezer. 

When he returned, Dave decided to run the generator to charge our batteries to at least make it through the night with the lights, fans and the water pump as needed.  Now the generator wouldn’t work.  He dug into that and found that the impeller had blown.  So he took that apart to replace the impeller.  While doing that, he found pieces of old impeller still inside the unit.  That is a “no-no”.  You are supposed to chase down all the parts so they don’t clog something further down the line.  He said we were lucky that that hadn’t already caused problems.  Also the internal zinc was missing.  So we are getting stray current through here that could now start eating away on other metal parts.  That being said, he found salt in the bottom of the generator case, which indicates that salt water has entered the boat somewhere.  He replaced the impeller and added a new zinc but wasn’t going to do any more this evening.  Now we decided to run the diesel engine to charge batteries.  At this point, I was using my phone in the dark and realizing I couldn’t charge it.  So I decided to go to bed.  Dave spent some time reading up on how to further check out some of our problems. 

Along with all of the boat issues, we received an e-mail from Dave’s mom.  Dave's step father, Hap, may be starting hospice care.  We will learn more tomorrow.  He is in his 90’s and still at home with Alice.  But it is getting more difficult for him to sleep and he doesn’t have an appetite, and now they found cancer in his liver.  They have been married over 40 years, so he has been a major part of our lives.  And such a kind, dear man.  We wish him comfort in the days to come.

Dave rowing to Gary's boat-second one

Dave showing off his new propane motor

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