Around the Corner

We’re hoping.  We’ve moved around the corner to Linton. About 8 nm farther along. There we hope to isolate which of the 2 Lifeline D8 house batteries is bad and put a dinghy in the water and get ready for our move back to Kuna Yala.

John on Millenium is here and I’ve an opportunity to play chess with a real person. Most of my chess playing is on line at FICS when we have a good internet connection. After some chatting we chose tomorrow afternoon for a round of strategic moves.

John and I discuss the battery situation and he suggests isolating each one and testing it. Sounds good to me so that evening W/ and I  isolate a battery, then run the generator to pull down the refrigeration temp as well as charge.  After our 50 minute run time of the generator we shut it down and the only power draw is a couple of 1 amp lights and a 3 amp computer draw. Less than 15 minutes later our battery voltage is 10.5 volts and viola!  We found our bad battery.  I switch connections and we watch the now good battery stay up on volts.  If the battery is really good we have 215 amp hours ideally but practically we have about 100 since IMHO not really a GOOD battery.  I’m guessing maybe 50 amp hours to play with. So what.  We pick up about 30 amps  / day with solar and with the generator running we should be able to limp along.

Things look good that evening and throughout the following day.

The next day we put fuel in the 2 hp Yamaha only to discover it is dripping rapidly out of the carburetor.  I take off the engine cover and discover that 4 of the doo dads that the bolts go into to keep the cover

Yamaha Nut all Rusted Out

Yamaha Nut all Rusted Out

on are rusting so bad the bolts are now just cosmetic. This Yamaha  engine is a little over 2 years old, is a marine engine and these doo dads are made of steel!  Shame on Yamaha!  I open up the carburator to clean the jet and reset it. If memory serves me correct it’s to be 1 1/2 turns back. I put it back together and there is  still drips.  Oh-Oh. I reopen it up and close the jet all the way.

We open up the fuel and no leakage. That’s a good sign –  we’ll see if she starts. Put the engine on the dingy and after several pulls (we remembered to attach the dead man switch) she starts up. Unfortunately she needs some choke to run so I need to sometime back out the jet a 1/4 turn at time to see if I can get it ….just right.

Ok, we’re rather pleased with ourselves and all set to move to Kuna Yala. Now we set up to enjoy the day. Mother Nature has other designs on us. From roughly noon till midnight it rains. People living in the temperate zones don’t have a clue what a rainy day really is.  In the US when it rains it’s mostly from a front moving through. My mom use to say “Rain before 7 quit by 11”.  Four hours of rain and that was a relatively accurate. Here it rains, and rains, and rains. and…. you get the idea.

Somewhere in the middle of the night I rouse myself out of my berth to open the hatches and ports; the rain has stopped,  to check the surroundings and make sure all is ok.  I look at the battery (not batteries anymore) and discover an issue. Last night we charged it; and the  battery settled at 12.58 volts after charging. Now it’s reading 12.03 volts. Effectively a flat battery after drawing out say about 15 amp hours!  If we continue on we’ll have no real reserve power in our house bank – no real power at all. It means instead of heading on to Kuna Yala we’ll head back to Shelter Bay. Life could be worse. We could be driving on Hwy 19 or sitting on the Beltway. We could be in a meeting with someone spouting off the new politically correct way education is to work.  We could be farther away from a solution. Luckily we’re  only a 1/2 days travel to a place we can solve the situation, provided the main engine will start.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long


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