Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas 2014!
Kasidah has been in the Bahamas for just over a month now. We’ve settled into our winter and taken care of some boat chores. I have to apologize about the last story’s editing. Some of the story got mixed up from the copy to the posting or something and it really left some gaps while reading it and it jumped all over the place. I’ve fix it so it makes a lot more sense now.  

Jon and Kevin chillin on Kasidah
December will go down as the month of charger problems,…not for us but fellow boaters. We met Dan and Judy this year and he posed a question to me about battery voltage while running his engine. He has the same kind of Alternator and 3 stage regulator that we have so I felt confident about listening to his questions. He had us over for Rum and wine and shows me the voltage reading while running the engine. 16 volts to the batteries!!….WOW slow it down! That voltage will cook the batteries and kill them in no time. A few more readings the next day, a bit less rum and we decided the regulator has to be bad or at least programmed wrong. I read up on the programming and tried to get it to a different battery setting but still had the voltage too high for the batteries. He ordered the new one from Defenders and with $100 for shipping and customs it was here in 3 days,…Thanks FED EX. The best part of the new regulator is that it’s a lot easier to program and yes it did fix his high voltage problem. They left a few weeks ago and are in Georgetown in the Exumas.

Jon helping out Raymond 
Our good friends Duncan and Cathy on 2 Scotts had a bad crossing from the states. They have a good sized twin engine trawler and somewhere in the crossing they had to shut down one of the engines when it over heated, no big deal when you have a spare engine right. Then the voltage on the batteries was dropping and he lost all of his instruments and running lights. He made it into West End under celestial navigation, his compass and some luck. He cleared the blocked intake which lead to the over heating and got the engine running and batteries charged and made it to ORYC. Once here he figured the alternator on the one engine that stayed running wasn’t charging. Duncan is a pretty clever guy and looked at it for a few days but could not get the regulator powered up and he asked me to look at it. We found that the regulator did not have power to it to start the whole process. The power for it comes through a couple of safety switches on the engine. We found a wiring diagram for the engine and worked through it figuring that the alternator was new, it was different than the other one, and that it could never have worked. He tried to talk himself into the fact that he’d seen it light up before, but all I could do was go with the obvious,…..It Never Could Have Worked, not wired like this, and he swears he didn’t move any wires. We move the wire to a better spot on that engine circuit and now it’s charging.

Kate taking over the helm for our ride back to the marina
Raymond on a power cat was having a problem with his gen-set and inverter on his boat. The generator would start but quit when you took off power to the glow plugs. Found the wiring diagram and a bit later figured it was the remote start-stop control that was disabling the local controls on the generator. His inverter was shutting down with what he thought was a high voltage alarm, but that wasn’t the case. It had to have been over heating, because it caught fire. He ordered a new one. We’ll see who’s paying attention or reading our stories now. So all is good in the battery department for friends here at ORYC.

Strawberry Grouper
And finally I’ve met Mike, he is here for a week,..he flew in on a single engine Cessna,…his batteries aren’t charging. Trying to figure out how to make the jump from marine to aviation,….It’s got to pay more right?

Raymond took us and Kate, of Kate and Chris, Her husband Chris went back to Australia to work for a bit, out fishing. We trolled all morning and Kate had a bite for a big Mahi Mahi and got it close to the boat. This was about a 4 or 5 ft fish and put up a good fight, he got close enough to the boat for Raymond, Arline and Kate to see it, I missed the sighting of it. Later that day we fished on the bottom and the girls got some fish.

Blues new umbrella
Thank you gifts from cruisers for Jons help
Birthday party for Diane
Dinner at the gazebo and one to many JD drinks
A few days later Arline and I were out in our dinghy fishing, one of our favorite things to do here, we were trying a couple of different spots and depths. One spot was just around 90 ft of water and our anchor wouldn’t hold so Arline pulled the anchor in and when it got to just below the dinghy, like 3 or 4 ft in the water, Arline screams and says “Wholy crap look at those fish!” I only saw one but it was about a 3 ft Mahi Mahi circling our dinghy checking out the anchor, they travel together so I’m sure they were there. I saw him circle again it was absolutely beautiful! He was going so slow I was able to cast out in front of him and reeled it in hoping he’d go for it but he wasn’t interested. We trolled around the rest of the day looking for these guys. We were in the right area and depth but,…Nothing. Not sure how we would have gotten the thing in the dingy, but we wouldn’t have given up on it.

Spear fishing lands Jon 36 bucks
This trigger fish decided to take a piece of Jon
Jons new dive skin
We’ve taken care of several chores on the boat; changed out a locker hatch, rebuilt the dinghy motor mounting bracket on the back of Kasidah, once again some of the conduit in the mast came lose during our crossing. This requires a trip up the mast to each area that the conduit is fastened. There are 2 small holes in the mast at each spot that you pass a wire from one hole to the other around the conduit on the inside and install 2 pop-rivets which you wrap this wire around to hold the conduit in place, simple right. Nope. While sitting in the chair trying to get a solid wire around a conduit and back out the other ¼inch hole, it’s harder than you think. But I have a couple years of experience at fishing wire and got 6 or 7 places done in just a ½ day. We also re-bedded the deck snaps that hold the Dodger down, these had been just screwed into the deck and a few had started to show signs of letting water into the deck core. I drilled these out and then used my Dremel tool to dig out any soft wood of the core. I was very happy to see that water hadn’t traveled very far at all, also happy to find real plywood not Balsa wood near the mast and the rail for the head sail cars. Filled these holes with G-Flex epoxy and just as it was setting up pushed the snap screws into the epoxy for a great looking finish, strong as could be and no leaks anymore, and the fittings cover the hole so you can’t see the different color epoxy.
Dan.Judy,Raymond, Jon and I at the two dollar bar.

Raymond and I heading out to fish near West End
Wonderful fishing trip
The routine here is pretty boring, Coffee and a dog walk followed by tennis at 8 am with a group of people for close to 2 hours a couple of times a week, then breakfast and internet checking of news, family and friends and a stop at the free ice machine to fill the cooler for the day’s needs. No need to check the weather here, upper 70’s in the day and 60’s at night. If it’s blowing from the north we go fishing or snorkeling, exploring with the dingy or head to a beach. Blue usually goes with us so we’ll always stop at a beach for her to run and play. We sometimes bring a light lunch in the cooler with enough ice for the fish bucket if we’re lucky. Once back at the boat we wash off stuff and head to the pool and or hot tub, there’s never an issue finding a chair by one of the pools or people in the tub, and good conversation is always the rule. A small lunch means a good dinner and depending what night it is there might be something happening on the resort side how ever we find ourselves there less and less. Karaoke night is sometimes a fun night to watch people sing, NO WE DON’T. The boaters here have their favorite songs and are proud to sing them week after week after week,….Every once in a while a resort person will come in and really nail something and surprise all. We might also get together with another boaters for dinner or drinks and stories. If it Blowing out of the south it’s too rough out there to get into the dingy so we’ll get on the bikes and get groceries if we need them, or ride into either Port Luyca or Freeport or if it’s really hot we’ll go to a beach with the cooler and Blue. Once a week we’ll try and eat a late lunch out, we have a couple of favorite places where the locals eat so they are priced right, usually we get away with $20 or so. If we eat out or hit a beach we’ll again still head back to the pool, but dinner is usually very light or some snacks like cheese, popcorn and a movie on the boat. Sometimes we don’t go anywhere but to the pool, we’ve got a couple of games we like, Backgammon, cribbage, for get it, or some other card games, and we’ll take our music and drinks. If it’s cooler and we haven’t played tennis in the morning we might play in the afternoon.  See I told you it was boring,…of course boat needs supersedes all other activity.

I’m sure you’ve all seen on FB that Cal is getting bigger; Amy says he’s about ready to take off crawling, and this is where the fun starts. 

Christmas dinner is with all the boaters and I think there will be about 45 of us. We hope everybody had a great Christmas and your New Year is Prosperous.

Thank you all for following our adventures.