July/August 2010 Sailing Trip — Days 13, 14, and 15

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know…blog every day or you lose the information.

Well, I’ve lost the information. I know we have done a whole bunch of stuff, but for the life of me, I can only think of a few things.

One thing we attempted to do was haul Barbara up the mast to the lower spreaders so she could install a couple of those chafe-preventing rollers on the forward shrouds. I rigged the spare halyard to run to a snatch block near the portside bow, then across to the windlass, which makes taking somebody up the mast a lot faster and easier than doing it with a winch! While I was hauling her up…only about six feet up…there was a sort of bang and pieces of shattered plastic bounced around all over the place. And the halyard wouldn’t budge! Barbara was stuck up in the air and I was mystified…what went bang and what was all that plastic.

After a few minutes, I figured it out. There’s a turning block at the base of the mast through which the spare halyard runs before going to either the clutches in the cockpit or the snatch block I was using. It was an old Shaeffer block of a type that I really don’t like (no ball or roller bearings) and the sheave had simply shattered! It took a bit of effort to get the halyard free and Barbara back on the ground, but we finally prevailed. Next day, I was off to my favorite money sink — West Marine, of course — to purchase a new, much better block (a Harken 75C with ball bearings!). I’d decided to replace all four of the remaining Shaeffer blocks (I’d already replaced two of them with the Harkens), but…alas…West Marine had only one in stock and a whole bunch on back order.

Oh, we also used the windlass to pull all 200′ of our primary anchor chain out of the chain locker to confirm that it was attached to the boat by a piece of line (instead of the chain being directly attached to the boat, which could be…ummm…awkward if we needed to cut loose from the anchor in a big hurry). Happily, it was. So we pulled the chain back in, rinsing it well with fresh water while doing so.

Gosh, what else did we do on these days? Besides sweating a lot, that is.

Well, I traced a whole bunch of wires that were connected to our Ample Power Monitor II system and to our Ample Power NextStep (alternator) regulator, then labelled all the wires at a terminal block. That was very time consuming, but I think that I now have virtually the entire charging system on the boat diagrammed. There are a small handful of additional wires that I need to trace, but very few. Along the way, I checked a bunch of voltages on various pins of the NextStep regulator to see if I could figure out why the alternator didn’t seem to be putting out enough voltage to charge the batteries, but all I did was confuse myself even more :(

On Saturday evening, Steve (Peyton’s adopter) drove down to treat us to dinner at one of our favorite Clearwater restaurants, the Thai Coconut on Missouri Ave, just about 4 miles away. Nice meal, good company, all is well…

And tonight, we were back at the bar for dinner and blessed Guiness!

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