We had great fish and chips last night, fresh off the boat that afternoon. Today was rainy, so we decided to just hang around and do Laundry and Email and stuff like that. Besides, the marina has a hot tub!
I have been puzzling over the charging system for a while. It was working well enough, but the voltage seemed low and the current into the batteries wasn't quite what I expected from the new alternator. Last night I did a bunch more testing with the multimeter, following on from what I did at anchor in
I installed the new alternator in a bit of a hurry, mostly just changing it out for the old puny one. Once it worked and was obviously putting power into the system I moved on to the refrigeration, which I only got fully installed at anchor in the St. Clair River. What I didn't notice along the way was that the old wiring harness was only sized for a modest current flowing back to the batteries. The result was that my regulator was controlling the alternator for 14.6 volts out, but there was an almost two volt drop along the cable to the batteries. Yes, the connecting cable was drawing 25 watts all by itself and the batteries were charging at low current from 12.7 volts.
After pondering where to get a big wacking cable to make a better connection here in Killarney, I realized late last night that the connecting strap cable between the two batteries was redundant if the switch is set to "all" and I took it off this morning and bridged the alternator to the starter connection that comes straight from the battery on a big cable. Problem solved. The alternator now delivers 30 amps at 14.6 volts to the batteries (even with the fridge running on high), which is probably as much as they can absorb.
Today in the world's smallest chandlery I picked up shear pins for the outboard, bulbs for the anchor light, and made the acquaintance of a fellow named John who desperately needed an oil change pump. I just changed my oil this morning and was happy to offer him the loan of mine. I felt a little smug to be well prepared. (For those who don't know, you usually can't slide a drain pan under a marine engine and need to pump the used oil out through the dipstick hole, into an old oil jug. The pump is a little brass plunger pump with a long skinny tube to slide down the hole.)
I went back to the fish place and picked up a chunk of today's whitefish for our dinner. They vacuum pack it for you, making it very fridge friendly for carrying on. I will get some more tommorow for the next leg of the trip. I don't much like fishing, but this lake seems to be full of delicious fish! They also have lake trout for anybody who is sick of whitefish.
I got a shower today and a first look in the mirror for quite a while. I'm looking rather scruffy, my skin is much darker and my hair quite a bit lighter, despite enough hat and sunscreen that I haven't burned yet, except for a bit on my lips early in the trip.
Life is pretty good,
PS I have combined these trip reports into a web version,
for those who are really keen to read the installments again, or for
those I forgot to add to the list until more recently. The
It may not be completely up to date.