By Mike Jastrzebski
St. Augustine is okay, but Mary and I both miss the clear blue waters of the Bahamas. So what are we going to do about it?
Those of you who read this blog have probably noticed that I haven’t posted for awhile. In fact my last post was about our lightning strike. Part of the reason for the lack of postings is that nothing much has happened, except that I have been working on repairing and replacing the lightning damaged equipment so that we can get out of here and head south.
Here’s a list of what I’ve done in the past month:
Purchased and replaced the solar panel controller.
Purchased and replaced the battery monitor.
Purchased and replaced the the battery combiner.
Purchased a replaced the VHF radio. However, there was a glitch with this project. We hired a rigger to go up the mast and check the rigging and replace the antenna. Unfortunately, he discovered that the wiring was fried below where he could reach and it has to be replaced. Since this means we have to pull the boat and have the mast taken down I have decided to mount an antenna above the solar panels and run a cable from there to the VHF radio. We’ll loose a little distance on the radio, but we won’t be stuck in the yard most of the winter.
Our Icom Ham radio is also out and when I contacted Icom they said repairing damage from lightning strikes is iffy, but if I send it in and they can’t fix it there is no charge. If they can fix it and I decide the cost isn’t worth it for a ten year old radio there is just a $49.00 charge plus shipping to send it back to me.
Our auto pilot was not working and I thought it was due to the lightning strike, but after further examination I discovered that the outside electrical plug was bad and I ordered a new plug. Hopefully that will take care of the problem.
I’m waiting for the cooler weather to tackle the windlass. I’m hoping that’s just a connection problem.
In the non-lightning problem area we have a leak in our high pressure dinghy floor so this week we’re pulling the dink and patching it. Hopefully it will hold. With the dinghy out of the water I plan on changing the oil and the lower unit lube on the outboard.
Finally, (I hope) we need to replace out 11 year old Honda 2000 generator. The old one is literally falling apart and will no longer run at the top rated speed. We have decided to wait until we get to Titusville to replace it. That will give us a chance to see if everything else is running okay before we put out $1000.00 for a generator.
I’ve also begun work on outlining the next Wes Darling Book.
With all of this we hope to get out of St. Augustine before Christmas and head south.
Wish us luck.