1200 on May 9th 2009 in position 18:33.67N, 065:21.92W
Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sat 9 May 2009 18:37
Our departure from St Thomas was delayed overnight when we developed power problems when lifting the anchor on the way to re-fuel, having already cleared customs and immigration. A smell of burning was also noticed and as Nikki started to raise the anchor all the onboard electrics, instruments etc cut out completely but then came back up again. This happened through the raising process whenever the foot switch was operated, and having refuelled with everything still working now the windlass was no longer in use we decided to anchor off Water Island to investigate as well as clear the fouled log impellor -a job for the ship's diver.
As we started to re-anchor the power problem again raised it's head but this time the other systems didn't come back up - we had no power onboard at all except from the separate engine batteries. We hurridly picked up a vacant mooring buoy off the West Gregory Channel and soon found the cause of the problem. The main domestic 100amp battery fuse had blown, and as the windlass was wired through the domestic battery system this had obviously been the culprit - but why? It had all worked perfectly for 7 months.
The windlass wiring was checked and found to be ok as was the other circuits and so it was felt that with both fridges, instruments and windlass working together maybe on this occasion the load was just too much for the fuse (lucky we had a spare on this occasion) so the windlass was promptly re-wired through the starboard engine start battery to avoid future overloads on the 100 amp fuse. By the time the log was cleared, during which the owner of the mooring turned up and politely asked if we could vacate ASAP we felt the day had been taxing enough so re-anchored on the edge of the big ship channel with all equipment now working ok and stayed a further night (as illegal aliens). Unfortunately being Friday, it was live band night at the marina across the water and the reggae band in session went on well past 0200 to ensure we didn't get too much sleep before departing the following morning.
As dawn broke we awoke to the sight of 900ft of cruise ship - The Caribbean Princess bearing down on us. Fortunately it moved as well sideways as forwards and eased comfortably into its berth just across from us. We raised the anchor and headed off westwards away from the Virgin Islands towards the USA.