False Start

Mon 1 Nov 2021 14:07

I left the marina on Saturday and tootled off to Papagayo bay on the southern coast of Lanzarote, ready for early Sunday morning start to make 90nm to Las Palmas in daylight.   Rest of the day at anchor, and in the Harmless Boaty Project dept I made a wooden cover for the dinghy fuel tank - protects it from the sun, allows a step or seat, and keeps the tank from hidden from any scallywags on carib islands who might win themselves a speedy wetbike after a storm ...and then need to win some free gasoline too!  Pic above.  I just need some paint for it, sometime. I'm really getting on top of this boat if I'm down to making a fuel tank cover for the dinghy, eh? 

Next day up at 3am and er … no cabin lights.  Hm.  Actually … no electrical power whatsoever.  Dang.  Not quite so on top of things after all.   This seems to need a real electrician, and they won't come to an achorage except in Dire Emergency, and this doesn't qualify.  I wound the anchor up manually, what a pain, took an hour.   I mused that maybe a good test of when to pack in offshore sailing is... when you can't get the anchor up manually.  

Anyway the starter motor batteries were both ok - they're separate and new.  Engine on and back to marina.  

The Bluetooth wassername showed that the batteries started recovering as daylight arrived  (so not a £10grand for new batteries problem, phew) but there’s a problem with some controller "mppt" thing, which means 4 out of the 6 solar panels aren’t much contributing - they stay on “float” instead of “bulk” charging.   Wes sez he can get a new controller unit here tomorrow evening.   The current battery monitor is also a suspect (fooled me anyway) - any reset makes it say "100%" but it's not correct.  The circumstances forced me to do some background reading, which reveals that lithium battery cells are actually "fully charged"at 3.6V,  which equals 28.8V for an eight-cell 24V battery.  Now Monday, I've got back up to 26.6V, which means it's deinitely not "100%" as indicated.  But charging at a weedy 12amps isn't really good enough. I can beef it up with engine charging ... provided that the batteries haven't been shut down automatically, as they were on Saturday/Sunday evening. 

So I'll maybe try to leave again on Wednesday, maybe.  I'll still hop to LP, but won't stay long - the anchorage is tight, and friends who might normally have been there are elsewhere this year.  But I can still pester Rolnautic chandlery by asking one of the ARC-season temporary shop assistants for "two of everything" from all the nuts and bolts. I did that some years ago and it took them over five hours to generate a 12-page invoice of the price and product code for every single nut and bolt. I didn't mean it as a joke but it's ended up that way. 

From Las Palmas on Gran Canaria I'd quite like to hang out ( at anchor) off Mogan on the SW coast of the same island.  Cute town and seems a calmer and roomier anchorage than LP with less (if any) commercial traffic.  Meanwhile I'm staying on a bit longer than planned at Calero. 

I lost my previous space, so Mojo is now parked next to an ageing and once-swish monohull, something like a CNB/Bordeaux 60 footer, kinda sub-superyacht, with two full-time crew.  The reason I know there's two full-time crew is that they shot up on deck when I accidentally whacked their boat on my way in, ahem.  My fault of course. I should have used the OTHER engine to slow down.  It was going well until then, although I suppose the same applies to every smashup.  And anyway, they should have had fenders out on that side, eh?  But then, so should I.  It was a noisy thump!... but there were no tell-tale fibreglass-crunching noises, and (somehow, amazingly) no damage visible whasoever -  on either boat.  The two crew guys had a VERY good look at their boat up and down for at least an hour.   Although again, the lack of visible evidence is partly due to their not having much polished their hull (as well as not put out extra fenders) which would be reasonable to expect from full time cre, hm?  Hah!  It's a total lark being professional boaty crew on a private non-charter boat I think - Netflix all day on a nice luxy boat, bit of cleaning before the workaholic owner turns up for a "holiday", very easy peasy.  Although the alternative for the owner is to charter (rent) out the boat and have more crew, who soon end up calling it "their" boat and it gets more hours on everything, more "used" hm.  Or the third alternative, like me, don't have any crew whatsoever, and the boat stays lovely and lightly-used!  Aside from amateurishly breaking (say) the electrical system, and/or hitting things from time to time, but only a bit. Hum. 

Bank Holiday Monday here today - All Saints Day.  Obvious really - All Hallowed’s Eve is the 31st October, yesterday.    

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