OK, so we didn’t ACTUALLY do any real sailing yesterday, but we did motor down the New River, and the Intracoastal Waterway to the anchorage in South Lake, in Hollywood, Florida. The trip down the New River gets easier every time we do it, but it is always the most crowded, and congested waterway we ever have to deal with.
Whenever a boat gets worked on, the expectation is that things get better, but you really can’t ever test EVERYTHING at the dock. Half way down the river, the engine alarm starts to make some half-hearted squeaks, and all of the instruments go a bit haywire. I quickly convince myself that the problem is the electrically supply to the instruments. This wasn’t completely out of the blue, since I had done some work on the electrical panel, and could easily have knocked a wire loose. By the time we drop the anchor the panel was totally dead.
Fortunately a diesel engine like ours will run happily without electrical power. The only catch is that you cannot start it–or stop it! To shut the engine down I had to climb down into the engine room and work the manual stop lever. By the time I was ready for bed I was convinced I know what the problem was. A loose 12 volt supply wire to the key switch.
Fast forward to this morning. I pulled off the instrument panel, and find… all the wires in good shape. Hmmm… Further testing indicates that the wire that is supposed to supply 12 volts to the panel is not doing so. Grrrr… down into the bowels of the engine room… While disconnecting the relay box for further testing, I find a thick cable with a 30 pin connector that is NOT connected…
Ooops. When stowing some extra containers of motor oil, a large jug of oil tugged on the wire… All more better now.
Today on the afternoon high tide we will run over to the Hollywood Marina fuel dock and top off the tank–for the first time since we left the Bahamas in the spring!
Early tomorrow morning, a cold front will be crossing Florida. After what seems like weeks of east and southeast winds, tonight it will shift to Southwest, and then Northwest. Just the ticket we need to cross over to North Bimini. It will be an early morning start, but should be a fast and fun run across.