It’s Aways Something

The Good…

Sometimes it is something good, like the awesomely great spot we are at anchor right now. With every change in tide the dolphins swim by, the ospreys catch their fish, and pretty is just about everywhere. Seriously, it is so nice we wish you were here. Well maybe not ALL of you at once, then it would be too crowded!

I haven’t had the nerve to fly the drone and get pictures because we have been in places with a LOT of osprey. These large and powerful birds are famous for taking a serious dislike to small drones, and regularly knock them out of the sky. That’s bad enough when you are over land, but a disaster over water. It’s not that they are mistaking them for prey–they only eat fish. They just don’t like them!

I made an exception this evening and took a chance, it was just too pretty to pass up. I did get this short clip of the lighthouse and Harmonie.

The osprey didn’t show up until I was ready to recover the drone, when one bird made a couple half-hearted passes at it. I was lucky the drone was close enough to the boat at that point he left before really getting serious about doing damage!

The Bad…

On the other hand, we have been struggling with an unusual number of equipment issues that seem to have all piled on together. We had one of our two battery chargers go south Not a huge deal, we have two. But annoying.

We had our satellite communications device’s battery die. We replaced it, and everything was fine for a week, then the device itself died. It is back at the vendor for evaluation and repair. We do miss this because it is how we get our weather and communicate offshore. Hopefully it will be back soon.

The really big deal is our main ship’s battery bank seems to have gone south, losing much of its storage capacity way earlier than it should have. We have been running some tests recommended by the technical experts at the manufacturer, and will see where that takes us.

We have a couple of upgrade and improvement projects that are in the works for our fall maintenance season, so a lot of our systems are under review. For me, this kind of systems engineering is actually part of the enjoyment of running a boat.

The Plans

The weather forecast for the next few days is delightful. We are taking advantage and running offshore to get some fishing done. With our satellite communications down, we’ll be incognito for a bit, but we promise great pictures and fun stories when we get back!

Help Us Solve A Mystery

There are many noises in the ocean, and some of them you can clearly hear inside the boat. The odd humming of the small midshipman fish in San Francisco Bay, the crackling of pistol shrimp just about everywhere. But there is a noise we have heard in many places, and the origin of this one in unknown to us.

Typically starting around sunset, the sound is like a short burst of machinegun fire, lasting about 1/2 to 3/4 second. tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap It repeats irregularly and not generally close together. This is a pretty common critter, we have heard the sound in many coastal places we have been. But it is not an animal present in large numbers, since we don’t hear many at one time.

Any ideas? Fish? Crustacean? Secret government experiment? Aliens?

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6 Responses to It’s Aways Something

  1. Dean Gillies says:

    Hi Bill, Did you manage to recover the lost capacity in your Firefly batteries?


    • Bill Kinney says:


      The answer is “No, but Yes.” We went through a couple charge cycle manipulations that were recommended by the tech staff from Firefly, and there was a very small improvement, but that still left us well below 50% capacity. After reviewing the data and installation setup they honored their warranty and shipped us a new set. We are back to “like new” because… it is new!

      With our new monitoring system from Victron, it is very unlikely that we will have batteries get out of whack again before we notice.



  2. Gary says:

    Could it be grunts? Not sure just a guess. The grunt fish types would be found in most of the waters you travel in.


  3. Nicky M says:

    Since it’s 2020, my first guess would have been aliens! So, I’m very much relieved the mystery noise has been identified as coming from frisky eels.


  4. Gybe says:

    While in Morehead City a few months ago, my neighbor clued me in to cusk eels. They make a rapid machine-gun noise. Youtube has a video/soundtrack of their sound. Not a sound that I would expect from an eel.

    s/v Ferrity


    • Bill Kinney says:

      And Dennis of S/V Ferrity proves again we have the smartest readers on the block! He is exactly right. Mystery solved. Amorous male cusk eels are the source of our mystery noise! Thank you, Dennis!


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