Saturday, December 15, 2007

Getting back on track.

I finished up my autopilot! Almost. I finally get everything mechanically installed exactly the way I wanted it, ran all the electrical per the manufacturer specs, and plugged it in. Snap! The breaker threw. What do you do when that happens? Try it again. Snap! Ok, something is wrong. So, I checked all the connections to every piece of the autopilot and found one wire that was not connected terribly well and replaced the whole run of wire with brand new stuff. I then reconnected power and, POP! I didn’t know what the sound was, but at least the breaker didn’t blow. So, I start digging around again and sure enough, I blew the 30 Amp fuse on the autopilot course computer. That’s the brain of the whole deal. I blew a couple more of them both out of frustration and in an attempt to troubleshoot the install. Fortunately I got Raymarine on the phone the next day and they informed me that the only problem I had was with a bad piece of equipment, not my install job. So, $130 bucks and a day later it is sitting on their workbench in RI confirming the computer was faulty. I should get the replacement back Monday to commission and test the new unit. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe say a prayer.

I also tore into my battery box problem and if it will stop raining think I can knock it out in a day or two. Nothing major, but I need to fiberglass in a few reinforcements to carry the extra weight of my Trojan T-145 golf cart batteries. These little dudes are heavy, but I love them because they give me lots and lots of juice.

I may have recruited another boat to sail down to Padre with me as well. I was absorbing a rum and coke last night and ran into a group of people I met when I first moved to Kemah. We laughed hard for a few hours, mostly at my expense regaling them with tails of my boat projects. Next thing I know we’ve got volunteers to sail down for New Years with us. Now, this may be one of those late night great ideas that never really materialize under the light of the next day, but I am hoping it does. It would be fun and a bit safer to make the trip with some friends. We had 50+ mph gusts of wind last night. I hope we get better conditions for the Padre trip.

I'll leave you with a quote I pulled from another sailors blog. You can check out his page by clicking on the title to this blog entry above.

“To me a voyage is essentially an act of will and a testing of the human spirit. If a sailor doesn’t learn anything more important from the sea than how to reef a sail, the voyage wasn’t worth making. One of the pleasures in setting out on a voyage is not knowing where the sea will lead. On a voyage a sailor is at risk. On a voyage a sailor knows he is truly alive. A voyage is not an escape from life; it is a reach for life.” - Webb Chiles

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