More Provisioning: Four batteries and a raw water pump



We are now richer by four large wet cell batteries and a new raw water pump, acquisitions that were not on our list. Indeed Aurora’s house power system and engine have functioned flawlessly from the get go.

We’ve always used all the batteries at once, recharging them with solar and with the engine. Recently we realized that each of two banks (of a pair of batteries) also functions independently. And when you’re on a long cruise, it’s nice to know that if one bank dies, the second is ready to back it up. But there seemed to be problem with the switch to switch between banks so when we got to Coal Harbor we asked the marina shipwright to have a look.

The batteries have been my job. After I crawl into the engine room, Jack hands me a mirror and flashlight so I can check the water levels and add more if necessary. Unfortunately, I knew nothing else about batteries until yesterday when Bob McKnight took the “last legs” meter reading, showed us how they were bulging and explained the counterproductive electro-physics of mismatched brands (which just might be explained by Aurora’s 14 year circumnavigation of the globe). Within minutes he’d measured battery racks and made a couple of phone calls to order four new batteries.

Then exiting the engine room Bob took a quick look around at the raw water pump and groaned. This pump circulates sea water to cool the engine and contains the impeller, which every novice mariner knows you need to change when a jellyfish gets caught in it. Well our pump was wiggly, misaligned and had a loose belt. So we closed the throughhull so Bob could get the pump out out as he phoned up a marine machinist on the other side of town, who promised to have it rebuilt by the next afternoon.

And it was and immanent crises were averted. Vancouver was the place to be. Bob and his colleague Rick Robinson did this caper with such elegance, speed, wit, and charm that we dedicate this posting to them.

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