Arrival in Ixtapa
30 November 2009
We arrived this afternoon at the marina in Ixtapa. We saw lots of dolphins, who love to play by the bow of the boat, and the odd sea turtle and shark. Some of the boats and ships were peculiar, including one that looked like a square rigger.
It was a long sail and we had our share of technical difficulties. First of all, as Pascale mentioned, we had the overtemperature alarm go off last night around 830 PM. Pascale and Bob awoke me to look at the situation. We shut off the engine and I got out the laser temperature scanner and checked the temperature of the engine block. 174 degrees F seemed quite within the normal range. We checked that there was seawater coolant flowing (check) and that there was sufficient crankcase oil (check). After letting the engine cool a bit I topped off the engine coolant (adding about a half liter) and started the engine at 2000 RPM instead of the usual 2700 RPM. The engine ran all night after that without a problem. As the day went on, I tried increasing the RPM to 2500, then back to 2220, finding that the alarm would chirp at us, indicating it was at the edge. I read up on the specs for the engine temperature alarm -- it's supposed to go off at 100C (212F). We were nowhere near that. I think the culprit is a miscalibrated temperature alarm switch. Something to check out at the next opportunity.
Then there was the refrigeration that stopped working. Its diagnostic light complained of insufficient voltage. I found the battery bank was barely at 12 volts. It turns out the alternator wasn't charging. I communicated with Balcor via SSB radio email and found out that the culprit is likely a defective voltage regulator. Another project, albeit a minor one.
We did an all night sail (actually, since the winds were very light, we motorsailed most of the time). I got up at 5 a.m. to take over. We arrived in Ixtapa around 4:30 PM.
Boy, is it HOT here! Right now it's 10:15 PM and it's about 88 degrees outside. We are coaxing our air conditioning unit to get the inside temperature to a reasonable 80 degrees.
The photo is of Antoine with his model M-16 that we made. The hills of Ixtapa are in the background, as this was taken as we made our arrival.