Calou's Blog

Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump

01 June 2016
06 February 2016
21 May 2015
29 March 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015
18 February 2015 | Barra de Navidad
04 May 2014
26 April 2014 | La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
07 April 2014
02 April 2014 | Isla Navidad
31 March 2014 | Puerto Vallarta
29 March 2014
28 March 2014

Day 8 at Sea

02 April 2011
Bruce
Today begins the 8th day at sea, we are about 800 some miles off shore. The day started out overcast, and as the day went on it became clear and sunny.

I have been struggling to understand our charging system. When we start the engine, it starts pumping 40 amps into the batteries. But this amerage drops withing 10 minutes to less than 10 amps. And the battery voltage, instead of increasing, declines. This is very worrisome since we need DC poer to run our instruments, watermaker, radio, etc.

Fortunately we have alternate sources of power. There are the solar panels, and the wind generator. But the solar panels do no good at night and the wind generator doesn't do anything when the wind is light. Then we have our Honda generator. This little gem produces 120V AC and sends it directly to our shore power inlet to charge our batteries and provide power to our appliances when needed.

To make a long story short, the DC charging system (alternator and regulator) are behaving mysteriously and basically not working. We have to rely on the Honda generator now to keep the batteries charged. At least until I figure out what's wrong with the alternator/regulator system.

Oh, we are carrying a backup alternator, and a backup regulator.

But tests I have done this far indicate normal alternator unregulated output. And I have already tried out the spare regulator (same result). There is something going on here that I don't understand. I think I'll have to call Balmar on the Sat Phone when they open on Monday to get their input.

Then there was the trouble with the holding tank. This 30 gallon tank holds our sewage, need I say more! We need to empty the tank when at sea, but it would not empty. This meant that the sewage was backing up into our head.

I had to go into the sail locker where the tank is located, disconnect it (very carefully because it was filled with 30 gallons of sewage) and clear the blockage which turned out to be due to mineral deposits using a wire "snake". All while we were under sail doing 8 knots with the spinnaker.

The hardest part was hoisting the full holding tank back into position (by my estimate it weighed 240 lbs). With myself hoisting it from below, we tied two ropes and had John and Francois hoist it from above. The three of us were just barely able to get it back into position.

Fortunately after this ordeal the holding tank is now working normally. I would recommend any boat owner to install a "cleanout" by their holding tank output drain so that this critical juncture can be cleared without disconnecting the holding tank. This is the second time we've had to do this unsavory operation so it's not an uncommon chore.

Besides the usual travails we saw a school of dolphins today. Antoine and John are pictured on the bow of Calou observing them.

Today is Saturday and we all previously agreed Saturday would be Pizza Day. We brought 3 frozen pizzas for the passage and cooked the second one today. It was just an appetizer but quite a treat. We also had apple slices served with blue cheese, and some nice red wine to go with it. Then the main course was arrachera steak cooked with garlic and onions, and steamed potatoes, carrots, and leeks.
Comments
Vessel Name: Calou
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 47
Hailing Port: The Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, CA
Crew: Bruce, Pascale, Antoine
Extra: Sailing on the 20th Annual Baja Ha-ha, departing mid October 2013 from Tiburon, and continuing to cruise Mexico. This will be our 3rd Haha. In 2011 we sailed the Puddle Jump from Mexico to French Polynesia, then up to Hawaii and back to San Francisco.
Calou's Photos - Calou's Baja Haha (Main)
30 Photos
Created 20 December 2013
Photos from our month long stay in Mazatlán in board CALOU.
30 Photos
Created 17 November 2013
photos from our crossing from Cabo San Lucas to Mazatlan with crew members Steve and Lisa.
20 Photos
Created 13 November 2013
Photos from our sailing trip from San Francisco to Monterey, Santa Barbara, Channel Islands, Catalina Island, and San Diego
31 Photos
Created 10 November 2013
20 Photos
Created 11 March 2010
Photos of Isla Isabela, San Blas, Chacala and PV
97 Photos
Created 11 March 2010
We rented a car and took a land trip to visit Colima, the capital city of Colima State
41 Photos
Created 23 June 2009
photos between Puerto Vallarta and Barra de Navidad
64 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 13 May 2009
We rented a car and drove 6 days to see Guadalajara, visiting many small mountain villages along the way. The rugged mountain scenery was delightful.
55 Photos
Created 14 January 2009
Here is the sketchbook of Antoine, age 10
7 Photos
Created 30 November 2008
Includes photos from our tour of a tequila factory, and more stoff to be added later.
15 Photos
Created 29 November 2008
78 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
72 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
109 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
86 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
190 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
20 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
79 Photos
Created 25 November 2008
123 Photos
Created 26 October 2008
We took a side trip by bus and train to the spectacular Canyon de Cobre (Copper Canyon) in the state of Chihahua
32 Photos
Created 10 February 2007
33 Photos
Created 9 February 2007
Photos from our trip starting after Novemebr 18, 2006. Photos prior to this date are contained in ALBUM PART 1.
92 Photos
Created 1 January 2007
Photos of the FIRST part of our trip, from our departure from Tiburon to our arrival in Cabo San Lucas.
27 Photos
Created 6 December 2006