Morning in Catalina
10 October 2008 | Two Harbors, Catalina Island
After a brisk motorsail from Marina Del Ray to Catalina Island in light fog yesterday, we awoke to clear skies and even clearer water this morning. The anchorage is quiet while we enjoy morning tea in the cockpit. While quiet now, it's expected to much busier later today as cruisers descend on the harbor for a weekend cruisers rally.
We conducted an exercise in battery management last night. Normally our batteries will deplete to about 60-70% of capacity overnight, without any concern for amp conservation. We pretty much leave whatever lights on we want, leave the inverter running to power TV's and Stereos and such, as well as leaving the refer/freezer running all night.
Instead, we powered down everything except the lights after watching a thoroughly depressing movie (Monsters Ball). The lights we did use were LED's so they drew very little. This all made a huge difference and we woke up to 86% battery capacity, down from only 88% when we went to bed.... This all translates into less charging time, either through the engine alternator if we are motoring or motorsailing, or via the genset while we are in port. As we will be in port for the next 3 days, minimizing genset time is a big deal. Another reason is that you never know if the genset will break. While in Santa Barbara Marina, a main transformer went out on the dock for 3 of the 4 days we were there, forcing us to use the genset to charge batteries. After an hour or so, the genset would quit with a "oil pressure" error" We had seen this previously, with intermittent oil pressure sensors. Turns out the spade connector to the sensor was installed wrong, with the spade between the plastic shield and female connector, and had rattled loose, but not off, causing the intermittent behavior. Since reseating, it has worked fine.... a good example of the sort of persistent monitoring and troubleshooting required on the boat (see boat lesson #1 from previous post)
Anyway, time for some downtime for the next 3 days...