One Of The Two New 8-D Batteries Installed On Tropical Dreamer YesterdayKeith - an afternoon rainstorm is coming through today, but we are safe at the dock, the hatches are batoned, the a/c running, and NPR is on the radio
08/15/2008, Palmetto Marina, Hilton Head, SC
As you can see, each 8-D battery is like 3 car batteries. I have two 8-D batteries, plus a car battery dedicated to the starter for the diesal engine. I charged the new batteries today and just took the shore power off line a few mintes ago to see how they hold a charge overnight. A few days ago I was at the point where I could barely make it from evening to morning without running the engine or the generator (actually I was already developing electric use procedures to get me pretty easily through the night, but they excluded computer, tv, or a lot of light use. These new big boys should last a few days before needing recharging. We'll see.
Sunset In Beaufort, SCAfter the low pressure system passed through
Dolphin SafariKeith, nice day today
08/15/2008, Palmetto Marina
They have all sorts of tours and watersports and things to occupy and entertain the people who come to vacation here. One popular one is the Dolphin Safari. The dolphins come right up to the boat, even when it is at dock. Jake and Anne have become used to them. I never cease to be inspired when one comes up unexpectedly and breathes before heading below.
The Dogs Eat Well TooKeith
08/15/2008, Southern, South Carolina
That's a dog food base, with some grits (yes, I purchased a package of grits to make for breakfast - when in Rome...) and a dollop of the meat sauce for taste. I try and always add something interesting to their food and they never seem to complain.
Still Eating WellKeith
08/15/2008, Southern, South Carolina
I do make more than pasta (recall my hotdog phase), but its just a convienent and hearty boating food. I made my own meat sauce with onions and mushrooms and ground beef, a sausage link, and packaged sauce. It was good.
Parked At The Service Dock At The Palmetto Marina In Hilton HeadKeith, hot and humid
The ICW follows the Beaufort River Past Port Royal and across the Port Royal Sound for a total distance of about 30 miles from Beaufort to Hilton Head. The Sound crossing is about 5 miles and takes an hour just to do that crossing. I took a wrong turn and would have headed out to sea had I not figured that I should be seeing land. Otherwise, it was a great cruise and the weather cleared up along the way. I made previous arrangements to stop at a marina/boatyard here that seemed motivated to assist me with the minor mechanical and maintenance issues that were building up. I arrived yesterday afternoon and their crew got right on the job. Tropical Dreamer now sports two new house batteries and a fully functioning primary bilge pump with working automatic float switch to turn the pump on and off when needed. Today they will install a secondary pump just in case the first one fails while away from repairs. That will give me well over 2000 gallons per hour in case I spring a leak or something while offshore (assuming I ever get offshore, but that's another discussion). The packing gland problem is on the agenda today, as well as new engile oil and all new filters. I rely a lot on the engine and want to keep it in as good working order as I can. There are several other small jobs that I may have them knock off depending on how they do on the bigger stuff. Last night I met a nice German couple who live on their boat with their dog here at the marina when not cruising up and down the east coast of the US. They've never crossed to the Bahamas or gone further than Florida. They took me with them to this incredible park where a group assembled with their dogs for an informal dog park. Then the German couple walked me back to the marina, stopping along the way at a great place to let the dogs swim (evidently one needs to be careful of gaters here). They offered to take me to the grocery store, but I'm pretty stocked for now. Last night I had all the power I could want for TV, computer, lights, even air conditioning. It got so chilly I had to put on flannel pants. Nice change of pace. This morning I awoke and took the dogs for a walk before meeting the mechanic to review the day's jobs. We'll be hanging out here for at least today, and perhaps until Monday, depending on how long it takes to get things done. That's ok. This is a really nice area. Just this dock space would cost $100 a day in this neighborhood but it is free while I'm getting service. There are several restaurants and a general store and a few bars in the marina complex that I might try while I'm here. Being parked in a safe, stable place with electricity is also a good opportunity to get some business-related things done. Then, once I depart here, I'm going to make a sincere push to get through Georgia and begin to bear down on southern Florida.
Honda Generator Called Into ActionIt's Raining Again After The Short Break
08/13/2008, Beaufort, SC
I bought this 2000 watt Honda Generator for Singmeaway, the Catalina 25. That boat had no internal charging system and the (car) battieries that ran its electrics needed to be taken home to the charger after a day of sailing. That didn't work for cruising in Mexico so I got a high quality gas generator (there were certainly less expensive generators). It came off of Singmeaway when I brought that boat to Phoenix to sell in early May. I put the generator in a compartment in the Rebounder and drove it all the way across the US (from San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico mind you) and stored it on Tropical Dreamer in case it was needed. It's needed already. Since one of the house batteries has died, I can only go a day or so without charging. The Honda Gen has performed well. I'll turn it on again after dinner tonight.
Marina Weather Receiving Station (And Jake)Rainy
08/13/2008, Beaufort, SC
I listen to the US National Weather Broadcast every day on this handheld VHF radio. I also use it to ensure my house VHF is working properly.
Jake And Anne Hanging Out On This Rainy Day08/13/2008, Beaufort, NC
Full Laundry Bag And Jake08/13/2008, Beaufort, City Marina
They have three washers and three dryers, each costing $1.25. I used all 6 and got all the laundry done nicely. In the meantime I got a very short haircut at the old fashioned clipper and shave cut place.
Singer Family Adventures
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