Adventures of Orcinius
Debugging Power Issues Today
04/11/2012, 10 49'S:110 04'W, 9th Day out of Galapagos - 1610 miles under our belt

John has been spending the day debugging our power consumption issues. It started with the inverter going into error mode when ever we ran the generator to recharge our batteries. So he is trying to chase down what might be causing all the load on the inverter and causing it to overheat. I'm sure he can explain more in detail tomorrow, but that is a far as I understand it for now. Today is a bit of a blah day overall. It's pretty well overcastl with a very large rain cloud hanging off our port side - I'm just waiting to see when we're going to get dumped on, or if it passes us by - like everything else. We're moving so slow we even got passed by a turtle today. Not good for crew morale. We've generally been moving along between 4-5 knots, but sometimes less than that. It feels very slow. John claims we are officially half-way. I say we are unofficially half-way. If you go by how much mileage we expect to put under our keel on this passage, which is roughly 3200 miles, then yes, we are half way. BUT, if you look at the distance between the Galapagos and the Marquesas, the half-way mark lies around 114 degrees 39 minutes West, and we are not quite there yet. So it looks like we are going to celebrate our half-way point twice in order to keep peace on the boat. Well, I better get back to my first mate duties - all for now!


04/11/2012 | Deb
Passed by a turtle, eh!

I have sent you a couple e-mails, are you getting them?
04/12/2012 | Linda Sails
the current position map, makes it look like you are over shallows. Nothing like electrical issues to make it a great day.
04/12/2012 | Linda Sails
I know... now that you are below the equator, maybe the wiring needs to be reversed too... kinda like how toilet water flushes counterclockwise below the equator
04/12/2012 | jamie
Good thing that you are married to a geek who knows his way around some Ohms and BTUs. Safe sailing!
We're smokin!
04/10/2012, 10 31'S:108 07'W, 8th Day out of Galapagos - 1487 miles under our belt

Barely smokin! Movin along at 3.4 knots with a 6-8 knot breeze at our back. Seas are very calm with a long swell about every 15 seconds - very peaceful and relaxing! We launched the symetrical spinnaker this morning - see attached photo. John improvised a system so that we have it rigged from each bow to keep it centered on the front of Orcinius. It is working great for this light wind. We also have a large (500 ft) tanker off our starboard side for about 5 miles heading due east right now, so we are not alone out here. We have not tried to contact him on the radio though. His callsign is Partawati heading for Mejillones - where ever that may be. Other big news - we caught a fish last night! First one in a long time! He was a pretty small durado, but went well with our shrimp for dinner last night. And our large freezer finally went kaputz yesterday. So we have tried to save some steaks and chicken in our little upper freezer that is part of our refridgerator. What will be for dinner tonight? - about 3 pounds of shrimp that we couldn't fit in the small freezer! Also, most of our fresh goods are now gone - either eaten or gone bad. Down to some tomatoes, onions, and potatoes. Also have some apples, limes, and a head of cabbage. Interesting combination of goodies eh? Looks like we will be breaking into the spam here before too long! That's the latest and greatest for now - smooth sailing everyone!


04/10/2012 | Linda Sails
Lisa, did you check your gal pals box for Easter??? bummer on the freezer
04/11/2012 | Deb
Hey Guys, sent you a couple e-mails. Are they getting thru?
04/11/2012 | Erin LeDoux
Sounds like a great time to pretend you are on "Chopped" with that mystery basket :)
New Challenges
04/09/2012, 09 57'S:105 51'W, 7th Day out of Galapagos - 1330 miles under our belt

We should be about 1/2 way by Wednesday morning. 270 Miles to the halfway point.

Yesterday surfaced a new problem in the freezer section and the dua gen issue finally is coming to a head so today is a new day of different handy man chores. While the duo gen is a minor wiring problem, the freezer is not. As luck would have it I purchased the refrigeration guages and a can of R134a refrigerant in Puerto Ayora Galapagos. Now I didn't know what the heck I was going to do with them because I haven't a clue about the particulars of how compressors and evaporators really work. Well it isn't I don't have a clue but the real mechanics of it is new to me. So during the night on my shift I opened up the Nigel Calder Book on Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual. There it was starting on page 458 in Chapter 11, almost everything I wanted to know about refrigeration and air conditioning. Even on how to build an ice box. Stuff from high pressure to suction, relationships between refrigerant pressures and temperature, and most important how to hook up tho se new guages I bought. Also how to purge the lines and guage system and of course the small can of R134a. Wow it's 0700 and the sun is rising along with Lisa. Time for a nap so I am rested and can try my new learnt knowledge. Ok I am up and turn off the compressor and connect the new guage to it. Ahah... da problem so I think. The guage on the suction side reads 30psi well that corresponds with about 30 degrees at ambient temperature. So according to the book, I think, this compressor has no way to compress the gas so as to evaporate and remove the heat from the freezer. I purge the lines and have the can of R134a connected. The book says to not turn the can upside down but to keep it upright and turn on the guage valve and the can valve and let it equalize based on the ambient temperature. It is 80 degrees but the guage never gets to 80psi and falls short at 55psi. Well the book doesn't say what to do in this case so I run with it. So I try this for a couple of hours while working on the duo gen and taking another short nap. Still not freezing but I do have a difference in temperature between the suction and high pressure lines so must be getting somewhere. Reconnected everything, repurged and now just waiting for the system to equilize in the 87 degree day. So you will just have to wait to see what the outcome is as I do. One way or the other, I feel much more confident about working with refrigeration... That is important because we have, an indoor refrigerator, outdoor refrigerator, a freezer, an Ice maker and three air conditioners. All of which use the R134a refrigerant. Guess I need to get a little larger tank of the R134a. The duo gen was a minor wiring problem and an adjustment of the output voltage. Corrected both and it seems to be working now. Between the duo gen and solar panels we are barely in balance between consumption and replenishment without running the inverter. Now for those who are wondering if I might have hexed myself by buying the refrigeration guages and the R134a, well you are not the first to wonder that, it was the fist thing on my mind after I brought the guage back to the boat. Oh by the way. It is a beautiful day as was yesterday. And yesteday was somewhat appropriate being Easter... we were about equidistant between Christmas Island and Easter Island. All for now. Wait! Wait! Wait! there is another boat out here. He is heading the wrong way... heading NE. Can't see him visually but we are getting his AIS at 8.5 miles. First semi-sighting in 7 days. We did pass an ODAS bouy during the middle of the night but never saw it's beacon.

Happy Easter - Just Scootin Along!!
04/08/2012, 09 09'S:103 14'W, 6th Day out of Galapagos - 1142 miles under our belt

We are just scootin along under a bright blue sky - hardly a cloud around. We thought we might be having some freezer issues today, but have yet to confirm it. Things aren't quite frozen as hard as they should be. John is thinking we might have let our batteries get a bit too low and hence is not enough to run the compressor to keep up with the freezer duties. We pulled everything out of it and turned it off to defrost it (what little frost there was). Then we confirmed it was actually turning back on once we switched it back on, and it is starting to create a thin film of frost - that is a good sign! So everything is back in the freezer and we will check it again later today. So to resolve the battery issue, we may have to run the generator once for a bit in the morning, then again later in the evening - instead of a single time during the middle of the day. This should do a better job of keeping our batteries topped off. John is also going to look into the duo-gen. Seems we aren't getting any power coming from the propeller when it is dropped in the water, but the solar panels seem to be doing their job. One more thing to chase down. Other than that we are doing great! The night-shifts are getting easier as we are now into a full week of maintaining our schedules. Haven't caught a single fish yet, but probably because we are moving too fast - at least that's what we are telling ourselves! We miss everyone and hope you are all having a Very Happy Easter.

04/08/2012 | Bill Hudson/Zephyr
If we're not doing at least 6 knots, we don't get anything either. It's been a bit of a disappointment during our crossing last year. Not much better in wind unless you like sitting at anchor in 20 knots of wind.
04/08/2012 | Mac
Johnnymon, time to talk to King Neptune, Where are the fish?
I am ready to fly there and catch some fish for you to love birds.
A day in Contrast!
04/07/2012, 08 08.4'S:100 42'W, 5th Day out of Galapagos - 950 miles under our belt

As the title says a day in contrast is exactly what it is compared to yesterday. So, yesterday as Lisa said we were in the process of making bread and a batch of what I have been referring to here on the boat was Down Under Manizanga. In other words, after we pulled the bready out of the oven which we had to cook for an hour and 15 minutes with a hard crust because the oven wouldn't go above 300 degrees, we then put the Down Under Manizanga in the oven. I went down for a nap and while I was looking at my eyelids from the inside the Manizanga finished cooking. While Lisa was attempting to remove it from the oven it decided to slide off the back of the rack and flip upside down so the name Down Under Manizanga. After all we are on the southern side of the world. So now here is the part about contrast. The picture in the caption is a beautiful sailing day. Seven to eight foot seas, long ocean swell and a perfect steady 18-20kts of quartering beam wind. That puts us on a broad reach directly toward our destination doing 8.5-9 kts over land and 10.5-12 over water. Sun is out and only a few threatening clouds. Yesterday was different but not much different than the previous two, more of an extension and growth. Because of the previous two, Lisa had a hard time catching up on her sleep along with taking on a full blown cold. Yesterday's seas were what I call confused, lumpy and disenchanting at a combined state of somewhere between 15-20 feet. The worst part was we had a swell every 9 seconds from the south and a 2-3 foot wind chop from the southeast. So it was like a washing machine with big lumps. So for three days we have had to sail into the swell and quarter the wind chop which comes under the center of the boat and sounds like someone is shooting off a canon right under neath. Worst than that you can really feel it. Now I want you to know we were not in any danger just uncomfortable. So all the banging and blowing and splashing finally took it's tole on the nerves. Lisa's went first so with some hesitation I put in the first reef in the Main. My nerves were going watching Lisa's nerves go. So you remember the part about the Down Under Manizanga, well it was the straw. After things settled down a bit, I collected what was left of the dinner and we made do with what we had. I could see that the banging and noise was still getting to Lisa. It was obvious to me, NOT, she told me so. So in a huff I went up and shortened the genoa to 80% figuring that would drop our speed by a knot and would take care of everything. Wrong. Back I go again and take in the second reef in the main and leave the genoa at 80%. Now we are down to 6.8 knots and we still have the banging, sounding louder to me but not so for Lisa. Sailing is about compromise. Some like it fast and some like it slow. Now find the in-between. I did, I poured a drink of grog and when I finished it I went down for my rest. That was 1030 and when I woke or awoken at 0300 it was Lisa's turn for some shuteye. I just hoped she would actually go to sleep. So while I was resting, Lisa made her mark on the sail plan and set the genoa full open. So needless to say, my shift had no changes to the sail plan until Lisa woke at 0930 and asked if I wanted to take out a reef. Yep. No more than shook the number two reef than I was asked if I want the full main. Yep reef #1 gone. Sleep does wonders for everyone. Back to contrast.... today we have a full main and genoa, seas have calmed and become more steady. We are doing 10kts over water and 8.5 over land heading directly towards our destination. We pulled the entire oven out to clean it and while it was out I made the gas orifice a little larger so we can bake bread, cookies, and anything that might need an oven that goes over 300 degrees. Lisa is smiling and doing some of her chores and I might even talk her into playing her guitar this afternoon. And yep the sun is shinning. Adios

04/07/2012 | Walt
Not sure why but I haven't gotten any emails from you since the very first. No problemo.
If you do get a chance to email me, I wanted to update you on your condos. Have fun

Newer ]  |  [ Older ]