07/06/2008, Annapolis, MD
July 5th... Annapolis, MD
Our task today was to install the Link 1000 that was purchased a few days ago. Its purpose is replace the remote controller that came with our Freedom Inverter/Charger and to allow us to monitor the state of charge in both our battery bank and our starting battery.
(Sam...you should probably stop reading here)
Since there was not good place to mount the controller in our nav station, my first job was to manufacture an "L" shaped teak bracket about ten inches to mount to one of the side panels. I dug out the saw, drill, sander and dremel and went to work as soon as the rain let up enough to be a little dry. Our clean cockpit was no more.
After lunch we began in earnest. The sole (floor) had to all come up to get to the wiring. Since no negative wires can be attached directly to the battery bank, I had to first disconnect and rewire lines from the windless and solar panels which is a whole lot easier said than done. Next we mounted a shunt on one of the cross braces. Then we had to snake a wire from the nav station, behind a circuit breaker panel, behind three drawers, through a tiny hole already filled with too many wires and finally to the bus bar located under the floor. We had to disconnect one of the existing wires, tie a string to it and then pull it out. Then the new wire was attached to the existing wire and both were pulled back through with the string. It took about 3 tries but in20 minutes al the wires were in the right places.
The new wire to the nav station was actually 4 twisted pair of 18 gauge wire 6 of which are wired into the control panel which was the next challenge. The tiny wires stripped twisted and fed using needle nose pliers into holes that were way too small and then tightened in place with a tiny screw driver. (six wires = one hour)
Next I had to make a cable to attach the negative bus with the load side of the shunt which entailed cutting the heavy battery cable with a hacksaw and attaching cable ends. (without a crimper ...which is now on the list of things to be purchased.)
With the new cable installed we began the process of attaching the opposite ends of the 6 tiny wires as per instructions.
By this time the day was done so we left the rest for tomorrow. The sole went back and we picked up the mess. While Kathy was making dinner I put a coat of finish on the bracket that took me all morning to make.
As all boat people are painfully aware, working on a boat is a little different that working on a house. On a boat even the smallest task means tearing everything apart to the point that it us unlivable. Simply getting the tools out is enough for total destruction. In a house you can always escape to another room, or go sit in the yard. In a boat there are no "other rooms" and yards are hard to come by in an anchorage.
Storm rolling in
Mike and Kathy
07/06/2008, Annapolis, MD
July 4th... Annapolis, MD
We left the boat this morning a little after nine and walked a few blocks to the home of William Paca who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later Governor of Maryland. There was to be a Naturalization Ceremony at 9:30 and we thought it might be interesting.
There was a tent in the back yard and seating for about 100. The 50 soon to be citizens were seated near the front with family and friends taking up the remaining chairs. We stood to one side with about 40 other latecomers.
The program began with the Annapolis children's choir singing the national anthem and then we were led in the pledge of allegiance. There were two reasonably short speeches before the oath was administered. The new citizens represented 31 countries and were asked to stand as their country was called. When they were all standing the oath was read in unison.
We walked up to State Circle and then back the waterfront on our way to the Navy Yard for a walking tour. On our way we stopped at a corner café for a late breakfast.
When we were here in October we spent some time wandering the Naval Academy but have been told that we needed to pay the money and take the guided walking tour. Whoever gave us that advice was right. We had a great time, were taken through buildings and given a wonderful history lesson. We learned for instance, that the Navy College in Annapolis has been built three times and that it boasts the worlds largest dormitory which covers 33 acres and has 4.8 miles of hallways. It also has the worlds largest swimming pool.
After our tour we wandered town for a while before walking over to Pusser's Restaurant for a little lunch. This is a wonderful town to wander around in. Narrow little streets in places and interesting buildings and homes.
At 2:30 we were back on the boat and although the skis were a little threatening, I went to work applying another coat of finish to the bow pulpit and trail boards. We had invited Lenny and Ceil over for the concert and fireworks so we spent some time picking up things but as it turned out the concert was rained out and they decided to stay put for the evening. The rain did let up for the fireworks which was nice for the thousands of people who had braced the weather to see them.
07/06/2008, Annapolis, MD
July 3... Annapolis
If you want to be seen, this is where you park your boat in Annapolis. Right in the middle of town!
The plebes showed up this morning. We've seen families around town obviously dropping off their sons and daughters for the last few days. This morning we woke up to their chants as they ran around the Navy Yard at 6am. We've been told that this summer session serves as their "boot camp" and that they have no contact with the outside world for about six weeks.
After coffee we took the dinghy to the end of Spa Creek tying up at Truxton Park. From there we set off for the West Marine about two miles away. The walk was uneventful and we reached our destination without any problems. We purchased a Link 1000 battery monitor and the necessary cable and fittings to hook it up.
We've known since last winter that the volt meter that is attached to our main battery bank is inaccurate. The Link 1000 we replace the remote panel attached to our inverter/charger and will give us accurate readings on amperage as well as voltage.
From West Marine we walked down the street another ˝ mile to the Giant Supermarket, stopping at the Apex (another brand of dinghy) dealer on the way.
After purchasing a few things at the grocery, we retraced our tracks and arrived back at the boat about 11:30. I was pooped. Although there was a nice breeze it was hot and our walk ended up being closer to 6 miles than the four that I had bargained for.
In the afternoon I sanded our trail boards and then got a coat of finish on them as well as the bow pulpit.
Annapolis is filling up. The mooring field has been full for a couple of days and the anchorage just to the east is filling up as well. There is constant boat traffic and things are a little rolley. By accident we have ring side seats were for the fireworks tomorrow night.