Sweaty progress and a wet cat
31 August 2013 | Oceanview Marina
sunny and hot--again.
We took the marina's shuttle taxi to the shipping freight yard yesterday morning to get the batteries. Simple and easy. Out comes a big forklift and into the back of the truck they went, crate and all. Tracy stayed in the back to keep them from shifting as we drove out of the yard onto the main highway. I stayed in front to keep my back from getting screwed up again. I knew I had a lot of heavy lifting coming my way. We tried to find an ATM so I could replace the money taken the day before. No luck. One ATM refused my card and the next was broken. We were wasting time so I told the driver to take us back to the marina. We had work to do.
Once back at the marina, I grabbed and hammer and pry bar and knocked the crate apart. In it was our 6 batteries and the 5 extra wires if I needed them. I had rolled a cart to behind the truck but the workers that had gathered around to see what we had brought just lifted them onto their shoulders and we all paraded to the boat. We lined up the six right beside Zephyr. First thing I did was change clothes as I knew I was going to get acid on what I was wearing. We stopped for a quick lunch before we even started as once we got going, we didn't want to stop.
With lunch in our stomaches, we removed the cushions and boards that cover the battery boxes and in I went. I made sure to turn off the main power switch that allows the batteries juice to come into the boat. We took pictures of the top of all the batteries and then drawing a diagram as to what connected to what. Better safe than confused when I had to put the new batteries in. Off with the nuts and wires and out came the first battery. Onto a pad on the floor and then out the door. Lots of absorbent diapers spread around just in case. Out the door and over the deck to finally start the line of batteries on the dock. There are two batteries in each box so once both were removed, we started in with the baking soda to neutralize the acid. It took a lot before Tracy was satisfied and I could reach my glove covered hand into the bubbly mess. We got everything out and the rinsed the boxes and I brought in the new batteries. The same thing was done to batter box two. Now we had four of the batteries out and could bring in the new ones and hook up the batteries. Once in the boxes, we found that the posts on the batteries were different than what we had had before. Instead of a bolt coming out of the batteries that I could just screw down the wires, these batteries had posts coming from the top that you had to run a bolt through and attach sideways. Rats, the job just got a bit harder as these wires had been configured for the post top style of battery. Eventually, we got the batteries all connected and only had to use one of the new cables they had sent. I made sure to cover each connection with a coper based grease to stop any kind of battery corrosion that could happen in the future. Meanwhile, I had been sweating like a pig hung over a fire to roast. I was a mess. With no power, there were no fans to circulate air. I could wring the water out of my shirt.
We pressed on to the third and last set of batteries. They are on the starboard side under more cushions. Since I had been handling all that acid, Tracy put back the first cushions and boards that covered the port side battery bank. We now had a place to put what was coming off the starboard side. In we went again. This time a little differently. In the first two boxes, we had poured box after box of Baking Soda to neutralize the acid. This time, I used an old large syringe to suck out the acid and put it into a jar. Once out, I then used paper towels to get out the rest. We poured in some water and I repeated what I had done. Then in with some of the Baking Soda and this time, we got no reaction. It was now nice and clean.
In went the last two batteries and on went the wires. Again, with the change in connector posts on the batteries, it took a bit longer but we got it done. Now all we had to do was turn on the main power switch and reprogram out battery monitor. I pulled up the owners manual for the monitor and got it all reprogramed and the main switch was turned back on and we had power. The monitor read 12.30 so the batteries while not full were in good shape. I had check the water level and knew they would need some water shortly. We turned on the AC to the battery charger and voila, the voltage started on its way up. We left it alone and just kept checking as the afternoon wore on. The charger finally went into "Float" mode late in the evening. The new batteries were now fully charged! We were back up and running.
I grabbed my shower gear as did Tracy and we headed for the showers up at the club house. We were both a mess and needed some time under the shower head. Once we were cleaned up, we headed up stairs for a beer or two. As it was Friday, it was barbecue night. Every one brings food and it's a huge pot luck. We defrosted a nice steak in celebration of getting the job done and feasted on steak, Waldorf salad, barbecued bacon wrapped shrimp, oriental coleslaw and more. It was a great night as we also uncorked one of our bottles of wine to cap it off. Neither of us was feeling much pain as we left later in the evening.
When we got back to the boat, we found a very soggy white cat wandering around inside. Snowshoe had fallen over board! We grabbed towel and baby shampoo and headed back up to the showers. He was in a desperate need of a shower to get the salt water off him. He was not a happy kitty but any means. Once the shower was over, we took him back to the boat and Tracy gave him a good combing and cutting out what wouldn't comb. He actually looks much better for the event. He looked quite good this morning but I'm sure it will be a while before he tries to leave the boat. All we can figure is that he jumped off and tried to get back on board and missed. He got lucky and swam to one of the fenders we have hanging over the side that has a cloth covering on it and climbed up it. There is no other way we can figure he could have gotten out of the water. He's safe and sound now but hopefully a bit wiser.
This morning, we turned off the charger and let it Zephyr run on her own power. By 1400 when we got back from Davao, we were still reading 12.65 after about 8 hours on it own. We have a great set of batteries again. While we were in Davao, we picked up 2 gallons of distilled water so I can fill the batteries to where they are suppose to be.
Picture will be up soon, I forgot to bring the camera to down load them.