We're baaaaaccck! and in this exciting episode...Co-Captains and how it works for us.
28 June 2010 | Maple Bay Cove
Ray here - Cloudy and coolish
First off...We got food! That was close!...thought for a while there we were both going to die of scurvy or lack-of-donutitis or something.
Went to Chemanis overnight and back this morning.
The co-captain story in a minute...
Okay...With the alternator fixed, we took off for Chemanis...about 15 miles north. It was an awesome cruise but very windy as we arrived. There's really no marina to speak of...like about 20 boats and some kind of guest tie-up place and it was full...(it's a full on logging mill there and most of the space was taken up with log booms). The ferry docks there, and it was running back and forth to Thetis Island about every 20 minutes or so. We chose not to stay at the marina mostly because there was no space...and so chose to go around to this park-like-thing/place that had mooring buoys dotted around...good thing we did too!! as the wind came up over 20 knots and bounced us around pretty good as we're even trying to tie up. Once we were safe and snug we decided to go in to the famous 49th Parallel Grocery store. It was okay...nothing we could see to be famous about except the prices...way spendy!...(as always on the waterfront), so we bought like $2000 worth of food...(okay maybe not that much but we filled the¬ dink and I had survial candy and stuff) then fought our way back to the boat against the huge waves, storms, high winds and splashing waters. Sandy says it was just a little bumpy but I think she's delusional as I was in the back setting off flares and stuff. Thanks to the eye of the hurricane coming over us we just got stuff off the dink onto the boat in time...before the next phase hit...I tell you...people we're drowning out there! We survived tell about it,
We got some much needed sleep (seems like I always need sleep after a day on huge seas)...anyway we woke up this morning and had a discussion about the starter situation. It took almost 13 volts to fire it up leaving Maple Bay and the same leaving Chemanis and we both wanted 100% engine operational efficiency to go down the coast to Mexico. The issue is, the engine starts but only after the batteries are really fully charged almost to the point of over-charge (12.9-13.1 volts) anything less it wouldn't start. So we elected to return to Maple Bay because, as stated previously, they have Perkins people there, we have good contacts, parts are less than a day away, and we can get about 40% off stuff if we need to...besides that it's safe, very quiet, has a mini-store, a marine store, and good showers....and they have a swing (which helps my back).
The motoring back was almost uneventful...almost...except the tachometer kept pulsing...way weird...it would pulse (go down and up) to the beat of every second...but not always...only when I shut off the inverter or refer....all this seems to indicates a problem with the regulator on the alternator. With problems on the boat...it seems like "when it rains, it pours!"
So we're down to change out the starter, check out the regulator, and get ready for the next adventure. We have 11 days before we turn the corner and head south...don't like these problems popping up at the last minute but...that's what a shakedown cruise is all about.
Now about co-captains...it's tricky...the deal is we each have our own expertise and experience and we each bring different things to the table. The first thing is we both have equal financial shares in the boat...we each paid half so no one of us is "more owner" than the other. Sandy says you should read The Cruising Woman's Advisor by Diana Jessie to get a flavor of how it works. Weird, but it's complicated and simple at the same time. We're best friends, and we're husband and wife, and we've had to work out how we're going to work together. Example: Coming in the harbor we each know our role...we have a headset on with VOX (voice activated controls)...so we can talk and listen to each other as we come in and not have to press any buttons. I'm usually on the bow with the anchor...she usually pilots. We talk the whole thing through...I'm watching traffic...and our target area, she's watching depth and the target area...we trust each is going to do what they are expected...it get's trickier when say...the anchor windlass clutch decides it's not going to let go of the anchor on time and we end up either over-shooting the target or drifting off too far back. Headsets are the savior here...no yelling or getting excited)...we know the drill...she will either power up or back...and I will say something like "It's your boat...anchor isn't set." Not as a command...but as information like navigators give to pilots so she doesn't think we're set and turns off the controls etc...and then we'll set up again and re-shoot the target (usually all my discussion at this point is directed toward the %&$#@ windlass that didn't let go on time! You can get the picture). We have some very concrete agreements between us...such as no one allowed out of the cockpit without lifejackets....and lifejackets will be worn 100% of the time while underway...we're both also very good about informing each other exactly what we are doing almost all the time. If I go forward or aft I tell her why and what I'm going to do. Even going below this is important because I could go into the engine room and have something happen and she'd never know it...same with going aft. Also it's a courtesy thing...nothing like piloting the boat and hearing some "clunk," bang", or pop!" go on below and not know that the other was closing hatches or shutting drawers etc. In crises it's easy...we're both so tuned to each other we can pretty much know what to expect...we ascribe to the AA philosphy..."Principles before personalities...with that...you don't need a boss. Hope this helps...more if you ask.
Ray out for now...