Sailing South on Solitude

John, Penni & Timmy

These things are sent to try us

We had a good night although I didn’t sleep that well. We had set the alarm for 10:20pm to watch the eclipse. Despite the clouds, we were able to watch the beginning until it started to get a bit boring. We then set the alarm for half an hour later so we could watch the full eclipse. Unfortunately the cloud cover was complete so we could not see anything. I was rather glad I could turn over and get to sleep. I slept lightly though as it got a bit rocky out here and then the rain started so all hatches had to be closed. I was not worried about our long crossing - I knew I had a whole day for that!
We woke up around 8 and the conversation went something like this.
Penni: It’s still raining.
John: Yes, but the weather still looks good for us to leave this afternoon.
Penni: What do we need to do to prepare?
John: We can have a lazy morning, but I will start the generator to charge the batteries.
I then relaxed with a cup of tea and a Timmy cuddle, although the noise of the generator is never very relaxing. Then the generator stopped. I listened. John started it again, and I was relieved to here it’s annoying hum. Then it stopped again.
John’s head appeared at the hatch - it’s blowing white smoke, I am going to need to take a look. I didn’t say anything but my face must have said it all.
John: These things are sent to try us!
I don’t know if he was just being positive, because there is no point in being negative or if he was genuinely looking forward to tinkering with the engine. I began googling the symptoms as John started taking it apart. He changed the oil, cleaned the spark plugs and the carburetor, checked any parts he could see and put it back together. This, plus conducting checks in the interim took until 4 in the afternoon. He got it running, but not without smoke and not for long. The language is not as positive as it was this morning.
John wants to go anyway, as long as the engine starts. We have three ways to charge batteries: the alternator(gone), the generator(gone) and a small solar panel (it’s cloudy). Memories of being in the middle of the ocean without an engine on the way over here are still vivid in my mind. The wind is light and variable again - we cannot rely on our sails either. John’s point is that we cannot get anything fixed here. There are hardware stores at Bimini or we can get to the marina there, charge the batteries and make the last leg to the US
John: Now or never
Penni: rolls her eyes.
We have an E-Perb


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