As we returned to Wrangell Harbor after a day of fruitless fishing, but with 5 Dungeness crabs at least, I thought about how I was now an “old pro” returning to this harbor and dock.
What made me think that? This was only my 7th time returning to this harbor and docking on this dock!
Seven times! WTF. Virtually everyone reading this who has a boat has docked at their home harbor more than that, hundreds, even thousands of times more!!
But if you have been reading this blog and following my travels for any length of time, you know I’m all about travelling. Even when Dauntless was ported in Waterford, Ireland, Huatulco, Mexico or Vallejo, California and spent most of a year or more in those places, I wasn’t cruising. I’d leave the boat for weeks or months at a time flying to New York, California, Texas, Italy, Holland, Germany, Japan and Vietnam.
Even when we were home ported in Providence, Rhode Island, our trips were big ones, lasting the season, to Nova Scotia, then the Bahamas.
Therefore, since arriving in Wrangell at the end of August and the summer, we’ve done a half dozen day trips, which again is the most ever for any one port!
I miss Waterford. Still probably the best place Dauntless and I have ever lived. Great place for both the boat and me. We’ll return one day.
I regret not cruising more while in Vallejo. That was my original plan, but it was not to be. In part because Dauntless was under a roof, the mast was down. This allowed me to do a lot of overdue maintenance on the mast fittings but precluded taking Dauntless out for a spin.
While I have substituted taught here in the elementary and high schools, I’m pretty much doing nothing. So, taking the boat out for a few hours (we only have 7 hours of weak daylight this time of year) is a treat for me.
I am in the process of organizing a YouTube channel, in which I will have all of my cruising videos of the last 6 years, but that will be a work in progress. I will start with Dauntless leaving San Francisco and coming up the coast to the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and finally Southeast Alaska.
Despite my accomplishments this past year, another 2500 miles behind me, the Golden Gate in front of me, the Baja bash, Panama Canal, the Atlantic Ocean, behind me, I wonder if I did not make some big mistake.
For not the first time, I wondered about my sudden decision to flee northern Europe two years ago. I loved northern Europe. I loved Ireland. I loved the peoples and the cultures.
I lived for 4 years in Germany and still visit relatively often. The Germans certainly have some interesting attributes. Some of which I even like a lot.
In 2015, I was reminded just like 30 years ago, the different personalities the Germans are along the north coast. These are the people who have known “Auslander”, (from an outside land), for thousands of years. They are not the Germans of the much more insular interior, one meets south of Hamburg down to the Alps.
I dwell on this because stupid Google, out of the blue the other day, sends me my pictures of years ago and says, “don’t you want to post these?”
It reminded me yet again of how great the cruising was along the north coast of Europe, Scandinavia, the Baltic and North Seas. The cruising is the best I’ve yet encountered, with thousands of miles of protected skärgärd cruising. With the wind blowing 20+ knots, 100 meters away, you are cruising or anchored with nary a ripple of waves.
All the peoples who inhabit the environs along the coast are sea faring folk. Much like the Celtic culture along the west coast of Europe, from Galicia in NW Spain to Scotland, The North Sea and particularly the Baltic had the Hanseatic League. From Hamburg to Tallinn, they controlled trade and influenced culture from Germany to Russia.
This seafaring culture manifests itself in boat friendly, stranger friendly ways. No matter how small the port, or how many boats are already there, they will find room for you. In the more formal marinas, like Tallinn and Cuxhaven, the American flag was being put up on the yardarm of the marina even as I checked-in. And even check-in itself was a 5-minute process, with reasonable rates, about $0.25 per foot in Holland to $1.00 per foot in Helsinki. Overall average for marina overnights ended up being less than $0.50 a foot for my 4 months in the Baltic and North Seas.
All these experiences were exactly the opposite in southern Europe, by the way. 30-minute check-ins, filing out endless forms, each time, $1.00 per foot was best price and it went up to $2.00.
I was also reminded with much regret that the $1,000 ten-day stay I had at Cabo San Lucas was the same cost of one year! in Waterford, Ireland. Sure, Waterford could not boast like Cabo of having only 7 days a year with rain, but I am sure they can boast that they have at least 7 days a year with sun.
So, all these fond memories really made me question my decision of leaving Europe in 2016. Stupid Google also reminded me of my great trip to Galicia to scope out a winter home for Dauntless the following year. Food, people and marina in A Coruna were fantastic. I could stay there for $500 per month year around. Had I stayed another year as planned, I would still have some options. I could return to the Baltic the following summer or just stay in Northern Spain and Western France. I would have also saved so much money.
Oh Regrets. What would life be without them?
Probably a hell of a lot better!
I acknowledge that 2016 was a traumatic year for me. I often wonder if unexpected life changes led me to make some hasty, irrevocable decisions? It certainly seems so to me when I think and think and think about it.
It would have been just as easy to fly between Ireland or Spain and Vietnam. I picture myself escaping the heat a humidity of Vietnam for the damp coolness of Atlantic Europe.
One key factor drove my decision to leave for the Pacific, the availability of crew. My Hawaiian nephew wanted to take a year off from school before he went to law school. He thought exploring Europe, North Africa and the Caribbean via Dauntless would be ideal. He spent almost a year with Dauntless and I.
He was indispensable. Not only as a great, hardworking, vigilant crew mate, but also as a smart, interesting companion for the boring passage between Europe and the Panama Canal. I couldn’t have come that distance without him.
Dauntless is in Vallejo, California now. I’ll return to her next week for a month of getting her in ship shape. Next spring, I’ll return and weather permitting get her up to the Pacific Northwest by June, then British Columbia and Southeast Alaska for the summer.
Ending up in one of the wonderful, little towns of Southeast Alaska. Which one, will depend on several factors, Dauntless taking second stage for now.
By next year at this time, my life will take another turn, as I gain both a First and Second Mate on Dauntless. We’ll end up staying in Southeast Alaska only a little longer than originally planned. Visa requirements for my wife-to-be and her son require us to live in the United States, so SE AK is the perfect place to settle down for a while and catch a few fish and enjoy the fantastic scenery and wildlife.
What would have happened had Dauntless still been in Europe now? I would truly have a mess on my hands. Instead of struggling with a 2500 trip, I would be looking at 10,000+ miles. Eek!!
Everything happens for a reason. Two years ago, I had no idea I’d fall in love with the love of my life, yet again (ok, I’ve had a lot of lives). Or that she would be in Vietnam or that I’d spend all my free time with her in Vietnam. Or that SE Alaska, then so far away, now so close, would be the perfect place for a variety or reasons.
While I’m cooling my heel in Vietnam; a great place to do so, while Dauntless waits for better weather to head north this coming summer and fall, I seem to hear the sirens calling.
The problem is, after having moved south and west for the last 12 months and 7,000 miles, passing west thru the Panama Canal and up the west coast of Central America, with Alaska, the Aleutians, Japan, Korea and Taiwan in our sights, the Sirens are calling be back with a distinct Irish brogue.
Your thinking WTF, what the F do you think I’m feeling???
I’m the one who put in the miles, the time, the big ass seas and certainly the money to get where we are.
Yet, I can’t watch a Harry Potter movie, an episode of Borderland, the Fall and certainly Jack Taylor, without missing Northern Europe, Scotland and Ireland. For my tastes, certainly the best cruising since leaving New England.
Is it nostalgia?
Or just the realization that in my last 20,000 miles of cruising, the longest lasting relationships (excluding Krogenites, of course) have come from the Baltic and the Celtic areas of Galicia, Ireland and Scotland.
Coincidence? or the Sirens?
I have a tendency to think it’s the latter. What else could explain my obsession with Europe, while I still have Asia and a few more oceans to cross at best??
So where do we go from here? I’ll do what I do best, think and plan.
Most galleries are in chronological order. The date time group is also embedded in the file name. Please forgive all the redundancy. It’s always easier to take too many pictures than not enough, though it makes sorting after the fact a real PIA.
Also, should you see anything and have a specific question, please feel free to email me.
Kadey Krogen Rendezvous 2017
Richard on Dauntless
Dauntless’ Second Atlantic Passage
Four Legs from Europe to the Caribbean
Leg 1 Rota Spain to Rabat, Morocco, via Gibraltar to fuel up
50 hours total
Leg 2 Rabat Morocco to Las Palmas, the Canaries (unexpected stop)
4 days, 1 hr., 35 min
Avg speed 6.1 knots
Leg 3 Las Palmas to Heiro, the western most island in the Canaries, Fuel top-up
31 hours and 45 min
The last & biggest leg, the only one that mattered, the Canaries to Martinique
460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
The “Oh, BTW, you still have 2000 miles to go” leg, Martinique to Panama Canal and Mexico
460 hours, (19 days, 4 hours)
Same strong easterly trade winds; same large, mixed seas
Avg roll +13°/-09° ext 22°/-10°
Overall Winds & Seas
Conditions are Very Different than the North Atlantic
Trade winds prevent turning back
Constant wind speeds of 20 to 35 knots
Direction varied over 90° from NE to SE
3 wave sets produced large 25° roll every 8 to 10 minutes for 3 weeks
NE & SE wave sets, smaller, longer period
wave heights predominate 10 to 15 feet at 8 seconds
3 different wave sets produced large 25° roll every 8 to 10 minutes for 3 weeks
First week very disconcerting to have stern fall to stbd so suddenly every periodically
Since leaving North Africa, until the Panama Canal, more than 5,000 nm and more than 60 days underway, all but two of those days required the paravane stabilizers.
Entering the Pacific and turning northwest from Panama City, in the first four days we had no need of stabilization. They call it the Pacific for a reason.
Crises In the mid-Atlantic
What I did
What I now think I should have done (hint: Much Ado About Nothing)
Hydraulic Hose for Rudder failure
I was screwing around
What I did
First fix did not work
Spares, spares and more spares (but not the right fitting)
What I now think I should have done
Overall Summary of My Second Atlantic Passage
Considerably harder than I had expected
I’m still organizing the data, but the big take-away, is that the fuel consumption for the last two years has been about 1.5 gal/ hr. or a little above 4nm/gal
Average cost has run between $75 to $133 per day when I’m on the boat. Even during the most recent passage, cost was $104 per day, with fuel being $80 a day.
Since spring happens once a year in most places, one would think that spring cleaning is a yearly event.
Though not on Dauntless. With a surely, lazy crew, when I have even thought about a through reorganization, the look I see in the mirror is downright mutinous.
Of course, besides being, Master, Captain, Skipper, I am also the crew.
So, it’s no surprise that upon returning to Dauntless after my 3-month hiatus, it was time to evict the hitchhikers and other life forms.
I’d managed to go four years with nothing worse than the occasional fly or mosquito on board.
Well now the intrepid explorer has been put in his place by a bunch of roaches and a mouse or maybe two.
Last week the whole upper part of the boat was cleaned and I threw away, I’m embarrassed to say about 8 trash bags, large ones, of crap that should have been thrown away eons ago.
Stuff like three copes of the bus schedule for the Waterford Bus. Won’t need that for a few years.
The skills we learned in the pre-internet years, have gone by the wayside. A coveted bus schedule, or even a phone book could always come in handy.
Maps though. Only when we got Dauntless did I reduce my map collection. How can I explain to someone who uses Google to get anywhere, how I use to have two or three maps of places and countries of interest? Balancing them on your knee, finding the quickest way, having to know when and where traffic was bad and hot to avoid the worst.
Even with this week’s boat cleaning, I had one small file of European maps. My most coveted ones, that I justified in not throwing away saying to myself that the next time I go to Europe, I’ll use them.
But it’s not to be. I put them on the dock and only later after the latest rain storm did I remember them. In a normal environment, I would have dried them out, but on a boat, nothing dries out that is not already dry. Into the dust bin they went.
Today, it was time to empty the engine room. Well not really empty, but to take out all the things that are not fastened down.
The picture below shows the things stored in the back of the engine room, on either side of the generator. It’s a lot of stuff. Most of which I’ll never need. But it gives me piece of mind to venture far away or at least far away from the closest Amazon delivery.
It’s spare parts for almost all of the systems on Dauntless. It’s plumbing, electrical (both 220v and 110v) and woodworking, parts, replacements and spares. It’s what allows this 29-year-old Kadey Krogen to make its own electricity, power, water. Just like a self-contained city, the only thing missing is snow removal; Oh, we’ll have that next year.
It made me envious; I know, that’s ridiculous, but still.
Dauntless spent two and a half years in Northern Europe because I knew we would like it. The weather, the people, the cultures all, the food, fit my number one criteria of staying off the beaten track and living well as I did so.
That was expected. All the lands of coastal Northern Europe have a real seafaring culture. Every boat waves at you, especially fisherman. From Galicia in northwest Spain to the far eastern Baltic, it was a wonderful experience with minimal bureaucracy.
In those 2+ years, 20+ countries, 100+ stops, mostly in towns and cities, I probably spent less than 120 minutes on the formalities of checking in (Passports, boats documents, crew lists) and checking out.
No wait, there was no checking out.
The peoples, the lands, met and greatly exceeded my expectations.
Then, we headed south. 90% of all boats are south, mostly in the Mediterranean, you know, Italy, Greece, Turkey and southern France and Spain. Everyone wants to go there, so that’s a big Do Not Enter sign for me.
So, we headed south with low expectations. Little did I realize they were not low enough.
Prices trebled, temperatures doubled and bureaucracy was like a pig is slop. The first two stops in Portugal took the same amount of time as the last 100 stops of the previous two years.
And then it got worse.
In virtually every stop, 5 to 10 pieces of paper to sign to check-in; make sure you return tomorrow to fill out and sign the same papers to check-out. Don’t even mention the expense.
But you have read all of this before. Turns out Martinique was the high point of the entire Caribbean. It’s almost weird to say that they were the least bureaucratic. In fact, they were just like northern France. But that was certainly the exception.
So now, having endured all of that and more to get Dauntless a quarter of the way back around the world, I sit here with envy of Dirona.
But I realize it’s not Dirona I’m envious of, it’s being in the middle of the ocean.
I’m a traveler, so when I’m not, I’ll always be envious of those who are.
Should I have stayed in northern Europe for another year?
The route I ended up taking between Galicia in the Northwest corner of Spain and the Canaries.
First the additional year. I love Ireland, the people, even the weather (you never got bored). But Ireland itself is not really cruising country. Getting up and down the coasts can be a bitch, at best. I did love A Coruna though. Why not there? That was Plan B after all.
Then Schengen reared its ugly head. For those of you who still don’t know what “Schengen” is, it was the city in Luxembourg in which almost all the countries of Europe (nothing to do with E.U.) decided to have open borders in 1989. Open borders meant just that. Prior to 1991 or whenever it went into effect, one had to stop at each and every frontier and show passport. On my many drives from the Netherlands to Italy, that meant 3 border crossings. But they were pretty quick (nothing like the USA-Canada boondoggle). They never even stamped your passport. While the rule was, you were allowed in 90 days in each country, no one cared and as I said, no one stamped passports other than at airports and not even then many times.
But with Schengen and the open borders, they decided they still had to control immigration. Therefore non E.U. people could only stay 90 days out of every 180 days. So, before you could move from country to country every 90 days a stay within the rules, now, you had to leave the continent or go to the U.K. or Ireland. That’s why Dauntless was in Waterford.
Ultimately, I realized that to keep Dauntless in A Coruna for the winter would not be feasible, since I could no longer go to NYC for 3 months and then return.
By the way. So, Schengen was written to keep people from overstaying, yet today the E.U. gets about 200,000 people a month from Africa and the Middle East.
But they got Dauntless out so all is OOOKKK.
And another aside. While those morons in Washington debate who to let in. NO ONE, Dems or Republicans, talks about we have no system to track who leaves. Wouldn’t you think if we really cared, the first thing would be using one of the billion computers the government has to track people as they leave and compare that list to who came in. What a clown show!
Now, sorry for the diatribe. My route which took me down the coast of Portugal and around the corner to Gibraltar. I didn’t even see the Gibraltar Apes.
I suppose the real issue here is that we were really beaten up almost the entire trip from Porto, Portugal all the way to the Canaries. By stopping in Gibraltar, I added about another 360 miles to our trip.
I actually had a sailor in France tell me that I should go direct to the Canaries from Vigo in NW Spain. But I wanted to see Portugal and I am glad I did.
But southern Spain and Morocco, ended up being exactly what I expected, hot, dry and dry and hot.
I could have spent those weeks in the Canaries. The Canaries reminded me of everything I liked about Galicia. Great people, food and a boating culture.
Looking for something else, I came across my 2015 Post Mortem of my First Atlantic Passage. It’s fascinating. Makes me feel I should write another one for this passage. I will, but also think I would like to do a compare & contrast, a great teacher’s tool.
But this is not that. This is more about the how and why I went the way we went. In thinking about this post, I’ve been thinking a lot about this in the past couple weeks. But even now, I go back and forth, would I or would I? That is the question.
Not my usual rainbow and sunset picture, but appropriate none the less. Being in Saigon gives me the opportunity to think, reflect and plan for the future.
Being away from Dauntless, longer than originally planned, but in fact, it’s worked out for the best. When I am on Dauntless, short term takes precedence.
As I have reflected on the events of 2016. I found myself racing through some places I really loved, like Galicia; while staying months in places I really didn’t, like Southern Spain, Morocco.
It was a tumultuous year, in every aspect. The year started with Dauntless was in the capable hands of the Kehoe Boys in New Ross, Ireland, another place I miss very much. I, in the meantime, was in NY and then Julie and I took a trip to Galicia in mid-February to see if we could keep Dauntless in A Coruna or Vigo, for the winter 2016-17. We both loved Galicia as much as we thought we would. Thus, Plan A to return to North America became Plan B.
Plan B: Ireland, Scotland for the summer, then France in August and Galicia by mid-September for the winter. Now, the Schengen three-month rule really puts a crimp on spending time (and money) in Europe for non-E.U. cruisers, but I’d spend the off times in NY and USA.
Then Life Happened and the Plan Changed, again.
Even before leaving NYC at the end of March I found myself going back to Plan A, getting Dauntless back to the New World.
So far, so good. Plan A would get me to Asia sooner rather than later. But I did not think about how much I liked the cruising in Ireland, Scotland, Atlantic France (Brittany) and Spain (Galicia).
The route from Ireland to Panama is dictated by climate and currents. Not a lot of options, but I’m not sure I really thought about the choices I did have well enough.
Just picked up 2411 liters, 637 gallons, of gas oil, a.k.a diesel. That’s 4533 pounds of fuel, added to the 400 pounds she already had. Dauntless now sits a few inches lower than before, but looks ready to go.
And the engine room smells as sweet as ever, with no fuel smell, just the smell of new batteries and cables.
Now you wonder why all the fuss? Isn’t re-fueling supposed to be easy and routine? Well, if you are driving a car I suppose it is. I’ve filled cars with fuel thousands of times. But on Dauntless it’s been less than 30 times and on Dauntless, nothing is ever routine.
A few of the shenanigans that have taken place while fueling:
Being showered by a volcano of fuel at the Portsmouth, NH fish dock. Luckily, no fishing boat was waiting as I showered and got out of my fuel soaked clothes.
Succumbing to the fear expressed by my friends about running out of fuel, I purposely overfilled the tanks by about 10 gallons before leaving Rhode Island. This was soon followed by the little fuel runoff coming from the port side tank, a few of those extra gallons soon were in the bilge.
The most recent leak last summer that lead to the New Ross Experience. Much like the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Seattle, but more expensive.
And after each debacle, the next fueling are filled with dread; what will happen next?
So, as you can see, I have every reason to be elated about smelling nothing in the engine room.
Best of all, the 637 gallons cost half of what I paid to fill the tanks two years ago in the fall of 2014.
Tomorrow, with a full fuel and water load, Dauntless is ready to take care of business as we head south for France, Spain & Portugal.
I keep on looking for excuses not to leave, but Mother Nature, continues to send warning signals that I best be on my way. Right now, the best 42 hour window is from the 13th at 0300L, putting us just off of Brest on the 14th at 22L.
A night time entry, but what else is new!
It’s the only way I can maiximize the good wind conditions as the ridge moves east .
And here is the current surface map to help you understand the wind pattern better:
Atlantic Sfc Analysis
I’ve been watching this for the last few weeks, at first just to get an idea of the timing of the systems and the strength of the winds.
Until yesterday, the prognosis (progs) seemed to indicate a thin ridge of high pressure passing eastward mid-week. Then yesterday, it showed a nice ridge (indicative of fair weather and weaker winds) on Thursday and Friday, with the high pressure area centered just west of Brest.
Now this afternoon, after the 12Z run of weather models, my ridge of high pressure has been squeezed to almost nothing. So for my 2 day trip, this now looks like a 24 hour weather window:
WNW winds down to 15 knots (map shows km/hr)
It’s for this reason, (that the progs can change significantly) I pretty much do not look at any other weather products routinely. There are a number of reasons for this, in short, they all get their weather from the same source and more importantly, the different forecast models may differ in terms of space and time; but for someone not looking at them constantly, as in a full time job, forget it. There is simply too much information to digest fine tune a forecast that much. In addition, there is no point in looking at more detailed forecasts because by now, I know what to look for.
Though if I was travelling locally, like north along the coast, then I would check the marine forecast for that area. But if was just saying what I already could deduce myself, in other words no real local conditions to consider, then I don’t bother looking at it again.
Dauntless needs a little less than two full days. 42 hours, to get from Waterford to Brest, France. So I’ve been watching for the last few weeks, whenever I have internet, to see how often a two-day window appears.
Not very often. There may have been one a few weeks ago, but since that, I’ve only seen good weather windows of about a day. Now, when I say good weather, originally I was looking only for winds on our stern at 15 knots or less. The Krogen runs really well in such conditions, rolling as she is wont to do, but the paravanes reduce most of that.
As I was watching, I had even settled for 20 knots astern, since I saw so few periods with less than 15. Also, since our course to Brest will be 160 True, winds from dead astern would be 160 +180 = 340 or northwesterlies. NW winds occur after a cold frontal passage.
So it’s easy, just wait for the front to pass and head out.
But it’s not so easy, as I learned 30 years ago while forecasting the weather for northern Europe and Germany in particular. The North Atlantic is a true spawning ground for low pressure systems. They line up like freight trains, from North America to Northern Europe. And they are moving quickly, averaging 4 times the speed of Dauntless or about 600 nm a day.
But as the fronts approach Europe, they start to weaken as they lose the upper air support that is centered over the North Atlantic. Then with the passage of the cold front, instead of the usual 2 to 3 days of high pressure with NW winds and cold temperatures that one gets in the mid-west, one gets a reprieve of only 6 hours, before the winds jump around to the south or southwest in from the of the next cold front due to arrive in about 18 hours.
It was exactly the pattern I got into in the last three days of my Atlantic Passage two years ago. But then, I wasn’t thinking of the overall pattern, but instead was just so glad to see a few rays of sunshine as the winds dropped to 15 to 18 knots.
I remember making a snack thinking the worst was over. I was able to find the banging wine bottle. So as the winds picked up again in the next few hours, I hardly noticed. I was like the lobster in the pot of cold water wholeheartedly noticed the water getting hotter and hotter until it’s too late.
But unlike the lobster, I know I’ll be safe no matter what, though I may be miserable. That’s because the first step is to find and have a boat that can do what you want it to do.
After months of planning, thinking and just plain fretting, the batteries are in and Dauntless is no longer acting like a one legged duck.
How do one legged ducks act you wonder? Without the engine running or being plugged into shore power, we had only a few minutes’ worth of electrical power.
And I’d go to sleep, not with visions of sugar plum faeries (or better yet, leggy milf’s) dancing in my head, but with pictures of wiring diagrams and this and that.
So, having found replacement batteries in Kilmore Quay’s Kehoe Marine last month, they got four Yuasa Cargo Deep Cycle GM batteries that were of 8-D size, with 230 amp-hours each for me. Weighing in at 55 kg, or 115 lbs. each and delivered to the Kehoe boys at New Ross Boat Yard (yes, of course they are related).
Waiting for high tide, when the dock was only a few feet above the floating pontoon, we got the batteries on to the boat without dropping them into the water.
Then, the hardest part physically, getting the old batteries out. Perhaps with the knowledge that we could not hurt them, it took us less than an hour to get them out.
I then spent the next few hours re-configuring how the batteries were connected. I essentially made a positive and negative stud that consolidated the all the connections before they went to the batteries.
My friend Ed had given me a new article about the optimum way to connect multiple batteries that was slightly superior to the way I had the older batteries connected. I had had 8 new battery cables made, 2 for each battery, each 2.3 meters long (about 7 feet). This allowed the four batteries to have the exact same length cable to each from the charging source. By having the same cable lengths, the resistance should be equal and thus each battery should get exactly the same amount of charge.
That took a few hours, with a panicked call to Dave Arnold, the electrical guru (who else would be driving around an all-electric car for the 1980’s!).
His call reaffirmed the use of the existing terminal block and Perko switch that was used to switch the start to the house batteries if needed.
Finally, after 8 hours, I was ready for the new batteries. I rigged an Amstel line around the hand railing to the pilot house, thus we could lower the batteries into the engine room and the only struggle was to pull them into place while lowering at the same time.
Two hours later, all was in place, hooked up and ready to go.
All the boat grounds go to a common terminal, then one large cable to the boat side of the Victron battery Monitor shunt. Then one large cable to another terminal post which has all four negative battery cables.
Positives are similar, in that the inverter/charger, the positive from the alternator and the positive from the terminal block (which has a number of inputs from the isolators and thus indirect from the other battery chargers) go to a terminal post, then all 4 battery cables are attached.
In the next days/weeks, as I physically tie the lines and organize a bit more, I will make a new electrical diagram.
Now, according to my calculations, all the rest of the year should be downhill!
The biggest sigh of relief; bigger than having crossed an ocean.
I know it’s hard to believe, but think about it. Boat yards have far more scary unknowns than oceans! I knew I would cross the Atlantic in 4 weeks; Dauntless in the boat yard? Boat yards are the Hotel California for boats; many enter and a good number never leave.
But Dauntless is jaunty, so that’s not going to happen to her; ever, never.
Dauntless left Waterford last October, expecting to be back in a few weeks. Instead it took 10 months and I spend a winter worrying:
Would the leaking fuel tank be fixed?
What about the crack in the hull?
Should I spend the money to paint the hull?
And if so, what colors?
Returning to Ireland the first of April did little to assuage my fears. A windy, wet winter (what else is there in Ireland?) seemed to make everything go slower. Even the inside work, fuel tank, had not been done. Michael & Stephen of the New Ross Boat Yard assured me everything would be done and not to worry.
I worried anyway, but Michael was right and made sure everything was done: On Time and On Target.
This will be our last two weeks in Waterford. It will give me a chance to say goodbye to friends and people who have become like family for me in the last two years. Remember the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker? Johnny, the manager of the City Dock was here to help with the lines. He did look a bit gaunt though and I discovered that he is training for a trek thru the Himalayas next year.
So since leaving New Ross on May 29th, Dauntless and I have travelled 22 days to Scotland and return. 157 engine hours and about 800 nautical miles.
I’ve ordered new batteries and they will be delivered next week, just after I get back from NYC.