Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Turtle Bay +

Date: 3/12/2009
Location: Turtle Bay
Lat/Lon: 27 41.210 N 114 53.236 W
Weather: Windy, 30+ kts

I worked on the sump pump for most of the day. You wouldn't think that a simple pump would take so long to fix, especially since we had a backup pump that I put in and it still didn't work and yes, I did check the voltage at the pump, a good 12.6 vdc. The real frustrating thing is that when I brought the pump up to the pilothouse to test it worked just fine but when I took it back to the engine room it didn't work. Very strange voodoo stuff going on. It had to be the wiring so I connected the positive wire to the + post of the engine starter motor, still nothing. I then tried connecting the negative wire to the engine block and it fired right up. There was a bad negative/ground wire for the pump. I've never seen anything like this before. Next thing was to try to figure out how to fix it. I traced the wire as far as I could trough the engine room, nothing suspicious looking there. From the engine room it disappears into a hidden wire run up to the electrical panel in the pilothouse. Checked the panel connections but there was no way to tell which of the dozens of black grounding wires was from the pump. Out of frustration, and the need to get the sump pump working so I could take a shower, I used a wire that I had run from the pilothouse to the engine room but never used. I connected it to the ground strip on the panel and to the pump and it ran great. I still need to sort this out but at least it's working for now.

Now it was shower time with some Ibuprofen, My back was aching from crawling around the engine room on my hands and knees and I didn't want to end up like last October when I could barely move due to back pain. This is not nearly so bad so I stopped for the day before I made it worse.

I forgot to mention that the day after we arrived the Mexican Navy came out to us in their 30' panga with 6 armed shoulders onboard. It was too windy for them to make a safe approach to us so they just came near and asked what our last port of call was and if we were the owners of the boat. At least I think that's what they said, they only spoke Spanish and we don't. We're working on that.

The photo above is the Mexican navy patrol boat.

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