1.) I kinds, sorta figured out what the deal was with my starter. The starter’s fine, as I already knew. I tested the switch today and it, too, is just fine. On a whim, I checked the starting battery terminal connections. Pretty tight but there was a little corrosion under the positive terminal. I cleaned it up and replaced it, tightening it down real good. No joy. But, when I routed my jumper from the house batteries (since there’s a convenient bus bar nearby) through the starter switch, the engine started up pretty as you please. So, my latest idea is that the starting battery is pretty well kaput. It has enough juice to energize the glow plug relay, although it does chatter a bit, but not enough to also energize the starting relay. So, for now I’ll energize the starting relay from another source. When we get somewhere larger like San Felipe, Puerto Penasco, or Guaymas, I’ll investigate the starting battery further. Might just not be getting a charge for some reason. I do keep it topped up with water so it’s not that. But, at any rate, we can now start the engine in a normal way again. No more hot-wiring for now.
2.) We might have gotten smacked by a whale shark early this morning. We were in bed a little before sunrise when something definitely hit the boat. Not super hard but it was definitely hit by something. I scrambled topside but all I saw was a single large-ish ripple heading away from us. It looked like the bow wave of a small barge but there was nothing visible on the surface. The wave (ripple) kept moving away from us at the same speed and the same size. Something was obviously making it. If it had been a whale, I would have expected to see it breathe occasionally. I didn’t. There are supposedly lots of whale sharks around here in the summer. They come to the shallow warm water to feed. It was definitely shallow but not particularly warm, at least not by our standards. I didn’t watch long enough to see if the wave turned when it reached the north shore but I suspect that it did.
Speaking of shallow, the tides up here are a lot larger than down south as we knew they would be. The recent super moon has made them even more drastic. Yesterday we anchored in 20′ of water. This morning, 4 hours before low tide, we were in 12′. A couple hours later, along with swinging around at anchor, we were at a 9′ with two more hours to go to low tide. With only 5′ of water under our keel, the shoreline getting nearer and 2 hours until low tide, I decided we needed to move to deeper water. Didn’t have to go too far until we were in 15.5′. Dropped the anchor and felt much better. Blew like crazy today, though. It’s been blowing 15-20 knots from the west ever since we moved. It’s 7:10 PM now and sounds like it might be beginning to let up. We did still manage to get ashore to drop off laundry, download e-mail and get a few groceries. Laundry won’t be ready for pick-up until Saturday so we’ll definitely not be leaving before Sunday.
For everyone coming behind us, you can get your laundry done at Yolanda’s. She is also who fills/exchanges your propane bottles and she sells filtered gasoline. To get to her place, go ashore anywhere and walk on the main drag northward towards the sailboat sculpture. She’s just a little past the sailboats on the west (southbound) side of the road. There’s a hand-painted sign out front and it looked like they’re putting together a little snack palapa right out on the road in front of the propane/laundry/her house. She asked us to tell you.