The wind blew through the anchorage yesterday. It felt pretty good as it kept things tolerably cool. However, a swell set up in the short distance between the beach and the boat. But we were also getting a swell from the Sea coming around the northern edge of Isla Estanque. The wind kept us mostly beam-on to the swells making things pretty uncomfortable all day. We’ve been in worse but it was still uncomfortable.
I swapped alternators yesterday morning. I was encouraged at first when I fired up the engine because the ammeter leapt up to 13 volts. I’d have felt better if it had leapt a little closer to 14 volts. After running it a few minutes, I noticed that the belt was a little bit loose. Since there was no more adjustment available to tighten it, I changed belts with a spare that I hoped was the right size. It was a bit of a struggle to get it on but, once on I was able to tighten it with the alternator in the middle of its adjustment range. I’m pretty sure my other alternator was probably OK. I think that it’s kind of what I’ve suspected all along; the voltage regulator is sensing the voltage coming in from the solar panels and then deciding that things are fine and no extra charging is needed. This whole two-bank, multiple-charging-source battery stuff continues to baffle me. I’m going to test my theory by disconnecting the solar panels and then running the engine. If the ammeter pops up to near 14 volts, I’ll know what the problem is. I won’t however, necessarily know how to fix it yet. I’ll re-read my Nigel Calder and see what I can figure out.
The rest of the day I spent reading (“Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky) and Lulu spent mostly working on her micromacrame glasses thingy – you know, like one of those things that let you hang your glasses around your neck. My other pastime was trying to keep the seagulls from landing on the bow pulpit or the solar panels. Looking at one of the panels yesterday evening, I must have not been completely successful.
In the early afternoon, the rolling was finally getting to me and I decided to up anchor and see if there was a more protected spot. To our east were two points that stuck out and I figured that, if we could get in between them, we should have good protection from the swell. But, unfortunately, we bailed before we got very far in as the water was shoaling fast and looked like it would be too shallow well before we were in the lee of thew westernmost point. On our way over there we passed by a large pod of feeding dolphins. I tried to skirt around them as much as possible so I wouldn’t mess up their feast. We tried the lee side of the next point over but, before we’d even made the turn we could see that the area we would want to anchor in is riddled with large dangerous-looking rocks so we decided to go back where we were. On the way back the dolphins put on quite a show for us; tandem leaps; back flips, etc, and right alongside the boat. We ended up anchoring a little bit west of where we had been before and a little closer to shore. I don’t think we gained anything but at least we weren’t sitting there thinking, “I bet it’s lots calmer between those points. Wish we’d anchored there.” Fortunately, as evening approached, the swell calmed down until it was almost unnoticeable.
Had pizza for dinner and watched a couple of shows. We both slept great and there was no need for our fans as we had a nice cool breeze down the hatch all night long. At one point I even woke up a just little bit chilly. But that feeling didn’t last long. Slept until 0815.
This morning I downloaded e-mail from Sailmail so I could check the weather. Geary says we should see moderate south winds today, lighter tomorrow, and stronger on Saturday. Stan says about the same thing. The grib files show the strong winds today but then show them moderating tomorrow and staying light and variable through at least Saturday. So, here’s the plan. Instead of sailing to Isla Partida (about 15 miles) and then to Isla San Esteban, we’re going to get up early tomorrow and head directly to San Esteban, about 40 miles. Since low tide is in the mornings right now, we don’t have much choice except to sail into the tidal current. However, we’ll be sailing SE rather than due south so that may help and it might also give us some favorable winds to either add a few knots to the engine speed or let us out-and-out sail at a decent speed.
So, today will be another layabout day putting up with the rolling until late afternoon. And in case you’re wondering why we haven’t gone ashore yet, we don’t feel like assembling the PortaBote for just a day knowing that we’ll be disassembling it before we leave since I’m not crazy about towing it anytime there are any seas or wind.
Quick survey and Spanish lesson: When you read “Isla San Esteban” above, raise your hand if you pronounced it EsteBAN with the accent on the final syllable. Okay, put your hands down. Now, raise your hand if you pronounced it correctly, EstEban with the accent on the next to the last syllable. Since Esteban is my adopted Spanish name and has been since junior high Spanish class, I like to hear it pronounced correctly. The rule in Spanish, if I remember right is: If a word ends in a vowel, an “n”, or an “s”, and has no written accent, the accent is on the next-to-the-last syllable. So, in this case, since Esteban does not have a written accent, es-STAY-bon it is.
Okay, hasta sometime mana (let me know if that tilde came through intact).