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Arrived in Puerto Rico!

We made it, we’re here!

Yesterday was a lovely day, the wind was initially still on the nose. I had got up at about 0600 to start the engine and tack all was going well. I was feeling a bit grubby so had a wash and shave and felt better. I thought i had better check my windlass because i was expecting to need it and it was as well that i did because the pounding had knocked the solenoid off the bulkhead with one of the screws having lost its head and a connection coming off. As the weather was relatively benign i thought i would try to fix it.

I had fitted the solenoid last year and had a look and thought i could see where the wire had come from, re fitted it and, hey presto, nothing. It was hot and humid in the focsle. I had a clean tee shirt on which was now soaking. I had brought a spare solenoid so fitted this. Nothing.   I make it sound straightforward but it did involve some cursing and so on. I  was now worried that the windlass was not working rather than the solenoid. Connecting the windlass to power proved that the windlass was good. There is a fuse up there which i changed and it kept blowing. Oddly, it turned out that i was connecting it up incorrectly, i had mis identified where the wire had come from.  By this time  we were having to slow down to not arrrive whilst i had my head in the focsle. i also thought it was time to stop working on it and have a think.

I dropped the sails and came into the marina for a nosy around, then went to anchor. By this time it was about 14oo.  I blew up the smaller of the dinghies and  rowed ashore with the papers to check in and see if the marina had a berth for me. They don’t. I eventually found the office and  was directed to an oversized ipad to clear in. This led to the issue tha t i have an account and password for the us border force but couldnt   Find it on my phone because it was an app rather than a website, so  not appearing under passwords. I asked the nice ladies if there was wifi i could use. There was. I spent half an hour trying to get it to work. One of the nice ladies helped me. It still didnt work. I have my vodafone sim card in and had received texts saying it was a zone something country and my home data would work for 6.7 quid a day, but the  phone was logging onto a non internet signal. Turning it off and on again it came up with a4g signal so , eventually, i got online and tried to clear in but only got so far because i had come from cuba. The thing said, an officer was reviewing my. Case, stand by. I never got any further but now notice that i have e mails from them saying to telephone them before o9oo to finish clearing in, which i will do now……. Not  possible, i had omitted to charge my phone which is now dead but on charge. Having got this far i went to call on a friendly american yacht that had, i think this is the correct term, hollered me as i was perusing the marina saying, come visit. So i did, he, gary, turned out to be a cruiser who, essentially, lived aboard, here, with, 3 of his lovely daughters. I stopped initially for a chat but was persuaded to stay for a cup of water and then tea  and ended  up down below where two of the daughters, who had grown up on boats with gary were making jewellery, and another had just woken up. We had a convivial few hours but i was conscious that i needed to get back to the boat for some tidying up and to get on with jobs so tore myself away. Came back aboard, looked a the freezer, couldnt find anything  obvious, looked at the batteries, decided to swap them around so that there was one good one on each side of the  bank, - there are 4 batteries with 2 in parallel connected in series to two more in parallel to give 24 volts. It seemed straightforward and i disconnected one of the duff ones, and shuffled them around appropriately but then, inevitably, wished i had taken pictures of the wiring before disconnecting it all. It should be straightforward but isnt because there are things like the bilge pumps, solar panels and so on connected to the batteries independently of the boats normal system. Any way i believe i worked it out and reconnected it all and noticed that there was 12 amps coming out of the system. With the freezer off, and the autopilot not being used this shouldnt be. I tried disconnecting the duffest of the batteries and this put the load down to 3 amps and it has been fine overnight with me not needing to start the engine once. I will get into town and buy 4 new batteries but maybe keep 2 of the better old ones. Although i am not sure why, i hate throwing stuff away i think.

I looked at the freezer too but found nothing obvious other than that it is very difficult to get  to and the compressor has been screwed down with star screws which is a pain although i do have set of allen key type star drivers.   I am currently on the telephone to the us border force but keep getting cut off and the lady seems to have assumed that i am somebody else, hopefully it will sort itself out in a minute. Next on the job list is to rig the shade, look at the freezer, get the windlass going, tidy up a little and clean,  take my cycle ashore and explore whilst buying batteries and so on.

Update post scriptum, the border force needed me to go alongside the  fuel berth, and i have been inspected by several serious border force chaps, possibly agents, all armed to the teeth with weapons torches, computers and gadgets, i think i pass muster but am awaiting clearance still. I had to change 20 dollars at the bar to give them 19 dollars for the clearance. I am not allowed to dispose of any garbage here so have to take it with me, hopefully. It won’t be so difficult in the virgin islands. I contemplated assembling my bicycle here but am not allowed to dock my dinghy here however there is apparently a far friendlier place where it won’t be an issue so i will row it over later.    

Slainte jock and yemaya.   

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1 Comment

Mar 21

what a busy life. But you made already friends. That's good!

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