We've lost track of our mystery case files, so I don't know what number to assign this particular case, but it was as baffling as any case we've tackled.
Earlier this week, CA went looking for her favorite black hoodie. And came up dry. No hoodie.
Clearly. It's misplaced. Right?
A few days back, she cleaned half the saloon. No hoodie.
She poked around in all of the storage spaces on the boat. There aren't that many. V-berth. Fwd Hanging locker. Galley. Aft Hanging Lockers. Aft Berth. Two Heads. Bins under the beds. On-deck lazarette. Engine room.
You know you're a cruiser when you're trying to look for lost things in places you used to be.
Maybe we left it at Meehan's Pub in St. Augustine? Since then (Daytona? New Smyrna Beach? Titusville? Eau Gallie?) has it been too warm for the hoodie? Maybe Hottie Coffee in NSB?
We're usually really careful about leaving stuff behind us. We try to check twice were we've been sitting to be sure that we didn't leave something hanging over a chair back.
CA cleaned the rest of the main saloon yesterday. All of the cushions came out to get some airing on the aft deck.
Underneath Frankencushion. Good. That's a relief. The boat's not that big.
Today's agenda? No more mysteries for us, thank you. We're doing laundry.
You know you're a cruiser when you're laundry schedule is based on places you've been and places you're going, not the calendar.
There are a fairly large number of laundry machines here, but if you're not in the laundry room pre-dawn, you're going to wait.
We'll do a lot more cleaning after the laundry is done.
When changing the oil on Saturday, it took two tries to get the engine started. Down from four. Up from the ideal of one.
I cleaned parts of the starter relay. That's what I'm hoping is giving me some starter complaints.
The relay is nearly inaccessible because it's under the air intake, the exhaust elbow and one of the hoses for the raw-water part of the cooling system.
The wire on the bottom of the picture is adjacent to the block and nearly impossible to reach with a wrench. I can get a socket wrench on it, but I'm reluctant to apply significant force because the body of the device is just a little sheet-metal wrapper around plastic. Applying too much force to the stud could easily break the solenoid.
It's really a two-wrench job. An open-ended wrench on the inner nut and a socket wrench on the outer nut. I can't seem to get the open-ended wrench in there. There aren't very many paths of access to that nut. A mechanic told me that it's sometimes necessary to have the machine shop cut a perfectly good wrench down to make it just a few inches long.
With some care I can glimpse the screws on the mounting bracket. Maybe that's the avenue.
Here's what a replacement to looks like. Note the absence of rust.
I'm not sure this replacement is up to the marine environment. Maybe it is. It came with the boat.
But I still haven't proven whether it's the relay or the starter itself which is glitchy.
The problem is intermittent. So it's not simply a failed relay or starter. If Mr. Lehman starts, there's nothing to diagnose.
Next time he doesn't start, I have to run below and listen while CA tries the starter. I need to hear if the relay clicks or the starter solenoid clicks. I may even need to run some jumper wires so I can attach the multimeter and watch the voltage levels across the various parts of the circuit.
I'm not going to reach over an engine which might start using little hand-held probes. That's an invitation to disaster.
One of these rainy days when we don't feel like a walk on the beach, I think I'll have to tackle this job more seriously than just attempting to clean the wires and connectors.
Weather and Departures
We're watching the weather. We won't make a Tuesday-Wednesday departure even though that weather window looks good. There's too much going on. Our daughter is in Orlando on business. We're going there to visit her; that pushes back our departure.
Here's part of the synopsis from Sebastian Inlet to Jupiter Inlet 0-20 nm (AMZ555) from Monday Feb 10, 2014:
WIND AND SEA CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY WITH IMPROVING CONDITIONS RETURNING FOR FRIDAY.
Friday-Saturday to Miami? We'll wait and watch. We'll consult with Dream Ketcher, since they're doing the same run to the same destination for the same reason.
And do more cleaning.