Day 62, Year 5: Continuing Electrical Woes
Date: Sunday, December 27, 2009
Weather: Most Sunny; NE Winds 10-15
Location: Nai Harn Bay, Phuket Island, Thailand

A wind generator that is not working quite right, strange readings on our battery monitor, almost new batteries that lose their charge much too quickly, and an alternator that is still not rebuilt . . . those are the electrical woes we are experiencing and they all seem to hit at once today. So our entire day was spent trouble shooting the various problems that just can no longer be ignored. First we wrote to Southwest Wind Power about our new Air Breeze that brakes itself every few minutes. Then Mark spent some time checking the connections and rewiring and for the rest of the day, the Air Breeze has been working beautifully. So MAYBE we have that problem solved. Then we started looking at what could be discharging our batteries so quickly. We turned everything off except the Master Battery Switch, and we were still showing a discharge of 10 amps. When we turned off the Master Battery Switch and then turned it back on, the discharge of 10 amps disappeared and it has stayed that way the rest of the day. So Mark took the battery switch apart and cleaned the connections. We are recording the readings on the battery monitor every half hour or so, and all of a sudden everything seems normal. So we really don’t know what has been going on, but as of right now, it all appears to be fine. That must be a mirage, so we’ll keep close watch over the next few days to see what happens. We are hoping to get our alternator back tomorrow and if that happens then we can really test our capacity as it is normally. Wish us luck. We think electrical issues are the trickiest to deal with as a cruiser. We rely on Nigel Calder’s Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manuel as our bible, so hopefully that will help us make it through this issue.

Needless to say, all fun activities were called off for today. We did take a dip in the water around the boat and had salt water baths rinsing off with our Sun Shower at the end of the day. The water temperature here is perfect. This anchorage has clear water with lots of little fish even right here at the boat. There appear to be more jellyfish out there than we remember last year, so one of us does jellyfish watch while the other is in the water bathing and when we snorkel, we wear our bodysuits even though the water is warm.

We have successfully rented a car for tomorrow, and Donna and Gerry of Scot Free II will be going with us. The list is a mile long, so we know we will only accomplish half of what is on it, but it is nice to know what we need to do even if it doesn’t all get done. On Tuesday morning we will move north to the next beach, Kata, and then on Wednesday or Thursday, we will move to Patong Beach for the New Year’s Eve celebration there. Along with our other electrical woes today, we couldn’t even get on the internet. I wanted to talk to my family who was gathered at my nephew Rex’s home in West Virginia for a day after Christmas party. I could only connect by phone. We are still hoping to connect with Justin, Jo, and Ziggy later tonight, but not sure it will happen due to the internet issues here. In the bays to the north there will be internet cafes and we might have to do that if the wireless situation doesn’t improve. It was so great on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day-just not sure what has happened.