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July, 2004:

Still Here…

 Just a note to say we’re still in Key West, which is ok, because we can think of worse places to be. 😀

All is going according to plan. New power panel is in, we should have our alternators back by Monday, and rigging should be back up by Tuesday. We’re just hoping weather holds up because there are some storm systems south of Cuba that we need to watch prior to departing for Dry Tortugas and ultimately, Mexico. 

And none of the cats have disappeared thus far, which is surprising.

We no go to Mexico today…. ayyy…..

We sure as heck left Dry tortugas today like we were going to, but there was something else in store. Andiamo decided to blow one of the mast’s inner shrouds (those are the cables that go from the mast down to the deck of the boat in order to secure the mast) on our way out.

So we had to turn around and head back to Garden Key again. We called our rigger in Miami, who suggested that we get the boat back to Key West to get new ones put in and not go to Mexico. So it looks like we’re going to go back to Key West yet again to get this done. Which I guess is ok, because that means I’ll be able to put in a new power panel and get the alternator exchanged for one that works. So at least we’re not going back just for a broken shroud.

Comforting. Yay.

The Next Entry…

So, off we go to Dry Tortugas Thursday evening. We rush to get out of the marina before sunset so we can get out of their funky channel under daylight. Cruising along out of Key West under motor, I check the alternators to find that the new alternator is not quite doing what it’s supposed. It’s putting out amps, but not nearly as much as it’s supposed to. But, thanks to some new wiring I did during the reinstallation of our alternators, I manage to get the engine alternator to charge our house bank, so all is still good. We decide that we can make the 2 day trip with one fully operational alternator, and we’ll deal with getting a replacement for that new alternator in Mexico. So we keep going.

About 5 hours into the trip, more than halfway to Dry Tortugas, I wake up from a nap and go below to check our course on GPS, and some other checks. Oddly, I smell something burning, but I can’t put my finger on where it’s coming from. After some sniffing around the engine compartment, I decide that it’s not coming from there. After some probing, I think I narrow it down to the nav station area of the salon. After some more sniffing, I open the DC power panel and notice that there is some SERIOUS SMOKE coming out of it!!! This is bad.

The heart of the problem is actually where the battery power enters the panel. The terminal for those battery wires is SUPER HOT, and smoldering at this point. I put on an oven mitt, and try to pull the plug to see if I can rerig it without the need for the melting terminal. In doing so, the whole panel zaps out, and we now have NO DC power. No autopilot, no instrumentation, no running lights! This is not bad. It’s REALLY REALLY BAD.


Trying times…

It’s been awhile since we posted and since the boat is actually in motion and not in Miami anymore, we figured that now’s as good a time as any to bring the site up to speed.

We FINALLY left Miami the day after 4th of July. It was a momentous occasion, before leaving we got to enjoy the massive 4th fireworks going on all around us while anchored out in Biscayne Bay. Our good friends Dave and Shauna from Zia Lucia came over by dinghy with some visiting guests and we had ourselves a nice little margarita party. Probably the best night since we got to Miami more than 4 months before.

Next morning, we headed out to Key West, which was to be the first leg of our trip out of Florida. It was a good trip, with some good sailing, and lots of motoring. We made it into Stock Island’s Oceanside Marina the next evening for what was to be a couple of days’ stay… a three hour tour… (more…)

Wow, the damn thing actually works…

So, we’re stuck in Miami for about another day, waiting on a part for our autopilot. The boat’s otherwise ready to go, so what else to do but head out for a test sail? So, off we embarked on Andiamo’s first real adventure under sail! Woo-hoo!

Heading out of the dock, I figured now would be a good time to go by the fuel dock and top off the tanks. So, with Mahi at the wheel I proceed to get the boat ready to dock up, when… uh-oh… we RUN AGROUND!!! Seems there’s a nice shoal right in the middle of Grove Key Marina’s basin. Who knew? Hmmm, funny how this kind of thing never happens in California. Oy…

So, we have a couple of cold drinks while we wait for the tow boat to pull us off the shoal (Thank you BoatUS unlimited membership!!!), and once we’re free, we forsake the fuel dock idea and head out into the bay! We get the boat under full sail, and off we go! We actually navigated around the bay to several different spots! It was kinda cool. The weather was great, winds were kinda light on and off, but man, we were SAILING AGAIN! Andiamo handled her maiden trial run like a true champ. Mahi will post some photos shortly.

Almost the best part was being able to come back to the dock without any major impacts. Nice change.

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