Wednesday 26 Dec, from Dickenson Bay to Jolly Harbour. Snorkeling on a wreck in Deep Bay, Mastervolt troubleshoot, customs checkout and preparing for our sail to Monserrat tomorrow.
A bit of a dull day in the early morning, still cloudy after the rain storm last night. But it’s an exciting morning for us, reading and replying to comments on our latest video, the interior tour of Cloudy Bay. So nice to see how many people have watched it and complemented her. Cloudy must be blushing this morning 🙂
Mid morning we upanchor from Dickenson Bay and start motoring towards Deep Bay, where we plan to stop for a snorkel over the wreck.
Batteries need a charge after we used the inverter for so many hours, and this half an hour of motoring should top them up nicely. But as we motor, they don’t appear to be charging. Quick look at the Masterview panel and Glen discovers that the alternator is “offline” from the masterbus. That explains why we had the batteries at only 85% after all that motoring we did to Jumby Bay two days ago. Hm, this is a new troubleshoot for Glen!
We don’t have enough time to think about the alternator, as we already arrived at Deep Bay. Only two boats anchored here, I guess it’s too early for the tripper boats. Great, we can snorkel without the crowds.
Tracking the issue starts in the engine room. First observation, the regulator (AlfaPro II) has none of its lights lit, not even the masterbus light that normally blinks green. After wiggling, disconnecting and connecting all fuses on AlfaPro and alternator, still no lights blinking. Then we replace the terminator…still no lights. So something seems to be wrong with the Mastervolt masterbus.
We need to go under the galley floorboards, to the Li-ion batteries. What was I saying few days ago, that I hope I won’t see these floorboards up again any time soon?!
We trace the cable linking the AlphaPro bus to the next item along the chain – which is one of the Li-Ion batteries. We then replace that cable and … nope, still no lights on the AlphaPro.
The super-yacht services guided proved to be handy once more. We find a Mastervolt dealer in Antigua, and although he is not working today and not even on the island, he answers and suggests to Glen some ways to further troubleshoot our issue. He is pretty sure the regulator is not getting power to it. But Glen checks and there is 24vdc on the pins.
The next electronic service company is in St. Martaan. And we are tossing whether we risk leaving the alternator like this till we get there in a couple of weeks (which means we are down to only one source of charging, the generator). Or we motor over to English Harbor and spend few days there till we solve the issue. Meaning delaying our departure from Antigua even further. (Our first plan was to leave this afternoon, then we decided better leave tomorrow early morning).
With his nose in the AlphaPro manual, at the troubleshooting section he finds the exact symptoms with 2 possible remedies: “AlphaPro needs replacing or open circuit on the black wire”. So Glen double checks the black wire, removing it and reinstalling.
Last attempt, we switch on the engine again and low and behold, this time we have lights blinking and the AlfaPro regulator is working once more. Now, which one was the loose connection we wonder. We have wiggled them all! Something is not quite right in there, but we’ll worry about it later. Now, let’s jump in for a cool off.
We have anchored close to the wreck so Glen swims to it. The water it a bit murky but the bow section is shallow enough to see all the thousands of fish swimming around it. Very pretty. Further back along the hull one funnel is sticking up above the water. Very interesting.
By Midday we upanchor and head off back to Jolly Harbour, for check out formalities and diesel top up. On the way there, since we will be motoring nearly one hour, it is time to start the watermaker again. We have pickled it (a preservative liquid pumped into it) at the end of September, 3 months ago before the haul-out in Herrington. And now so looking forward to have that pure water again: no smell, no funny taste, and no marks on showers or fittings when we rinse things off.
In Herrington, Glen has replaced the high pressure gauge hence our main concern is whether there will be a leak in any of the high pressure joints. He sealed them with the “wonder glue” which was recommended to him. Since then, we learned that this sealant failed on several other joints, which he later on had to re-seal. So now is the moment of truth.
Gladly there is only one minor leak, just a few drips. And we continue to motor around till we make about 50 liters of water to have it available for the backflush as needed. The water tank top up we’ll be done when we sail to Montserrat, in the clean water of the deeper sea.
We arrive in Jolly Harbour anchorage slightly too late for the fuel dock, they shut at 1pm. But the customs & immigration offices are open. Funny enough, the customs officer asks us “did you have any works done in the yard and by whom?”. To which Glen replies works were shared between yard suppliers and himself. “Oh, we had somebody coming here to complain you refused to pay”. Well, we did pay, thank you. No further questions and we complete the check out formalities which are valid for 24h. So looks like Jesse was all ready to stop our departure if he was not satisfied with the outcome of the bill dispute.
Then quick stop at the supermarket, for fresh bread and milk, and back to Cloudy Bay. We don’t have much of an agenda for the afternoon or evening, just pottering.
We are treated to a nice sunset, and once the orange glow is gone from the sky Glen resumes work on the decks.
Lifting the outboard is one thing we always do when we sail between the islands, to take the weight off the davits.
Then running the Parasailor sheets, in case we manage to have a go with it tomorrow.
And lastly, resealing the leaking watermaker joints, this time with his trusted method using teflon tape.
Tomorrow will be quite a long sail, so we do our best for an early night. And as usual fail miserably. It’s again after midnight when our heads hit the pillow.