Tuesday 26 May, passage Cayman to Chesapeake day 12, Cape Lookout inlet: Departure postponed to Friday.
Dull and very mist day today. We could be anchored in Scotland on a normal summer day! Warm air is coming up from the south over the cold air that is hanging here. And at midday it starts to rain. Just like Scottish rain, not heavy but enough to get you soaked, and no sign of it stopping. Indoor activities only today!
First, another look at the weather. The window I thought we had today doesn’t look so great now. If we leave later today we will have 15-20kts in front of the beam for the 70nm leg to Hatteras. For certain this would get Oana sick. We are in no rush now. For the next 2 days there will be a strong southerly. So next opportunity looks like Friday morning, when the wind drops and veers to SW. A nice broad reach to Hatteras then sheltered beam reach along NC-VI coast to the Chesapeake.
I spend all morning on the PC, making an order on Amazon, to be delivered as we arrive. Just small things. But you know the Amazon addiction…. “just small things” all add up! Also catch up on emails and banking, just about doable on our fragile internet here.
We received an answer and solution from Mastervolt with regards to our solar issues. The 2 new solar controllers seem to randomly switch to a “float” mode (where they stop outputting solar power) even though the batteries are not full. Mastervolt in Netherlands have now simulated the same. It seems that if either controller sees a voltage on the battery side higher than its own charging voltage, it goes into float mode. And, annoyingly, stays there! This happens if we run another charging device like generator or engine. But Mastervolt has given me a simple way to reset the controllers rather than me having to remove the main fuse each time. And it works, thank goodness. They will fix the problem and let me know when a proper solution is available. I don’t like that the controllers have this problem, but as usual I do like the excellent support we get from Mastervolt.
This situation reminds me of a client I once had. Our competitor’s service quality was atrocious, their gear always failing left and right. Yet, this client adamantly stuck with them. On asking him why, he replied (in a strong Texan accent): “you see y’all, I just love the way those guys handle their problems”. On the human front, service attitude often trumps service quality! In my career I certainly noted this was always the case with US clients. For the rest of the world, the opposite was true.
In the afternoon, I continue with the varnishing project around the companionway. On one of the gentle sailing days from Cayman, I had started to strip the old varnish off the woodwork that surrounds the washboards. Now it’s just a mess and needs finishing. It takes 2 hours to carefully fish the stripping off and another hour sanding. When it comes to varnish work, preparation of the surface is key to a quality finish. Just as it’s getting dark, the first coat of diluted varnish goes on. Looks great! The only trouble is, the newly sanded wood is back to that wonderful new teak colour and now contrasts with the surrounding teak that is all sun-bleached. Well, nothing to be done about that. Well, yes, there is something, but I’m not about to strip and varnish all the other cockpit woodwork, thank you very much! It will just have to reblend with the sun over the coming years.
In the evening it’s movie time again. Odd isn’t it? We go months without raising the TV (it rises out of a cupboard at a press of a button!) but once we start watching it, we kind of go into binge mode. Well, being cozy in the saloon helps us into this mode. But it is nice to properly relax in the evenings for a change.