I’ve been here in La Paz for a month now, and never planned on being here so long. When I arrived, I needed new batteries, and I was quick to replace them. I was advised to get a battery monitor, one that shows with great detail my charging efforts, battery use, what gets put in, what I take out, and overall health of the system at any given time. At the moment, I have only a voltmeter which gives general information. In order to prevent the drastic discharges that led to the early death of my old batteries, understanding what happens with my batteries can only help. A boat neighbor offered to bring down the monitor and needed wire in order to save me the $200 mark up for importing at the local chandlery. In return, while he was away, I’d arrange to have the bottom of his boat cleaned. Very fair trade.
Additionally, another item for battery health, a desulfator, I ordered from a local boater/ electrician who, after explaining its workings, suggested it for my system. It works by intermittently sending a high current of electricity through the batteries, preventing sulfur buildup on the plates. I still need to equalize monthly, but this should cut down on the time it takes for this process. This item was to be expected around the 21st of April, and the monitor in the last week of April.
This is Mexico, a place where manana (manyana) doesn’t really mean tomorrow. “Sometime soon” is more accurate, and once you get that through your brain, you will not worry about the ETA of stuff. The desulfator is now due sometime this week, and the monitor due around the weekend. I’ve stopped worrying about the “when,” and have just gotten things ready for a quick install whenever the “when” arrives. People go to alot of trouble getting things here, and if they are kind enough to volunteer for the effort, I am happy.
I have spent the time here, apart from the batteries and their upkeep, doing boat chores that’ll only keep Willow healthy and happy. I spent 2 days up the rig in the bosun’s chair, inspecting and cleaning the standing rigging and all its parts. I noted my downwind pole to be frozen on the mast fitting, and today will see me back up the mast trying to unfreeze those parts. I’ve changed the engine oil and all filters, topped off the tank with well-filtered fuel, filled up my spare jugs with fuel, tuned up the watermaker, cleaned out all clothes and food lockers, waxed the cabin and topsides (actually, Richard Rodriguez did that beautifully), and checked out the windvane. I wired in a small light to shine on the wind indicator at night, and cleaned all cushion fabric.
Willow’s almost ready to go, and I am more than ready. I’ve been blessed with helpful expertise from Glenn on Beach Access and Tom on Eagle, and for that, I’m very thankful. I’ll get Willow finished up as soon as I can so I can hit the water running. I’d like to explore Islas Partida and Espiritu Santo more, and then move up to the islands off Loreto. I haven’t been there yet.
I’m sending everyone my love and good wishes. For those of you in Ventura County, I hope you are able to take a full breath of clean air soon. Thanks to the firefighters up there, and good work! Take care, Everyone, enjoy this spring, and best of luck to my Hokuloans as they hit the water for the first race of the season this weekend! Best Fishes, All!