We are back in the Bahamas, still in Nassau, and hoping to head south into the Exumas soon.
It’s interesting how things just keep coming up. I guess it’s to be expected, after all, it’s a boat, on the ocean, taking on Mother Nature head on.
First, we had some engine troubles coming into Nassau. The fix was fairly simple and no damage occurred. Then we had Junkanoo coming up and decided to stay for that … twice! Then we kept hanging out with friends for a while longer. Just as we were planning to leave and had our weather window, we received the middle of the night phone call about my dad passing away. We were really very fortunate to still be in Nassau where it is easy to secure the boat and have people checking on it.
After a month back in the states, we returned to Nassau. Then we discovered that our house batteries were not holding a charge once the sun went down. Our system is set up where the battery charger will keep the batteries charged from shore power. The solar panels also provide power when it’s daylight and the controller works together with the battery charger from the shore power. About a week ago, we noticed that if we turned off the shore power, depowering the battery charger, the batteries were fine during the day with the solar panels, but dropped like a rock once the sun went down.
This is NOT good. Batteries that are fully charged will have a voltage of about 12.8 V (volts) and a fully dead battery will read about 11.6 V. If the voltage drops to 11.6V, the battery is usually not going to recover from that and will need to be replaced. We operate out batteries in the 50-100% range of 12.2V-12.8V.
After some troubleshooting, we determined that the batteries were dropping so low due to a loose connection on the battery posts. After a couple of turns with a 7/16” wrench, our batteries are back and holding a charge like the champs we paid for.
So now we are finally, once again, looking for our weather window to head south into the Exumas. Right now all is calm, but we need another day or two to make final preparations. After that, there are some fronts coming off the US coast that could bring high winds and keep us stationary if the fronts dip to the south too far. We’ll just have to wait and see.
After all, we’re taking on Mother Nature head on. She dictates what we do.