Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 33 Alternating Alternators

Hervey bay

14th February 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

Shaken from yesterdays glimpse at my future, I wanted to get out of here asap. Unfortunately Dreamagic has other ideas. We got up at 5.00am to pouring rain and a poor forecast. Yesterday I believed that we could just go and fix our alternator problems in Mooloolaba. Rona gets to her meetings, I get something to do fixing it while waiting for her. In theory the engine, once started does not require electricity to keep going. SO, it doesn’t matter if the batteries go flat. At Mooloolaba we just plug back into shore power and all is good.
In the cold light of today a couple of things occurred to me. Firstly, what if I am wrong and this diesel does need electricity? We are left drifting off the coast somewhere with no radio, no instruments, no lights and no motor. I took the cover off the battery compartment and replaced the connections that were damaged in the last fire before calling an electrician to come and have a look.

Fortunately we found one who could come down and within half an hour had diagnosed the problem. The alternator that we put in last week had some insulating shims put between the main “out” cable and the alternator body. The alternator was working fine in small bursts but when we ran it for 20 hours non stop, it couldn’t get the charge out, got hot, and gave up. So we need another new alternator, which the electrician says he had. Another few hundred, and another delay. I can believe that BOAT is an acronym for Bring Out Another Thousand.

The elecrtician finished the alterrnator at about 2.00pm, too late to get away today. We decided to cut our now considerable losses and have lunch at the club. Hervey Bay Boat Club certainly understands their target market. A roast dinner is $10 for a small plate, $12 for a large one. The seniors were queuing about 20 minites before the restaurant opeened and it was a scrum to get to the window tables. Tea and coffee are free so while one half of the pack swarmed towards the choice seats, the other half had the urns covered so that their bevearge was on the way once seats were secured. it was a frightening sight as zimmer frames and electric wheelchairs mixed with walking sticks. Matrons sailed down aisles like Spanish galleons under full sail and woe betide anyone who got in their way as they seized their rightful spots near the view. Rona and I wisely stood back and watched, thinking the start of a Sydney Hobart was friendlier. We found a spot, enjoyed a pleasant meal and went to the bar. I must admit I thought that Valentines Day would have been huge here but not so. A very quiet affair that didn't do anything towards celebrate the day. Perhaps it's not a day for Seniors to celebrate.

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