Saturday, July 6, 2013

Growing Bug List

We are anchored in Fisherman's Bay, Lopez Island. The 4th of July partiers are still around blasting some music this morning from shore. some classic 60s summer of love era stuff. not bad actually.

So this morning is when i usually dork around with the radios and computers. i recently re-organized the systems, and now is when all the "operational" bugs start to surface. Here is the list so far:

  • Engine alternator charge voltage is too much for the new computer. It shuts down when alternator goes into bulk-absorption mode (first battery charge phase). It is running on inverter backup right now. Possible fixes are: computer BIOS setting, lower the voltage on the alternator regulator, purchase/construct a device that more precisely regulates the power going into the computer.
  • HF radio will not power up. I thought I fixed this, but I guess not. The 2 meter vhf radio works, so it is not a power issue at the battery. It is somewhere close to the radio. I will heave to tear into cabinet to diagnose it. But not here at anchor.
  • Computer thinks nav instruments are a mouse. When you power up the machine, the serial port that receives all the NMEA data confuses the computer, it thinks it is a serial mouse, causing the mouse pointer to goes whacky all over the screen. I looked up instructions on the web on how to fix this, tried it, but it does not work. Hmmm.
  • Too many wires. Specifically, the serial cables serving up the navigation instruments and control of the HF radio. I need to workout a Bluetooth solution somehow.
  • The ethernet ports on the new computer do not work. Some sort of driver issue. I need these to access the masthead WIFI bridge device. We use that to pirate WIFI access when cruising, I could add alternative ports via USB, but getting these to work would be better.
All this stuff is not practical to deal with at anchor, especially when the weather is so nice. But can I address it before the next trip, without driving myself nuts?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Still home

Not leaving today after all. We have insufficient Dorzolamide-Timolol for the weekend and can't get more until tomorrow.

Dorzolamide-Timolol is part of the medication protocol for treating Jake's glaucoma. Of the four different medicated eyedrops, this is the one primarily responsible for keeping the intraocular pressure low in his remaining sighted eye. High pressure = vision loss. He's adapted well to being blind in one eye, as dogs and humans do, but total blindness is something we would prefer to avoid.

So departure is delayed until medical provisioning is complete sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4th Of July Preps

While we are often in Canada around the 4th of July, this year we will be hanging out locally. We are considering Fisherman's Bay on Lopez Island. Apparently they have their own 4th of July fireworks display, and the bay can be somewhat of a madhouse. No worries, it can be a nice place to anchor, and stuff to do ashore (their weekend farmer's market is pretty nice).

This trip does a have a few goals:

  • rebuilt boat computer- faster, smaller, more compact installation, with updated charts
  • larger deck hammock, big enough for two people (?)
  • new canvas covers for the dinghy bladders, to give more protection from the UV
  • test HF radio operations. The radio has not been used since the electronics configuration

This weekend, expect to find us on