I saw my first manatee in the wild. They’re weird looking things that are the spirit animals of only really strange people.
We’ve been cruising through mile after mile of Manatee protected zones with slow/no wake signs everywhere and I’ve been secretly harboring a suspicion that manatee might be a fictional beast designed by the Florida Coast Guard to keep boat traffic speed under control in the ICW.
Seeing several manatees while taking a long sunset walk in the amazing park around No Name Harbor after a long day on the water, moving down from the gorgeous Lake Sylvia to Key Biscayne was just the icing on the cake of another great day in the Sunshine State.
There are challenges to be sure, our AIS and chartplotter have been damaged, maybe irreparably by a huge deluge a couple nights ago. They haven’t turned on since. Both got soaked, seems like on both sides due to a less than ideal installation job by the previous owners, but they should probably be fine internally. We were hoping they would dry out and work after a few days because they’re supposed to get wet, right? Only when I got out my voltage meter and starting poking around it didn’t look like they were getting much in the way of current...
Then again, I’m not much of an electrician. Or anything of an electrician. I mean, I kind of am a bit of a boat electrician now since I’m living on a boat but that’s a big pool that I’m slowly dipping my toes into.
Speaking of electrical issues, our batteries aren’t charging anywhere near as high as they should be getting, they’re maxing out at like 78% of capacity and that’s with running the motor a significant amount of time and with our solar panels putting out a good deal of energy as well. Seems like they’ve either been damaged or they’re just old and in need of replacing.
Plus the light at the top of our mast is really faint, looking at it from our friend Gary’s 37’ Beneteau last night, it was hardly visible at all and we were all of fifty yard away at most. Compared to the other top mast lights on the boats in Lake Sylvia surrounding all those incredibly decadent mansions, our light was puny, like a candle compared to a roaring bonfire. Plus the panel for the light at the top of the mast is showing up yellow on our main DC circuit breaker. All other switches are red, but I wasn’t sure if that was just installed with the wrong color or what, because I’m not much of an electrician. Gary seemed to think it indicated low power was getting to the light, which is maybe why the light is so faint.
Regardless, we’ve got a few things that we need to figure out in the Keys before we take the big plunge across to Isla Mujeres and down the Yucatan coast to Belize and beyond. Plus, from what we’ve been hearing down here, finding a decent weather window to cross over to Mexico might be a bit more dicey and timely than anticipated.
Anyone with any electrical advice or ideas on how I can help fix some of the problems myself without getting a professional onboard, hit us up in the comments of drop us an email!