Boat Life: Generator Problems, Relaxation, and a Storm

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 4/16/2023 – 4/23/2023

Hi! Have you seen our latest YouTube video?

Last Sunday, we stayed home. My back was still hurting pretty badly, so we lounged around, watched TV, and chatted about our future sailing plans.

Thankfully, I was feeling much better Monday morning! I cleaned our hull and polished some stainless before climbing into the dinghy to meet up with our friends on shore for lunch. We hit a few waves on the dinghy ride, a not-so-gentle reminder that I was not fully healed🥴, and went to French Quarter Bistro for lunch, where we troubleshooted our friend’s latest generator problem over gumbo and poboys. After, we carpooled to the grocery store to stock up on provisions. 

Later that day, we decided to run our generator. It had been cloudy, and we needed to make some water, so we fired it up and noticed more exhaust and less water being emitted than usual… it was acting like it was going to overheat. We shut it down and replaced the impeller but saw no improvement. I got in the water to look at the intake thru hull. Since we’ve seen an incredible increase in sargassum lately, we thought it could be clogged. It looked clear, so Ray started taking the generator apart. He discovered a clogged filter (one we didn’t even know existed) after the raw water pump and a lot of carbon buildup in the exhaust elbow. 

He cleared both but quickly ran out of daylight, so we put the project on hold until the next day. I woke up to the sound of Ray’s tool bag being set down on the fiberglass. I got up, saw my freshly brewed coffee waiting in my spot in the saloon, and gulped as much down as I could before joining him, crouched over the generator compartment. He found that the anode in the heat exchanger had become white mush. That, in combination with the clogged filter and exhaust elbow buildup, had significantly restricted flow.

By lunchtime, Ray had the generator up and running again- my hero! Now that we’ve experienced this, we will update our maintenance plans for the system. Running it with a higher load (that our new power/charging system provides) and checking the filter as needed should prevent a repeat of this problem. We celebrated the repair by making and heating water for hot showers (yes, we’ve been in the Caribbean long enough now to want hot showers). We ran to shore to pick up our mail, then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

The swell in our anchorage Wednesday morning was unbearable. We decided to pull up anchor and move to Brewers Bay, a reliably calm spot. We got settled, set up our sunshade on the bow, and made breakfast. We didn’t do much that day; we read and edited footage in our beanbag chairs, periodically jumping in the water to cool down, and closed out the day with a beautiful sunset and an episode of our favorite show. 

Thursday was gloomy, it rained on and off all day, so we spent the day inside and tried some new recipes. We’ve been having fun playing with our new galley appliances since upgrading to lithium! It’s been so nice not having to worry about power, even when we don’t have full sun. We made eggs benedict, blueberry muffins, and an orzo salad with ribeye crostinis for dinner. I’ll remember to take photos next time, sorry! 😂

Friday morning, I finished editing our latest YouTube video, did an online pilates class, and jumped in the water. Ray did two loads of laundry and hung them to dry while I sat in the sunshine for a bit with my book. We ran the watermaker for 4hrs. Still, our batteries were at 99%. 🙏🏼 I chopped up a fresh cantaloupe, and Ray made a gin spritz by blending it with lime zest and juice and topping it with bubbly water and fresh mint. It was delicious! 

The water Saturday morning was calm and crystal clear. 

I published our video and grabbed my snorkel gear. I convinced Ray to drop me off in the dinghy at the far end of the anchorage, and I would swim back to the boat. The water was warm, and I was the only one out there- just how I like it! I saw lots of fishies and some cute squid! 🦑

By the time I got back to the boat, I was starving! We ate some lunch, made a couple of cocktails, kicked back, and watched the Saturday shenanigans… sport fishing and charter boats hauling loud partying guests around, rowdy groups of beachgoers, and the consistent bass beat of who knows what on shore. 😂 

That evening a storm blew through. The rain poured, and the wind howled. We hadn’t seen this in the forecast, so as the wind crept up to 30kn, we realized we needed to go up on the bow, grab the beanbag chairs and get our sunshade down… it was a hectic and wet task. At least we got an all-natural shower out of it, though! 😂 We changed into dry pajamas and watched the boats around us until the wind subsided. 

We still have some gray clouds hanging around this morning, but hopefully, things will clear up soon. 🤞🏼 

I hope you had a great week! ❤️

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