Actually, I did bang aroungd Beaufort. More on that later.
The house bank consists of two 12v batteries. I use them for everything, including starting the engine. I have a separate starter battery dedicated for that, but my plan is to use it as an emergency battery only. While we don't have a very big house bank, relatively speaking, we do have a solar panel that replenishes it during the day. As our refrigeration is engine driven, as opposed to 12v running from the house bank, the biggest load is removed and all the house bank has to do, really, is run some lights. Anchor, cabin illumination, and navigation. Also instruments while we are sailing at night. We haven't done that yet so I don't know what that will require.
Anyway, when we were anchored in Cow House Creek (remember Earle and Linda and Rob?) we had to use the starting battery for the very first time. I chalked it up to turning the anchor light on earlier than we usually do as we were leaving the boat. The problem, however, has gotten worse since then. Last night I charged the batteries after dusk and they were at 10.5 volts this morning running only the anchor light all night. Not acceptable.
Break out the dinghy.
I removed the batteries and loaded them in. We then transported them over to Lady's Island Marina, where I carried them across the street to Butler Marine, where I had previously spoken to Julie by phone to verify they had replacements in stock. When we arrived, the dimensions of the batteries I wanted were questionable, so we took a ride back to the boat to verify. Sure enough, the higher capacity batteries I had in mind would not fit, and so we went with plan B. Loading our new power supply onto the dinghy, we took another chilly ride back to the boat, where I installed them in their new home. I finished before lunch. Pretty good for a boat project, they usually take all day.
I felt so good about the progress we had made that I decided we should go into town. Carol, however, had enough of riding in a cold dinghy for the day, so I went by myself. Nice town, and I brought back wings for dinner as a reward to my bride for all her hard work. She promptly spilled her tea when I came alongside with the dinghy and knocked on the hull. Oh well.
Turn the page...
One of the projects that I had not completed before we left was the matter of a flag. The Coast Guard is tasked, along with safety and rescue at sea, the burden of GUARDING our COAST (especially after the events of 9/11/01). A vessel at sea is required to display a flag of the country it is from. I have neglected to do this, as various other projects have seemed to take precedence, and I have not been in international waters. That is about to change.
Also, it's Veteran's Day.
Thank you to my father, my brother, and all of their Brothers in Arms that have, through their sacrifice, provided me with this opportunity to live the dream I am living, free and proud.