3, 2011 – Mahon, Balearics, Spain
from h-e – double toothpick. Well, I guess, you can say we were due. When you
live on a boat, you are bound to have mechanical issues. No matter, how good of a boat you have, it’s
just part of life. Although, we’ve had plenty of maintenance items and a few repairs, we had been
very fortunate in the last few months that nothing “major” has broken. But, that can’t
one morning, as I awoke Marc for his watch, we both smelled something strange in our bedroom and Marc felt that our bed was
hot. Even dazed from sleep, he quickly realized it was an issue with our battery bank that is directly
under our bed. Since we were motoring AGAIN, Marc immediately disengaged the alternator and we took apart
the bed to inspect.
Yikes! Out of our 6 batteries, 4 were over heating and the casings were starting to melt.
With the alternator disengaged and the temperature of the batteries starting to decrease, we knew that the immediate
danger was gone.
Next, we had to
deal with the fact that almost everything on our boat utilizes the batteries to function…..GPS, charts, autopilot,
VHF radio, refrigerator, etc. etc. Our fear was that the batteries were so damaged that they would not
hold enough charge to keep the systems running. Luckily, we only had 50 miles left to our passage and our
hope was that the charge left in the batteries would be enough to continue to run the systems until we reached the anchorage.
Luckily, we had
plenty of power to make it into the marina and now the search begins for new batteries. In the mean time,
we (Marc) removed the four ruined batteries and rewired the two that were not damaged in order to keep us powered up until
the new ones are installed.
Never a dull moment!
September 4, 2011 – Mahon, Balearics, Spain
Happy Birthday, Grant!!!!!!! Grant turned 11 today with a day of his favorites.
We started the day with waffles and ended with homemade lasagna. He loved his presents of Lego Space
Shuttle, 3D Coliseum puzzle, beach smash ball, and Wii Super Smash Bros game.
We had a great party with Stu and Sandy from Heartsong and a cake designed
as a Roman fort including Roman Soldier. Grant’s special day ended with a Megamind movie night and
lots of junk food.
At home, we used to joke that the kids celebrated birthday month between parties with friends, home, grandparents, etc.
We have to keep that tradition running so this was Grant’s second birthday party. Last week
he celebrated with the kids on Mehari in Rome. That party was also full of his favorites…..pizza
and ice cream!!!
September 11, 2011 –
Mahon, Balearics, Spain
spent the last week searching for batteries and meeting with marine electricians. I won’t go into
the boring details of everything involved in finding batteries at a tourist island but just know that it wasn’t fun
or easy and caused Marc quite a bit of stress.
The toughest thing about doing business here in Spain is the siesta. Although, I’ve always heard
about the whole afternoon siesta, I never dreamed that it was still common. But it is common practice here
and ALL businesses close for awhile in the afternoon. In fact, almost all stores and offices close for
3 or 4 hours every afternoon. As an example, the cell phone shop was open from 10 AM to 1 PM; closed from
1 to 5PM; and then open from 5 PM to 8 PM. Can you imagine running a business like that? No
matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to remember this and continue to try to go shopping or sightseeing in the afternoon.
But the good news
is that the marine electricians all agree that the alternator and regulator are fine and that it was probably an issue with
the batteries themselves. Although we were happy to hear that there weren’t other issues, we were
not thrilled to hear that something had gone wrong with the batteries that we bought less than a year ago in Malaysia.
Oh well, it’s not like we can go back and get a refund.
The other good news is that we have ordered
our new Victron energy batteries and they should arrive here in Mahon from Barcelona in a few days. Although
our current situation isn’t great, we are surviving just fine with the 2 batteries that we have left and should be fine
until the new ones arrive. The kids are actually enjoying it because we have to run the generator more
often to charge the batteries which means that they can play Wii more often.
Mahon is a very nice town and not a bad place to be “stuck” for awhile. Now we didn’t
spend the whole week looking for batteries, we also were able to enjoy the St. Joan Fiesta here. The highlight
of the festival was the Jaleo show by the Menorcan horses. There were over 100 of these beautiful black
stallions parading the streets and town square. At the evening performance, the riders get the horse to
parade on their back legs (raring up) as the young men from the crowd run to the horses and stand in front and behind them
holding the horse and rider up in the air. Traditional this is a sign of bravery by the young men touching
the horses, although, I think it might be a better sign of craziness. When a friend of ours asked one of
the revelers, “Isn’t it dangerous standing in front of the horse?” He answered, “Why, they don’t
have horns or anything”. I can assure you that the crew of Imagine, did not participate, but it was
quite a show!
So now, we are busy shopping and cleaning Imagine to prepare for next visitors, Marc’s parents, Fred and Margot.