Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Friday, 31 July 2015

Engine working - Getting ready to leave Nelly Bay

After all the pain to undo and redo the engine electric connections, Oscar was rewarded with a working engine! He found 2 suspicious wires after dismounting both the engine and the instrument’s panel, replaced what needed replacement and redid all connections leaving them a lot tidier than before. So far all is working fine, even though we still have our fingers crossed every time we start the engine. It was a very useful learning experience and we thank Mike, our expert adviser that could not actually do the work after his knee operation, but guided Oscar all along.

Instrument Panel connections - in need of some work

With the engine work finished we realized we still had lots to do before leaving the marina and got into a frenzy working mood. Replacing corroded deck locks, re-designing lazy jacks, fixing and re-enforcing the sail bag and of course putting the main sail back in place were long days of hard work. It was a relief to see that the main sail looks quite good now, with the enhancements to fix the leech reef points, can’t wait to give it a try. 

In Nelly Bay, main sail in the bag ....

Main sail, out of the bag, ready to go back in place 

Up the mast, redoing lazy jacks
 Provisioning this time was quite easy with Coles online. Great doing all the shopping with mouse clicks and then having it all delivered to the door, or rather the dock, at the marina. We found it very convenient for all the non-perishables.

Then there is all the organizing, cleaning and last minute little fixes since we don’t plan to stay at a marina so soon again, but we have set a date, we’ll be leaving Tuesday, weather looks right for the trip north. 


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Magnetic Island Marina – Learning all about engine electric systems

Well, the two months planned for our stay in Magnetic Island are way over now. We’ve been back from our SE Asia land trip with the idea to rest a bit and then continue up QLD east coast to Cairns and beyond towards Lizard Island. This is still on the plans but we are stuck in Magnetic Island marina with a new problem, this time an electric problem in the starboard engine. 

The first time we run the engine after coming back on board we didn’t notice that the starter motor remained engaged while the engine was running, it kept going until it gave up and burned with a lot of smoke and a very bad smell, THAT we noticed, something had gone really bad. Since then we’ve been replacing parts and troubleshooting without success. 

The new starter motor installed and the problem persists. The engine’s electric system behaves strangely and problems are intermittent which makes troubleshooting a real pain. At this point we have a retired electric engineer scratching his head and trying to help us. Three times already we thought we’ve found the problem, just to realize with a second test, problem is not fixed and we are back to square one.   

In the meantime we have enjoyed company of many friends. Dave and Booker from Tortuguita came around and stayed at the marina before continuing their travels around the world. We thought we wouldn’t see them again this season but timing was good and we had a chance to share pizza one more time. They just arrived in Darwin now getting ready to go with the rally across Indonesia. As always David has been helping with lots of suggestions and ideas to fix our problem and he keeps doing so over the phone. Mark from Axis Mundis was here as well and joined in the pizza night.  One weekend we rented a car and went over to Cardwell to visit Maryanne and Barry. We met them in Panama, they line handled for us during Zenitude’s Panama canal crossing and we shared many anchorages during the Pacific crossing in 2010.  Their boat Toroa is now in Japan waiting for them to come back to more sailing around there.

So, not all is worry and work and every now and then there is lots of fun too. Like other times before, we'll surely find and fix the problem, hopefully, soon.