Friday, August 29, 2014

. . . and 8 more.

Getting ready to head back to Minnesota, and though I would post a bit about what all happened these past 8 days.   Mostly I puttered around re-installing the generator (just short a pipe tap/plug and two fan belts to be done).  Fixed a couple of rot spots, more on that later.  Watered the plant (Aloe Vera , it was doing well despite being left alone for so long), serviced the battery and sprayed for ants (arg..).  Plus other small things - really Viking Star held up well on her own.  Also had a chance to talk with more 'locals'; the back story always help people feel a little kinder towards the Dock Queen :-(

Oh, and I visited some of our favorite places:  the Bean, the Crows nest, Sweet retreats (Great deli sandwiches), San Juan Bakery - pizza by the slice..  Stopped by to say 'Hi' to Juanda the Mermaid, caught up on some of the drama over the past 8 months or so in town.  And even made it out to Roche Harbor for fresh made plain-old cake doughnuts and coffee (Hum, see a trends in this list???)

Best doughnuts and coffee in the islands!

After over a week I will be happy to get back to Kristi, and am also sad I was not able to have time to get down to Portland...  Tomorrow catch the early ferry, figure will be about 20 hours total travel by the time I get back to Storden.

And true to my life, everyone here commented 'Man, this has been a GREAT summer - long, dry, low 80's.  Best one in years'. Missing that does match up well with what folks in Minnesota are saying 'Uff-da, this last winter was so bad - worst in 35 years'.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

212 days...

According to some magic online date calculator, Viking Star had been sitting patiently for 212 days from the time I left her back in January to when I returned late Wednesday night.

212 days.

Not sure how she has been passing the days, but you can see how I have been by looking over the entries for the past several months.  Mostly Arduino battery stuff, and helping with Kristi's folks.  (and pushing all the 'But, the boat' thoughts out of my mind).  I have been here going on 3 days now and thought it was time I posted something.  First off, it is surprising to me how easily I slipped back into the Floating Life.  Usually when away I do not sleep well, but that has not been a problem here.  It must have been foggy this morning as I could hear the fog horns as the ferry made its way to and from the islands.  By the time I got out of bed at 9:30am the sky was clear.

Clear, 70's, and low humidity.   Ah...

I was also taken back by how quiet it is.   One might think it would be oh so quiet on the prairie in Minnesota, but perhaps that is not the case.  Between the constant wind, the sound of ACs running, and traffic (pew - a Pig hauler), the lack of sound here was almost disturbing to me the 1st night.  (Kristi's note:  My parent's house is 'on' a state highway)

Enough about me, how was Viking Star?   Not bad.  I only have one page of 'to-do's, and is a small 6x9 page to boot!   Though some of those entries are multi day, ala "Install Generator".  Batteries only took 1.75 gal of water, am happy about that.  Bragger gauge shows only 35kts peak windspeed..  About the only surprise I found was the deck lights have decided to short somewhere and pop the breaker, the one place where we were successfully invaded the summer before last by Flying Ants seems to still have residents, plus our stuffing box bilge pump physically broke - meaning there is a bit more water in the boat then I would normally have as the 'next in line' pump did the duty and it can only get down to perhaps 1/3" or so...

I also have been taking the time to talk with folks on the dock who are so happy to see someone at the Dock Queen (being this is the summer, as opposed to January, there are more folks out here - who I can pass on the back story to)

Now, a couple of photos, perhaps for Kristi -

The Islands welcoming me back...

And COFFEE + my Bad Cat mug.
 Life is good!
I know, Peets Coffee is not really local.  But still beats the pants off anything I can buy back in Storden Minnesota, where our only selection is Folgers or grocery store Starbucks, SOME times...  Plus I was limited to pre-ground as our grinder is back east with Kristi.

I am hoping to get things done here a few days early and get down to Portland.  Targeting Wednesday as the travel day, but will see.  I still need to track down the box of supplies I ordered a couple of months ago - so I can get things done.  Till then, I have enough to do, I think.


(Another note from Kristi:  The pictures made me cry...)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Dead battery / PulsePower update#2

Today I checked how the sick Group 31 battery was doing on the Power Pulse.  I had re-attached it to the Wall Wart a couple of days ago and the voltage has risen to 14.68v.   Here is a photo of the 'pulses':

July 24, first attached - note the ringing

August 12th, ringing has diminished.

Today - Not too much change, but am noticing the width of the pulse is slightly greater
Today I pulled the Wall Wart off and will let the battery settle to its rest voltage.  On Tuesday I will need to take the Pulse Power away as I will be taking it with me Wednesday when I fly out to Viking Star for 10 days.  Will also walk the battery over to the corner garage and ask them to load test it.

On today's update I noticed three things:
  1. Battery Voltage has risen to highest yet while on wall-wart, 14.68
  2. Width of pulse is increasing. 
  3. Frequency seems to have increased.
The pulse width has been increasing.   Today it is 75-100nS, while a week ago it was only 50-75nS.  It started out not much greater then 50nS.  I also noticed the pulses seem to be coming faster, perhaps every second or so.  When I 1st connected it, the pulses were perhaps 3-4 seconds (IIRC) apart.  Not real sure on the times as I did not record them, but can safely say the pulses are faster today - maybe twice as fast..

Again, I have no idea what all this means, and perhaps there is a relationship between higher voltage and more energetic pulses?  Who knows.  To me, will be most interesting to see if the battery can start the truck after spending almost 4 weeks on the Pulse Power.  Stay tune for further developments!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dead battery / PulsePower update

It has been almost 3 weeks that the Pulse Power unit has been chipping away at a rather new (but abused) farm tuck group 31 starter battery.  For the back story, click here:

Over the past weeks the battery voltage slowly increased to 14.5v where I disconnected the 'unregualtord - 12v' wall-wart and let the battery rest for two days.  It settled to 12.45v and here is what the scope looks like today:

After 19 days

Contrast this to what the waveform looked like when I 1st connected the Pulse Power unit:

First connection

 Both show a 4v / 100nS pulse - but I do notice the ringing after the pulse has reduced vs. when 1st connected.

So what does this mean?  I have no idea...  It is clear something has changed - but what I can not say.  The 12.45v settled battery voltage is indicative of a 80% charged state - but then this is the exact same place the battery was before doing any of this 12.45v (abit, after only a 3hr rest which is a little short - so this is a bit of Apples and Oranges here).

I will keep the battery on the pulse power unit, and connect and disconnect the wall-wart to keep Vbat under 14.6, for another week.  Then I am taking the Pulse Power unit with me back to Viking Star for my 10 days work session.  If I have time before leaving, will see if we can give this battery a test in the truck - the starter test.  Cause remember, it was hopeless when I 1st got it..


Friday, August 8, 2014

Cost to not cruise - July 2014

July had nothing special in it, except perhaps the medical invoices from Dr. Visits continue to work their way 'through the system'.

Click for larger view

There is a bit of consistency between June and July, August will have my costs associated with my travel back to Viking Star for a week of maintenance and preparation for the coming winter.  Kristi and I are still looking to remain in Storden MN - at least until Christmas time; things are a bit dynamic here these days and we may be returning earlier then our 'planned' end of March 2015.  See, the 'P' word just does not work - even on land :-)


And now here is the standard explanation: If this is your 1st time looking at costs on our blog, and want some more background on why we are reporting what it costs to not-cruise on a cruising blog - well, we are taking a break by moving back to Minnesota to help out Kristi's folks.  And we thought it would be interesting to be able to compare our costs on Land vs. on Sea., see more here:

For reference here is a summary of what it did cost us to cruise last year:

For Reference, Costs for Cruising in 2013
Again, following the link above will give you access to more details, or you can click on the Costs label to the right for even more cost data.