Adventures of a globetrotter

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What went wrong and still. . .

Just before 1 April, the first misery starts, starter battery seems dead, luckily for me the problem is limited to a half broken battery terminal, but before you find out. . . But it doesn’t stop there, no. . . . Below a a list of what all went wrong after I left and it doesn’t seem to stop yet:

  • Oil pressure warning
    After picking up my opstapper, Helga on the Westeinder, we continued our way to Amsterdam for the standing mast route. At low revs, the red light came on and the oil pressure buzzer increasingly frequently, while the gauge indicated standard pressure. Not wanting to listen to this screaming all night and further journey until repairs, I removed the plugs from the buzzer. Only the red light remains. In Sneek, my embark decides not to go any further with me, I dive into the problem of oil pressure. I moor to a marrekrite in the Houkesloot, as so much harbour money is too much of a problem. I suspect the oil pressure sender so I order a new one, so when I go back to Sneek to get it and install it, it doesn’t offer a solution. I consult Schiffart in Friesland where I bought it.
    Meanwhile, the next problem arises, the external GPS no longer works, so I can no longer see where I am.
    But that in the next item.
    In desperation, I ask Schiffart’s mechanic to come over. While I am still on the phone with him (with the oil pressure sender out) I start the engine in consultation with him and suddenly realise da there is no more sender in it, but the harm has already been done. A squirt of black oil in the engine room, at least 4 litres. Now I also spent half a day cleaning the oil mess.
    The next day I sail to Sneek again by appointment. . When he comes by, he is well equipped with extra gevers and an oil pressure gauge. The oil pressure indeed turns out to be good and higher than the 2.5-bar reading on my gauge, which was always 3.7 bar.
    After 3 hours of further investigation, he found an oil pressure switch that was parallel to the sensor with the oil pressure switch and that was broken (€10,-). But this trick cost me €364,- (including the new sensor) and I could have done it for €10,-.
  • External GPS defective
    Searching for the cause of this problem, I can’t figure out what it is, it just doesn’t give a signal anymore. plug outside can’t be disconnected, the housing rotates with it. All plastic, this makes the problem worse so I stop. I did see in the plotter’s setting that I can also use the internal GPS, but it has mediocre reception because it’s inside, but I’ll make do with it. If it stops catching a satellite en route I’ll have to rely on my phone for my position, I’ll gamble. Job for the winter.
  • Ring heater Planar heater error code
    Meanwhile, I’m away from Sneek and through Leeuwarden towards Dokkum. When I turn on my heater I get an error code 13, no fuel, no flame, filter clogged, spark plug broken, etc,. I put that off for a while and turn on my Dickens, chimney-pipe stove.
    A couple of days later, I get to work on that and dismantle and test the spark plug, well it glows according to the book. Then there is a small filter, 1 cm in diameter, behind the fuel channel, you have to destroy it to get it out, luckily I have 3 new ones lying around. When I put those in and close things up again, the heater lights up again. Fortunately.
  • Solar panel warning and red flashing light
    Error code PPR break? I can’t find anything about it on the internet. All fuses are good. I measure each solar panel disconnected, no particulars. I reset the controller, error remains. I check the battery connection from the controller to the batteries normal voltage. It seems they do land somewhat because if the sun shines well once and there is no wind, so windmill is down, a positive charge still comes into the batteries ra ra. I leave it as it is, I motor a lot and don’t depend on it, also just shift it to winter.
  • Remote 500 Control steering
    I am now sailing towards Lauwersmeer and notice that the remote control, which I use to steer the boat, executes all steering commands but does not show data such as depth, speed, position track, etc. on the display. That thing hangs around my neck when I’m working outside or when anchoring in shallow water. Then the depth indication is essential and I will miss that. Now I have to run inside to see how deep it is. Going to call Raymarine about this.
  • Ring heater Planar heater again error code
    Same problem again as before, I hope it gets warmer soon now then I won’t need those heaters anymore,
  • Nearly uncontrollable fire from Dickinson stove
    So I fire up my other stove again and am busy with some other things for a while, when I hear a growling sound. When I look back it is becoming a towering inferno inside that stove, I turn off the shut-off tap for diesel, but it only seems to be getting worse. Then all sorts of things go through your head, how am I going to control that, a fire extinguisher I don’t think is an option. By now the whole stove has turned luminously red hot. I also turn off the switch for the diesel feed pump after sitting with a red-hot Christmas tree for 10 minutes, the power supply for the fire seems to have run out and slowly the flame goes out and finally extinguishes, still an oppressive moment. At sea, I suddenly smelt diesel smell in the boat, the flame was out of the stove. I then turned everything off, but it normally when the flame blows out the float in carburettor makes sure that there is diesel supply limited to a certain level, but if that needle sticks there could be a lot more running in. and a day later I lit it again with the result . . . . .
  • Network router does not connect to phone provider
    Can anything else break, well hardly anything else. I’ve been trying to get this thing to work for 4 days now, I spent an hour on the phone with vendor support, only suggestion was to reset it to factory settings but then I’d lose everything. So I did it anyway and reset everything again, Asmara wi-fi, security settings, Mac addresses, guest login, etc. Same problem still. So via my phone hotspot internet. Eventually I find out it’s not me but the manufacturer. The firmware of the router was according to the latest upgrade, but now I read on the internet that the Cellular module that is in the router for contacting the phone provider should also have a firmware upgrade, but how they don’t tell, so Monday I will call again.
  • Diesel tank indicator no longer indicates correctly
    Discarded in Helgoland and the gauge indicated 1000 litres in it. I could not fill it all the way to 1100 because the boat was not level and a diesel stain in the water gets you a hefty fine. When I arrive in Tonning and check my diesel capacity, it says 500 litres, which is impossible. I spent another whole evening fiddling with the settings of this ultrasonic meter with correction factor for non-linear tank. I stopped doing that too, I now keep track of my fuel based on 3.5 litres/hour with the engine’s hours counter, that also worked in 2015 to Russia and then the sensor was indeed broken and I had a new one sent to St.Petersburg. Tonight (a day later it suddenly read 900 litres again, so maybe there is still hope.
  • Sony film camera screen
    I have a handycam from Sony with a fold-out screen, just this afternoon I made a movie. But when connecting it to my laptop the touchscreen picture folded out but no picture. Then you think battery, but no the screen now only gives an image when it is folded 45 degrees open, opening or closing a few degrees and no more image. Will this misery never end?

    At tax, they say “We can’t make it any nicer:. . . .

The pessimist complains about the wind,
the optimist thinks it will turn,
the realist adjusts the sails

Peter Mantel

Gepensioneerd uit de luchtvaart. Avonturen met de Asmara. Ik zeil met mijn tweemast kotter van de Noordzee tot de Oostzee

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