In one month Yankee Girl will leave the safe harbor of Sunset Island and make the over 800 nm journey to her summer home in Beaufort, NC (remember that is pronounced “Bo-fort” not “Bew-fort” as in the South Carolinian). We will be sail directly north from Indian Key Pass to Ft.Myers. From there we cross Florida via the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie River. Then the Intercostal Waterway aka “The Ditch.” But, I am getting ahead of myself. I have a long list of things to do before we launch on April 4, 2016 (along with taking care of my job, putting an Outward Bound basecamp into hibernation for the summer, and instruct a seven day sea kayak course).
One of the big items on the list was fixing the battery switch that I recently broke along with addressing an engine that would not start. It was quite a process. Not only did I need to make the actual repair, I needed to understand the electrical system on Yankee Girl. Electricity has never been my thing. My grandfather was a plumber and father was pretty good at it (along with a long list of other things), so as a little girl sitting around handing tools to these two men or riding around in my grandfather’s old plumbing van, I was comfortable learning and doing. But Electricity!!! I made a few phone calls. My brother was fantastic. He simple provides the “Girl, you can do anything!” message I often need. With the vote of confidence, off to West Marnie I go (more on that place later). The Perko medium duty battery switch fit perfectly in the space that the old 1979 switch fit. So, I open up the port cockpit hatch an peer in at the two batteries. UGH! So many wires hooked up to something that wants to shock the sh#@! out of me. According to my brother, nothing that will kill me, just give me a good jolt. Feeling a bit over my skies, I make another call. My dear friend Jeff, a skilled shipwright. He walks me through what I needed to know. How this crazy electrical system works. I set forth with my label maker in hand and label all the wires and cables coming to the house and starter battery. Then, the process was easy. Work backwards and put it back the way I found it.
Battery switch in place I grab the key for the Yanmar and my hope that I did it right. At first nothing! Yanmar wants to start, but can’t quite make the leap to running. UGH! Then, like most things in my world, a small detail was left out in turning over Yanmar, give her some fuel! She turns over like a sweet old diesel! I did it. My first big repair. Well, a big repair in my mind. I have crossed a threshold into a brave new world.