Blue Turtle Cruising

Weekend at New Pass and a minor battery issue

Finally off the dock! Leaving Salty Sams in the distance.

After 3 sweltering summer months (Aug.—Oct.) we finally made it off the dock last weekend.  Enjoying some wonderful cool “Fall” weather, we cruised out to New Pass, a favorite anchoring spot, where we would meet up with Corey’s friend, Sam who was being dropped off by car by his parents. We navigated the pass only to get in there and be swarmed with noseeums and mosquitos. Captain Randy made the quick decision to drop the dinghy in the water so Corey could go pick up Sam and then head back out to the Gulf. Thankfully, the Gulf of Mexico was flat calm and so we dropped anchor just outside the pass and off the beach where it was less buggy. Of course, we didn’t have to travel far to settle right in next to our marina neighbors, Joe and Glenda. They had left the marina a couple days prior on their Mainship trawler and must’ve had the same idea of anchoring out on the Gulf when they arrived.

Sam arrives by dinghy with Captain Corey
Anchored on a very calm Gulf of Mexico
Our neighbor’s Mainship trawler anchored out as well
The boys paddling to shore on the kayaks
Beautiful Gulf sunset
Sophie catches some rays in a sun beam
More paddling for the boys
Blue Turtle sitting pretty while we head to the beach by dinghy

It was a fun-filled weekend of chilling on the boat and beach with cooler temps and a lovely breeze. The boys were gone most of the day exploring the area on kayaks and visiting the Lovers Key snack bar for lunch. Randy had a chance to dive the bottom of the boat, which was desperately needed, and nearly froze since he left his regular wetsuit in his car. Overall, it was a (mostly) relaxing weekend, however, on a boat there’s always something to fix.

Randy and Sophie getting salty and sandy
Blue Turtle (right) and Phase IV (left) out on the Gulf
A recovered wiener dog gets a little crazy on the beach
Randy gets ready to clean the bottom of Blue Turtle
Bottom cleaning tools necessary for the job
Another amazing sunset

Our only hiccup that weekend was a charging issue with our batteries and inverter.  Randy had noticed that the batteries were draining way too fast and when we went to start the generator he had trouble getting it going. He finally managed to get it going and we ended up running the generator all night. The batteries were not charging as normal and when he tried to start the main engine, he couldn’t start it as well. We knew we had an issue and contemplated heading home early if we could get the engine started. Randy was able to use jumper cables and 3 batteries to start the engine. He felt confident that he would be able to start the engine again this way and as long as we ran our generator at night, the batteries would remain charged. So, we decided to stay through our planned trip and continue troubleshooting the issue.

Randy testing the batteries and feeling for heat
Randy jumps the batteries in order to get the main engine started
Meanwhile, Sophie supervised the troubleshooting procedures

After some further investigating, he found that the issue was indeed the starting battery on the generator that was drawing too much power and possibly draining the battery bank. We are hoping that by replacing the bad battery that it fixes the charging issue. We really don’t want to have to replace the whole battery bank like we did 4 years ago when we were in Marathon, FL.  When Randy took the starting battery to West Marine they determined the battery was faulty and replaced it under warranty with only 3 days remaining before it expired. Talk about luck!

As usual, we are always so thankful when we finally get off the dock and make future plans to do so more often. We are looking forward to our annual trip to Franklin Lock and Dam the weekend after Thanksgiving. Stay tuned!

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