The wind and waves have finally settled down and last night the boat was quiet and almost becalmed all night and I slept very well indeed. I've been keeping track of my energy consumption via the Xantrex for the past two days and my energy use is quite a bit higher than I thought. The main culprit remains the fridge, but I'm aboard a lot at the moment and am using the inverter to drive the notebook and monitor as well. I fired up the generator to recharge the batteries and fill up the water and decided that I've been using my one tank almost exclusively and it was time to refresh the water in the other tank, which has been sitting in there for at least 6 months. When I changed the main valves I noticed some water dripping around the two parallel pumps for the fresh water system and traced the leak to a cracked plastic filter cover (see the picture below), and have added that to my list of items to purchase. I made a temporary fix with some Saran Wrap inside the strainer cap; if I were at sea I would have put some epoxy on the strainer insides (I don't know if cured epoxy is food-safe, though) but this is just to minimize leaking until I get replacement parts. One really does need to keep up on maintenance and not postpone fixes on boats otherwise things just add up and one gets surprised at the wrong time.
I managed to get going a bit earlier today and did a dive at Turtle Reef before noon. There were no dive boats there and when I dinghied out I thought that some boat had taken away the mooring marker since, despite calmer seas, I couldn't see anything at all on the surface. I kept on going away from land and was sure that I was far past the correct position when, still far ahead, I saw the black mooring air-filled oil container and thought it might be drifting offshore in the current but headed out there anyway. It was, in fact, still firmly attached to the bottom and it reminded me of how difficult distances can be to measure when there are no easy referents handy. This time I noted that I could see around the corner to the beach at Friar's Bay and will remember that next time I head out. Although the seas were calmer and I was hoping for clear visibility, the was still a significant groundswell at depth (well, if 30 feet can be called “depth” for diving) but visibility was better than on the previous dives. While I didn't see any turtles this time, I did find a Moray Eel which was being cleaned by a shrimp and otherwise had a fun dive.
Back aboard I cleaned the gear and read my camera book for a bit, but when happy hour came along I was shocked to discover that I had no Presidente left in the fridge and, at almost the same time, I heard the Rock & Roll band fire up at Zen It so put camera and notebook into my backpack and headed ashore. The only seat available was at a table close to the corner where the band had set up and the sound volume was such that I knew I couldn't concentrate enough to type on the keyboard so I listened to 2 sets and at the third break quickly connected to the internet and was finished before the band began again. Instead of dinner elsewhere I had two of their Tapas (a Tapenade and Mozzarella sticks) which was sufficient for me.

Cracked freshwater strainer I noticed water around the pumps and when I turned on the faucet I saw a small amount of water spurting from the top pump to the rhythm of its action. Once I removed the strainer I saw that it was cracked and leaking under pressure.
(2014-02-09 09:08:36 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/200s] ISO 1800)
Cracked freshwater strainer
Temporary leak fix for strainer I used a bit of Saran Wrap close to the front of the filter in the hopes that the pressure would seal it from the inside, at least until I got a spare. It seems to be working pretty well but I'll have to replace both strainer caps.
(2014-02-09 09:14:41 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Temporary leak fix for strainer
Fresh water strainers on Zanshin Fresh water strainers on Zanshin to ensure that there are no big chunks in the water that might break the pumps.
(2014-02-09 09:20:50 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Fresh water strainers on Zanshin
Powerful charging current The generator is going through the Victron charger and pumping in over 100 Amps (at 24V, that's equivalent to 200 Amps at 12V!) into the battery bank while in bulk mode.
(2014-02-09 08:41:56 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/30s] ISO 3200)
Powerful charging current
Zanshin in the background Zanshin in the background as the Rock & Roll band plays.
(2014-02-09 17:33:14 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Zanshin in the background
Stevie Ray Vaughn solo The guitarist does a good Stevie Ray both on the guitar and on vocals. Note Zanshin in the background at anchor
(2014-02-09 17:34:10 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Stevie Ray Vaughn solo
Zen It bartender doing flair The bartender was pretty good at throwing the bottles and glass and other instruments of destruction around behind the bar - nice flair.
(2014-02-09 17:35:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.8, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Zen It bartender doing flair
Zen It crew posing Zen It crew posing
(2014-02-09 18:00:53 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.2, 1/60s] ISO 320)
Zen It crew posing
Good times at Zen It Everyone is in a good mood at Zen It on Sunday as the Rock & Roll music blares in the background.
(2014-02-09 18:00:33 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.0, 1/60s] ISO 320)
Good times at Zen It
Zen It Rock & Roll I don't know the name of the band that plays Sundays at Zen It in Grand Case, St. Martin; but they do a great job at covering the classic Rock & Roll and Blues tunes.
(2014-02-09 17:36:44 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.5, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Zen It Rock & Roll
Banded Coral Shrimp A Banded Coral Shrimp waiting for cleaning customers from the underside of a cave
(2014-02-09 13:51:30 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Banded Coral Shrimp
Smooth Trunkfish A smooth Trunkfish trying to stare me down.
(2014-02-09 13:56:55 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Smooth Trunkfish
Spotted Goatfish being cleaned A spotted Goatfish resting on the bottom and being cleaned by a Pederson cleaner shrimp.
(2014-02-09 13:58:40 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Spotted Goatfish being cleaned
Coral wildlife Coral wildlife
(2014-02-09 14:05:58 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Coral wildlife
Blue Tang munching away A Blue Tang checking out the bottom for food.
(2014-02-09 14:07:49 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Blue Tang munching away
Wrasse cleaning and Shark Goby A cleaning shrimp waiting for the Wrasse to get a bit closer for a cleaning.
(2014-02-09 14:18:22 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 200)
Wrasse cleaning and Shark Goby
Yellowline Arrow Crab A Yellowline Arrow Crab emerging from the protection of a black sea urchin.
(2014-02-09 14:25:55 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/40s] ISO 200)
Yellowline Arrow Crab
Purplemouth Moray hiding A purplemouth Moray hiding during the day and giving me a wary look.
(2014-02-09 14:26:28 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/160s] ISO 200)
Purplemouth Moray hiding
Is it a Clam? Is it a Clam?
(2014-02-09 14:33:01 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/5.6, 1/250s] ISO 200)
Is it a Clam?
 
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