Today's morning VHF Cruisers' network was painful. Mike wasn't in good form and didn't get any boat or people names right; then got repeated facts wrong. Despite a long session the traffic on VHF 10 was terrible after the net. It seems that few, if any, of the people have ever taken a radio license since everyone talked all over and between each other. One of the first lessons in for the SRC or LRC is to whack that squelch up and listen for a bit to make sure that you aren't walking over someone else's transmission. Then, if no active conversation is heard, you broadcast. This doesn't happen here and radio discipline is abysmal. I don't think that one needs to adhere to official protocol all the time and a bit of informality on the radio makes life easier; but a free-for-all on air is going a bit far. At least the traffic here is a bit better than in the BVI where I've heard some ladies chatting on VHF 16 (which is the hailing and emergency frequency) and then getting angry when someone told them to change channel, stating “We were here first!”.
While on the subject of ranting, I've just sent my third e-mail to Vetus support asking for information on my new batteries. The little manual that came with the batteries specifies a very broad range for bulk loading, but doesn't state how many amps can be charged at that voltage, likewise the float voltage isn't specified and, unlike every other battery I've ever used, there's no information available anywhere regarding the open-circuit voltage and SOC (State-Of-Charge). The Sonnenschein-Exide batteries not only had detailed charging and maintenance information, there's a whole book from the manufacturer detailing how to use them!
I've started to put the aft cabin back together after completing the wiring, but without the dodger to give the main cabin a bit of shade I'm finding the temperatures below to be quite hot and sticky and I've gone through a liter of water already and my shirt is soaked. I used some Pine-Sol and a rag to clean up after the drilling and work, but each time I'd swipe some surface I'd drip sweat onto it again, so I've postponed that work for a while. The connectors on the solar panel side use a thinner cable because the large diameter cable won't go through, but only for a stretch of a couple of centimeters, so that shouldn't affect my solar power generation much. I'm all set with the wires and connectors now but won't make the final crimps and wire length adjustments until I get the panels back and put in place, hopefully tomorrow.
I attacked the task of replacing the PWM (pulse-width-modulation) unit for the Spectra watermaker in the late afternoon and, contrary to my expectations, the task went quickly and the new control unit had the same connections and the same pre-drilled mounting holes as the original and once I'd re-installed the system and turned on power there were no sparks flying and breakers tripping and the unit worked immediately. The water in the lagoon is too dirty for me to test running the water maker, but it was time for a freshwater flush today and that mode worked.
I went ashore for the sunset, dropping by both the SMYC and Buccaneer's to see the people and scenery before having some appetizers at the SMYC and returning back to the boat.

Solar Connectors plugged Two outdoor connectors for the solar panels capped and ready to go.
(2015-03-19 09:28:09 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Solar Connectors plugged
Solar connectors The two male plugs for the outdoor solar panel connections made up and ready for completion.
(2015-03-19 13:30:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Solar connectors
Helios approaching Palapa Megayacht Helios approaching the anchoring point for reversing into the Palapa Marina seen from my anchorage position in Simpson Bay
(2015-03-19 17:02:24 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Helios approaching Palapa
Dodger canvas Zanshin's dodger components waiting for the canvas work for solar panels to be completed before getting put back together.
(2015-03-19 17:01:46 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Dodger canvas
New PWM Panel installation Here I'm installing the replacement PWM electrical panel on my Spectra watermaker.
(2015-03-19 16:08:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 100)
New PWM Panel installation
PWM electrical installation I've taken apart the Spectra pump and filter assembly in preparation for installing the new PWM electrical panel.
(2015-03-19 15:47:42 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/60s] ISO 100)
PWM electrical installation
Buccaneer beach bar Caribbean sunset seen from Buccaneer's Bar on Kim Sha beach in Sint Maarten
(2015-03-19 18:12:47 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/18.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Buccaneer beach bar
Simpson Bay sunset Simpson Bay sunset
(2015-03-19 18:00:50 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/11.0, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Simpson Bay sunset
103 views since 2017-02-06, page last modified on 2017-02-04.