Just a Few Challenges

July 18, Montebello to Gantineau, Quebec (across the river from Ottawa)

All was going well. We ate breakfast and I took a few more photos of the marina area. I was smiling as I walked by the beautiful new looking boats watching many owners  washing and polishing them as if they weren’t already looking fabulous.

And then Dirk went to start the engines – nothing! No battery power. Hmmm. It. made no sense and was very inconvenient as we had planned to get to Ottawa by 2 pm and now had to wait until the generator charged up the batteries so the boat would start.   The waiting worked, the batteries & generator started the engines, and off we went on another beautiful day. (But why no battery power earlier?)

I looked at the guide books of the Ottawa area and found place to dock at a restaurant/marina in Gatineau.  Dirk called his cousin Hillary and husband Dominick to let them know where to find us later.  When we came in there was no one from the marina to help at the dock but two boat owners came running and helped us dock in the blowing wind – it was a little tricky. Again very impressed by all the nice, helpful people we’ve met and we always learn a little from each one. Today we learned how to create an attractive and practical dock rope chain pattern!

After the boat was docked Dirk looked around to see if he could determine the cause of the low batteries this morning and discovered he hear something running, even though “everything” was off. After lifting a number of floor boards and putting our ears to the mechanics down below, I pointed to where I though it was coming from, and it turned out to be a blower to air out the bilge. Dirk flipped the switch up on the fly bridge and the sound went away. One problem solved! (Then of course it was the question of “who flipped that switch anyway?”. It could have been either one of us but it was probably me.)

But there’s a new issue – now we can’t get electrical power to work on the boat anymore. It seemed to start being an issue as we entered Canada and we wondered if it could be related to different standards of power, but now we are thinking it is either a boat system issue or our power cords. Dirk is asking the AGLCA Great Looper forum for ideas and we may be seeking help from pros soon. The biggest challenge without electricity is refrigeration. The refrigerator  can now only be safely run when the generator or engines are on – so not at night or during short days like tomorrow. Fortunately I got a some ice yesterday and that will help keep the little meat we have cold enough using the refrigerator as an ice box.  Good thing we don’t focus too much on food that spoils!

Hilary and Dominick found the marina and us, and we had a great time catching up during dinner. Later they drove us to a grocery store as we were getting low on a number of items like veggies for me and seltzer for Dirk.  I realized after they left that I forgot to take their photo – darn!  Maybe they’ll send me one later for the blog.


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