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False Start

November 12, 2017

After three months in Grenada we were looking forward to severing our ties to the land life. Storing everything onboard in its proper place takes a while but is necessary when crossing open channels between the islands.

We cut the dock lines, unhooked to what was the best internet reception in the Caribbean, filled the water and fuel tanks, put away the electrical cord and headed to the anchorage outside St. George’s Harbour.

Looking out over St. George’s harbour to the anchorage off Grand Anse Beach

Getting out to the anchorage allows us to complete the transformation from a ‘boat-home’ to an actual sailing vessel that will take us to unexplored ‘exotic’ locations! Dropping anchor for the first time in a while was a thrill. The boat spins to the wind. Ventilation below no longer relies on fans but blows freely through the hatches facing the wind and the boat gently, at least this time, rolls to the swell.

A pleasant and quiet night was spent with an early rise to a gentle wind from the east blowing us out of the harbour. No need to start the engine so we drifted out under full mainsail and genoa heading north along the east coast of Grenada.


Sailing north we passed by Grand Mal but with the mountains of central Grenada towering to the east the wind soon died and dark, black threatening clouds tumbled down the leeward slopes providing gusts of rain soaked winds to batter us with and then depart leaving us drifting in circles. There was more calm than wind so we decided to motor for a while. Motoring is not what I like but with still a way to go we decided this would be the best tactic. Engine started well, speed was good, skies cleared waiting for the next gust and since the engine was running it was time to power up some of the portable devices.

Sunset in the Grand Anse anchorage

After plugging in a few devices I thought it best to check the voltage, which, with the engine running, should be at between 13.8 and 14.2V but it was at 13.2V. That immediately tells me the alternator is not charging but the solar panels are working. So, the decision must be made to keep going or turn back.

Best to turn back with St. George’s the nearest place with the possibility of getting the alternator removed and checked out.

There is only one person on the island who bench tests and repairs alternators. He is Al at Bernadine Enterprises – 473-444-8016. But, on calling, we find out he’s retired! The good part of the story is that he’s willing to take a look at it. He’s not in St. George’s, so, after a few taxi rides, we pass on the alternator to his nephew working at the Nissan garage, and returning to the boat await the prognosis. The next day Al tells us the alternator is fine. It’s returned by a reverse process of nephew and taxi/buses and we re-install the alternator. I change the fuse just in case, check the electrical lines for loose connections and start the engine.

A miracle – everything seems to be working.

Now it’s time to reverse the docking process and store everything once again and try once more to head north.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2017 11:22

    Hi there. Having been to lots of the same places and met lots of the same people as we followed you around from Japan to The Indian Ocean to Grenada, I thought we would finally catch up and maybe even pass you….but you are gone again. We have just arrived in Prickly Bay sorry but we’ll try again further up the track. Have enjoyed your blogs very much

    • November 12, 2017 12:02

      Sorry don’t recocognize your boat name. We are still in Port Louis and leave Tuesday to points north. Who are you?

  2. Barrie permalink
    November 12, 2017 11:40

    We had a similar experience in Colon, Panama. It turns out that the little mystery light bulb in the engine room, that I never saw on, was needed to “excite” the alternator. It had burned out. Wishing you fair winds and calm anchorages. Barrie and Sandra, SV Passat II

  3. November 12, 2017 11:53

    Perkins forever! Have a grand cruise, looking forward to your next blog.

  4. John Middleton permalink
    November 12, 2017 14:51

    Bon Voyage! Here’s hoping you have few problems and lots of adventures for us all to follow. We’er off on our own little adventure to Kauai before winter really sets in. We’ve already had a few inches of snow here in Shawnigan but thank goodness is didn’t stick around.


  5. Wayno permalink
    November 12, 2017 16:16

    Haha ya know what I think… that alternator was having a little ‘sparky’ with you. Fair winds you two… Looking forward toy our next missive.

  6. November 12, 2017 17:47

    ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try,try again.’
    Annie B.

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