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Friday, 27 December 2013

Rocket science

Picaroon has thrown up quite a few challenges in the five weeks that we've been living aboard, in Salinas bay. We arrived with a plan, which very soon went out of the porthole, whilst we solved one problem after another. First it was dead batteries, then fresh water pumps, then fan belts, the list went on, as we entered the world of being boat owners. Now we know why boats spend 90% of their time in harbour, there's always something vital that needs fixing.
On the up side, as we keep being reminded, it's better that we discover these problems in port rather than out on the open ocean, or some far flung atoll, chance would be a fine thing, and it means we've also had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the inner workings of the good ship Picaroon. Pipes and wires snake beneath the floor hatches, disappearing through holes to some seemingly inaccessible space only reachable by midgets who were also contortionists. Tracing pipes and wires seem to have become a daily quest, to pin down how this or that system works as I slowly unravel the mysteries of Picaroon. Luckily it's only just basic plumbing and electrics, it's not rocket science.
Mind you there's stuff on here that I've got no idea what it does. Take for instance a small blue box that has the title of "Lifeline" printed on it, and a strapline beneath that reads, "the heart of you system". Shielded beneath a Perspex cover, it has a green LED that glows, and lots of wires going to it. There's a couple of holes in the Perspex lid where I'm invited insert a screwdriver and adjust the absorption voltage, and another similar hole that says, adjustment times,  along with a time test point and an error indictor lamp that fortunately is not lit. I've not got a clue what this does, but as it calls itself "Lifeline" I think I should.

There's stuff like this lurking in every nook and cranny, that may, or not be working. Even the workings of the fridge, which isn't working, baffles me, even after reading the workshop manual, I'm at a loss to see why it all looks so complicated, and that's before we get to figure the Garmin chart-plotter that's hooked up to a radar, I think, and depth transducers, all handily displayed on the friendly looking screen in the cockpit, as long as we've got the supplementary, Blue chart g2 Vision data card installed. Sonar, of course is only available with an "S" series unit.

 The thing is we did all our training with old fashioned paper charts, dividers and compasses, but the world moves on.
We've been in touch with the previous owner, via email recently, with questions about Picaroon that we thought she may be able to help us with. Yesterday, we had a reply to one or two of our queries which threw new light on the myriad of esoteric systems aboard. Apparently she was also overwhelmed by so much of the gubbins on Picaroon that used to be owned by her father.

 It turns out that her father was actually a rocket scientist, so that explains it.