Wild Squalls

Really wild squalls in the area today. Never experienced anything like them. 30 knots from one direction, 30 feet over, 30 knots in another direction. Poor ocean didn’t know what to do, and neither di Sparrow or her skipper. Reefed down and held on. Tried to let it pass, but it was in no hurry. I looked up expecting a funnel cloud, but no such explanation. Left with 3 reefs and full ballast tanks, I forereached for an hour or so so the thing would move on. It did so reluctantly. In the turmoil, Sparrow managed to damage another mainsail car and a stanchion. Moving forward tentatively, scary looking sky this afternoon.

In other news, my last micro USB cord gave up. The salt air/seawater has gone through at least 4 cords of this type alone. This means I no longer have means to charge the Garmin tracker or the Kindle. The Garmin tracker will give up in about 24 hours, but I think I may still show up on http://www.marinetraffic.com

The Kindle is a bummer, but we are only 3.5 days away, and I do have one last paper book to digest: From Enlightenment to Revolution (Voegelin). It’s dense, probably why I’ve put it off.

Which leads me to another learning on this trip. Charge cords really don’t like sea boats. The devices themselves are typically fine, it’s the charging that takes them down. Every charge cord, of every type (USB-A to micro-USB, USB-A to mini-SUB, USB-A to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C, laptop charge bricks) has failed at least once. So the lesson is, hard-wire everything with heat-shrink connectors. Here is a list of devices with charging methods that failed:
• Laptop (Charge brick, USB-C to USB-C, USB-A to USB-C)
• Satphone (USB-A to mini-USB, 12v socket to connector)
• Inreach (multiple USB-A to mini-USB)
• Handheld VHF Radio (hard-wired charge dock)
• iPhone (multiple USB-A to lighting)

I thought a laptop was a better solution as I could set everything up in my living room, practice with Expedition, etc. I didn’t think enough about the charging weakness. Next time a hard-wired fanless mini-PC with a nice monitor, rugged keyboard and mouse.

Don’t depend on your phone or tablet for anything. Salt will get up in the charge port and then it’s done. If you have one onboard, store them in a baggie and be careful. A growing problem is these days more and more things have an app to go with them. My Victron charge controllers and battery monitor, and the NKE system for example. There are work-arounds but they cost money, of course.

650 miles to Charleston.

2 thoughts on “Wild Squalls

    1. That was a good idea, too bad I didn’t think of it. I caught the battery at 43%, so probably could have nursed it all the way to Charleston. Sigh.

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