Adding a Puzzle

With a favorable forecast we pushed south to Martinique on March 16th; in spite of the benign forecast we encountered really large seas and wind approaching 30 knots south of Dominica.

Just South of St. Pierre Center

By the time we came abeam of St Pierre 8.5 hours later, we decided to stop for a few days to just relax, enjoy the beautiful Caribbean waters, and breathe in the clear island air. We discovered an anchoring hole just a bit to the south of town situated close to shore on a hard sand shelf. There was no boat traffic, plenty of space, and very little roll at this spot. We spent three quiet days kicking back, carrying out little projects, some house cleaning, a couple repairs – just routine stuff.

An Easy Anchoring Landmark

On the morning we planned to depart, I started the engine as usual, then went forward to raise the anchor. The windlass began to grind in the chain, then – click – nothing. No power. Thinking I’d perhaps popped the breaker, I walked back to the power panel to discover the windlass breaker still in the “On” position. Looking around, I noticed that all the electronics had gone off; all the meters and electrical devices were dead. What’s up with this?

Fortunately, the anchor was well set, so I decided to shut down the engine while I sorted the problem. Well now, as I pushed the big red button, the electrical shut down solenoid would not engage; huh.

Many years ago I had installed a back up manual pull cord attached to the shut down solenoid, so fortunately, I was able to shut the engine down with that cable. I went through a process of first checking engine room electrical connections to be certain they were tight; after all, I’d been poking and prodding there for weeks. Then I used my VOM (Volt- Ohm Meter) to check for power and electrical continuity and voltage, trying to locate the problem. Nothing seemed amiss, and all of a sudden everything electrical came back to life. What in the world?! Everything worked like nothing had happened.

Chase a Gremlin