Good news! We’ve actually made substantial progress on the necessary repairs for Beatitude. Over the past few days, things have really come together, although there is still work to do.
Finally, after trouble-shooting several battery/electrical issues with the twin diesel engines, they seem to be up and operating. These problems were just solved yesterday. Also, yesterday, the electronics/control board for the watermaker were replaced. It also seems to be functioning normally at this time. Woohoo!
Several days ago, most of the other electronics were replaced/repaired. The wind transducer atop the mast was replaced. The VHF antennae atop the mast was also replaced. Its predecessor had been blown to smithereens. The radar was replaced. The AIS was replaced. The autopilot was replaced. The VHF radio was replaced and now works (Although it was the wrong model. It did not include a remote mike at the helm station. So, a new one is being ordered.) It was additionally felt that the chartplotter had escaped damage from the lightning strike. However, after replacing almost all the other Garmin electronics, it was apparent that the chartplotter is also bad. So, it is being ordered. Our charger/inverter has been replaced and appears to be functioning well. Our stern light has been replaced, and the foot switches on a winch have been replaced. Whew!
Additionally, our Aussie rigger, Mike, has replaced our genoa roller-furler. The furler seized up on the way to Cartagena and has been non-functional since. The new one works like a charm!
Items remaining on the to-do list prior to departing Panama: Replacing the chart plotter. Replacing another module on the autopilot. Switching out the VHF to the correct model. Replacing a PCB control board at our electronics panel. Replacing the bow light. Repairing the deck light. Replacing a winch solenoid. And, the biggie: Repairing the generator. Several parts were replaced, but did not solve the problem. More parts are being ordered and will be brought back to to Panama from the states.
Despite the list of items remaining, I’m feeling optimistic. We now have working engines and working sails, so our vessel is now moveable. Cindy and I are flying back to the U.S. today, and the electronics should be ready to be installed upon our return to Panama on the 28th of this month. If all goes well, we could begin our journey northward up through the Western Caribbean in three weeks or so. Of course, glitches and complications might still arise which keep us in Shelter Bay for a little longer. We shall see. Pray!
Besides, doing boat work, Cindy and I have continued our daily jungle walks. We spot new creatures all the time. We ran across a nine-banded armadillo the other day. He was very shy and didn’t like to have his picture taken. He was unbelievably quick in eluding us. We spotted a Yellow-crowned Amazon Parrot and a bird with the weirdest call, the Montezuma Oropendola. Of course, we spotted the usual monkeys and coatis, although it seems there are less of them this time of year.
For Valentine’s Day, we took another trip into Panama City to celebrate. We stayed a couple of nights at the Waldorf Astoria and had a great dinner at our favorite Panama City restaurant — La Posta. Mmmm!
As previously mentioned, we are back in the states for about a week-and-a-half. After a one-day stop in Miami, Cindy will be off to Ohio, while I do a few shifts in Vero Beach and Green Bay. Our fingers are crossed in hopes that Beatitude will be ready to cruise once again shortly after our return to Panama.