Friday, April 8, 2016

Titusvile - Space X launch, charging problem

Up, up and away
We left at 7:00 am in order to reach the Causeway Bridge before the 3:30 closing until 5:00 pm. We reached the bridge at 3:15 so we just made the last opening but it was still a very long day for us. We had intended watching the Space X launch at 4:45 pm from the ICW but when we cleared the last bridge at 3:15, we decided to press onward to Titusville, reaching there by 4:10 pm. The winds were piping up around 18 kts and we headed in with me on the bow and Ann at the wheel. There's no secret to steering a boat, you just need a lot of practice to learn how the boat responds at the helm. Ann is at the stage now that she's had a lot of experience at the wheel maneuvering a 42 ft sailboat with one motor and no bow thrusters, even with wind, you learn to use the wind and not fight it. Meaning, Ann steered the boat to the left of the slip and let the wind push the boat into the dock since the wind was from the left to right as we headed in.

Space X made a successful landing on a floating barge at sea so the rocket is now reuseable
Since we made it to the dock by 4:15, we walked to the end to watch the Space X launch. It was a resupply mission to the space station. Right on time the rocket lifted up and we all had a good view. Later we learned that the rocket also made the return trip to the floating platform successfully, landing upright on a platform in the ocean.

During the day we noticed the autopilot acting up, swinging from left to right, not normal. Investigating further it appeared that the belt was slipping so we stopped the boat and I tightened the belt. Either I didn't tighten it enough or there's another problem. I ordered more belts and on Saturday I'll spend some time trying to diagnose the problem.One clue was the smell of burnt rubber, typical of friction between a pulley and the rubber belt.

Well, they do rent good cars... Regardless of the employees
I called for a ride from Enterprise to their local rental office and took out a car for the next three days for $40. The agency is so familiar with me now that I'm greeted by name. We'll provision for the rest of the trip north and visit Merritt Wildlife Refuge too along with picking up fresh grapefruit, a Florida special treat.


Travels aboard Obsession said...

You're a woman after my own heart, Ann. We decided long ago that we both have strengths - mine is in steering and his in "brute" strength. I almost always steer the boat into the dock, to and from the mooring and as we drop anchor and lift anchor. I'm hoping we "bump" into you guys next fall or winter on our trek south. We seem to have similar interests and similar boats. I can't wait to see a Space launch from my boat.