Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Titusville - Ospreys and reinstalling the alternator

An osprey atop a pole with a state supplied nest
Florida has a program of installing osprey platforms on the top of electrical poles. the ospreys like to build their nests up high away from ground predators so the top of poles is their ideal place. The practice extends to any tall pole, including baseball floodlights. I would say about 1/2 of the structures are occupied with young so the population of ospreys seem to be growing.

Here's another view, a great spot for an osprey
Meanwhile, I had a simple job today of reinstalling the alternator. It only takes two bolts and a few wiring connections, a 10 minute job I thought.

The plan:
1 - Install saddle bolt, a 2 inch long bolt securing the alternator to the engine.(5 min)
2 - Install the tension bolt that stretches the belt to ensure it doesn't slip (5 min)
3 - Reconnect the wiring (5 min)

1 - Install the saddle boat. Problem: where's the bolt? I'm sure I had it here somewhere. Let's look in the main cabin, on the computer desk, in the aft cabin, recheck multiple times - it's got to  be here! (30 min)
2 - Give up, can't find the bolt. Without it, I can't attached the alternator to the engine. (5 mins of giving up)
3 - Measure all attachment points to be sure of the right size bolt needed. (10 min)
4 - Hike over to the nearest auto parts store for a new, metric bolt and return (60 minutes)
5 - Install new bolt and secure the alternator (5 min)
6 - Install tension bolt (5 min)
7 - Reconnect wiring (5 min)

Somehow, reality on a boat always seems to be longer than the plan! Now that the installation is done, I expect the wayward bolt to show up any minute now (Law of Boating: As soon as you buy a replacement for a lost part, the lost part then shows up - but not before you buy that replacement!)

Now all I have to worry about is the arrival time of the new regulator. It's due Thursday but I've got a bad feeling about this since it's the week before Easter and I haven't seen a scan-in yet of the supposedly shipped part, finger crossed.

The area here has an abundance of ospreys which is probably related to the availability of nesting sites on the top of poles. Florida does a good job here for ospreys. We continue to watch the weather but it's really too early yet to start worrying about the weather for Saturday, our departure date, we'll wait and see.