Friday, October 10, 2008

Back in Panama City

Well, we're back here in Panama City.

After about 3 days of enjoying the extra amps our new generator gives us, the battery charger in our Heart Freedom 20 Inverter/Charger went out.

Dave spent a day in the Pedro Gonzales anchorage troubleshooting things. We borrowed another Honda genset from a friend and made sure it wasn't the generator. Then we called Xantrex (the new owners of Heart) and got some troubleshooting advice. When Dave exhausted everything we could think of, we headed back to Panama City to see if we could hook up with the Xantrex Authorized Dealer.

Well, it turned out that the Xantrex rep is in David, the second largest city in Panama, and a 4 hour bus ride away. So we opted to instead take it to a local well-recommended electronics shop. (Electronica Ancon in Balboa, near the YMCA). They took it apart and did component level testing, and found a couple of relays that seemed to be burned. They replaced the relays and it seems to be working. Dave will install it this morning and check it out. Whew! I hope it works.

Meanwhile, we've taken our sewing machine to the local Singer place. We're supposed to go back to pick it up today, with a handful of Sunbrella and the normal thread we use, so he an do a final tuning on it.

Unfortunately, while screwing around in Panama City, we may have missed a very good weather window to go west. The wind came out of the NE yesterday, for the first time. And it's supposed to stay that way for today, and then switch back to SW and blow like stink for a week. :P

I can't quite figure out what weather features are creating the big wind, other than maybe the 2 hurricanes off the coast of Central America, much further north than here. My grib files only go out 6 days, and I don't see any letup in the 20kt SW wind. Bleah!! The highs and lows move around but the wind doesn't seem to change.

We haven't found a 'Chris Parker equivalent' over here in the Pacific, to help us learn how to read the weather patterns. There's a guy that forecasts further up north, but not really down here.

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