Monday March 7, 2016 Jenner CA.
Looks like some wind today
The weather guys said it’d be a bit windy today, around twenty miles an hour, not too bad, but windy. I can handle winds up to about twenty five miles an hour, but usually don’t prefer to do so, except maybe in the summer when it’s warmer.
Of course I found that out last night before the power went off. It was still off this morning so I couldn’t get any weather updates.
I put my boat in the water with a little wind, maybe six or eight miles an hour, not bad. I paddled across to Penny Island and had one eye open for John, Ray’s brother, as I saw his truck in the parking lot and knew he was out kayaking somewhere.
Check it out
I decided to go down along the north edge of the island to it’s lower end to see what it looked like down by the river’s mouth. It’s had been raining so the river is up and flowing fast and muddy. Since I wasn’t able to check the tides on my computer, I wasn’t sure when high and low tide was.
This would be good to know as at this time, the estuary is backed up and high which makes things calmer on the water surface as it’s not flowing as fast as when it will go to low tide and let all the backed up water out into the ocean creating some pretty big ripples in the water when it does.
Anyway, I played it safe and took it easy, just in case, so I started down along the islands edge here.
Ocean’s looking rough
As I pulled up by this big redwood log, I could see down to the river’s mouth and could tell by all the white water I could see down that way that the ocean was real rough.
As I worked my way down along the island’s edge and got closer to the mouth area, I could see lots of white ocean water breaking over the jetty at the open mouth.
I saw this great blue heron off to the side. When it saw me coming, it walked back into the grass a bit.
I pulled into the grass on the very bottom end of Penny Island to have a look down towards the mouth area past these buffle head ducks.
I could tell from this spot that there was a lot of water coming into the river from the ocean down by the open mouth, so I decided to head back up the river along the side of Penny Island.
I shoot the bull with these guys
As I paddled I could see John coming down the river pulling a big redwood board he had found on the river. It looked like a nice piece of wood. You can see it sticking out of the back of his truck.
He was shooting the bull with Terri. They are both fishermen, so the bull was really flying. :O) John talks a lot with his hands and arms too. I don’t recall what he was indicating, but it wasn’t a fish.
Headed up along the edge
They left after awhile and I decided to paddle up along this side of the river a ways and maybe cross over to Penny Island once I’d gotten far enough up above the spot on the other side. I wanted to let the fast current take me to the little channel on the upper end of the island.
Tunnels can be fun
On the way, I went by this tunnel that goes under the highway, so I had to check it out just for fun.
Here I am in the tunnel. It’s always fun to make some sound in tunnels to see what it sounds like as things echo and resonate.
When I came out of the tunnel I sat at this spot just in front of it and checked things out a bit.
Winds picking up and the tides turning
It looked like the wind was picking up and the tide was turning as the waves in the water were just starting to get bigger.
I decided to paddle up along this side and continued on to this point where the wind picked up to about 25, gusting to 35 miles an hour. That was my signal that it was time to head on back for the day.
By this time the river was really ripping as the tide must of gone out. This is what it looked like just after I turned back down the river.
The estuary dumps
Even the ducks were having a time of it out there.This is what happens when it goes to low tide and the estuary dumps after a big rain. Penny Island across the way.
I cautiously made it back to the boat ramp, going down along the edge and trying to stay out of that turbulent water as much as possible.
Back to the G19E golf cart repair
I pulled my boat out of the water and drove on home. I wanted a nap, but I knew my brother would like to have his golf cart back as he uses it heavily in his gardening.
So I got something to eat and then went out and set up my work area and slowly got into the repairman mode.
Start with a break
Once I had things all set up, I took a break to think about it for a bit.
I started by checking all the battery voltages as Mr. Ed suggested in comments yesterday. All the batteries checked out good and the full 48 volts was getting to the control box.
Control box socket
So next I unplugged the controller box socket and got out the electrical diagrams I’d made of the socket and started taking measurements of each pin to see if they were what they are supposed to be.
The nice thing about this socket is everything on the cart except the electric motor is plugged into, so I can check everything, all the switches and relays from this one point.
Plenty of power, but not to the relay
I started measuring and found all the power voltages present and was about half way through the socket when I found the wire that went to the main relay was open, not good. Oh, maybe good if that’s the problem. :O)
So, I tried to jump power from the battery to the relay and it still didn’t work. I removed the relay and checked the field terminals with my ohm meter and sure enough, the coil was open which meant it wouldn’t work.
Here’s the control socket I was measuring.. Sure easier measuring here, then trying to check things down around the batteries.
I had checked that relay before
Now, I had checked this relay early on. I put power to it and it worked several times, so I thought it was good, but I think it was intermittent, so we had the controller rebuilt for four hundred bucks and they said it was burned up, but. I think that’s just what they said as the real problem appears to be this main relay.
However getting the controller rebuilt means we now knew we had a good unit so troubleshooting the problem was easier once we knew it was good. If I’d had the service manual I might have been able to test the controller, but without a manual, it was just an unknown black box.
We still have to get a new relay. When we do, we’ll put it in and see if that fixes things or not.
A Ha, across the river from the post office. So that’s the one. I tend to think of it as a fort, such as someone might have in a tree, although I can see it’s much more than that. I drove down that way yesterday and the river is really flowing. It usually doesn’t’ flood at Jenner in the winter because the more water comes down, the more it washes out the sand and makes the mouth bigger, so the water level doesn’t get too high in the winter. So far in the eight years I’ve been kayaking down there, the highest it’s been is from the mouth closing in the summer, which happened this last summer when it almost closed highway one.
I think you are safe from flooding down that way. Lots of rain up this way.
We are directly across the river, on the other side of Penny Island. The house that is lower down the hill is on a system that raises and lowers it in case of flooding. We are quite far up the hill. We have Tidesong, or as the locals refer to it, the Pumpkin House. Our problem is getting there from the SF airport. We wouldn’t have made it due to flooding in Valley Ford. One year our guests couldn’t make it past the Petaluma post office.
The mouth is wide open and flowing good I’m sure, although I haven’t been down there in a couple days. The winter rains have been keeping it open as far as I can tell. Although I haven’t been down that way, I’m sure it is open. Jenner rarely floods in the winter time as all the rain water coming down the river just opens up the mouth wider. Flooding usually happens when the mouth gets closed in the summer, not in the winter, even if the rest of the river is causing flooding. I’m trying to figure out how your house can be just across from the post office. All the houses I know near the post office are out of the flood zone as far as I know. And there have not had to be any manual opening as far as I know as there is just too much water ripping out the river right now to close it..
Hi Bob, this comment is off topic. We have a house in Jenner, just opposite the post office. We are out of the area right now, and I was wondering about flooding down by the mouth of the river. Is it open? Did it have to be manually opened? I love your blog, it makes me feel as though I’m home when I’m not.
Productive days tinkering and repairing always keeps me coming back. Nice-looking little refrigerator. I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, so I won’t mention a small battery-operated carbon monoxide sensor installed in your van.
Keep up the good work, Ken
Yes, I considered that, but I figure by the time it might work, the batteries might be dead. So the solution was to just use common sense instead. I have a propane heater, a propane stove and this unit, so I’m always careful to have venting. All of them say not to use in a closed space, so I open a window or a door to make sure it’s not a closed space. :O) I may someday consider a sensor unit, maybe.
Hi Bob I didn’t mean to send you on a goose chase with the batteries but I’ll tell you I was like Donald Duck jumping up-and-down trying to figure out what was wrong with my cart
Until I disconnected all the batteries and individually checked them separately
And then I realized how stupid I was
After spending two hours looking online and finding the service specification repair manual for my unit so at least I had a good time thank God for online service manuals
Now my ignorance is going to show here
if it’s of any decent size and length why could somebody not pick up that big redwood log you mentioned and utilize it somewhere down the line after it dries also the same questions would be asked when you travel along the coast what was the reason someone could not possibly use either type of wood for non-structural purposes
Thanks I’ll just tell you it’s bright and sunny and 75° today in Central Florida
Although I am very jealous about your raspberry bushes Although Walmarts are not quite the same
I had checked the battery voltages earlier, but I decided to check them again as things weren’t getting fixed, just as I double checked most of the other stuff. And the wires don’t really have to be removed to do that check so it was no big deal.
And yes, one can just pick up a piece of good wood on the river. Salvage rights. It’s interesting, but an old looking piece of wood floating down the river a lot of times inside is the best piece of wood you can acquire inside. Some of this stuff has better wood in it than you can buy in this day and age. I used to do more salvaging, but eventually, things started to accumulate and I mostly stopped, unless it is something real good like a kayak.
There is also a lot of artsy looking pieces of wood that come floating down the river. You never know what you might find as the river drains a big area.
I try not to brag too much about our weather as we have some of the best weather here in the world for 265 days a year, but don’t tell anyone. When it rains, the night temps usually go to fifty degrees F. so in fact most of our storms are actually pretty nice. Not much freezing or real hot days around here.
That last photo is really something. I’ve never seen the river that stirred up before. You were smart to take it easy getting back to the ramp.
I’ve never seen it quite that stirred up either, but these are the conditions it does it.