In englishEesti keeles

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lake Peipsi

On Lake Peipsi 29-30 September 2011. My goal was to test Amphibear for longer trip and some waves. As electric system was malfunctioning the trip became shorter than needed. Due to strong wind I got some 0,5m waves to test at least.

Already last year, I made extra trip to the shore for finding the entrance place. There is nice hotel on Northern side of the lake, and host Sergei was happy to let me into hotel territory. Before the trip I called to Sergei, but without response. On hotel site, old lady was gardening, and she explained to me sad story. Sergey had affair with two women. One of women found out about other relation and stacked Sergei with knife. Sergei died, one of his loved one went to prison...

But the old lady kindly opened the gate and I got to hotel territory. What a luxurious entry place, asphalt to 5m of the water and later nice sandy beach. Prepared the car. It takes about one to two hours, because of all these safety ropes I attach for road. Entered the water. But there were underwater sand dunes. So I had to propel the boat to the next dune, over deeper waters just rope holding the car, then drive the car and so several times. Everything went well. When on the lake already, it is nice place to be. Started my cruise to the southern part of the lake.

Even with cloud cover the lake is beautiful

Wanted to do some trolling, but my lures were not meant for the speed of 5 knots. And at much lower speeds autopilot does not hold course.

Small waves sometimes splashed rear wheels

And sometimes even the cook bridge

As it was September, day was short and 19:25 I set for anchorage close to shore. This time more peaceful sleep, as I had one anchor, was close to the windward shore and used to car more. In morning front winch did not work, just spliced the rope and left the problem for later. Started the way back, and had visitors. Local fisherman took pictures with their mobile phones and shouted for explanation "Nobody believes us"

The car started to malfunction. First, it almost shut down the engine several times. I thought that some wiring is loose, but did not find the fault. Then engine shut down several times. But started again. When I finally smelled - something is burning. Immediately started running around like chicken without head. First to distinguish the fire, then disconnect the car batteries. Anchorage quickly, not to cross Russian border as wind wanted to carry me. Then finding several, some glowing red, some just hot places to cool down. Then took my time, thinking how stupid one can be. Had the warning, but misinterpreted it. Started to restore wiring to get car running and some winches to work again. As I have several long wires for winches, the restoration was not too difficult, but to be honest, my hands were little shaking. Planned closest exit point, nice one. As later discovered, it was some farm private backyard.

Drove home and figured out sequence of the events. First the front winch relay has had some water long time ago and rust built bridge to short circuit main wires. When it got wet again, and i tried to winch, is was short circuited.

Then winch wires heated main switchboard for winch disconnection to the level, that bolt melted through the plastic to short circuit the car batteries directly to body.

Then the real damage only started, as main ground wire from car to frame was thinner, it melted and the the engine was the main grounding point. All connections from the engine started to act like wires and all items touching hot wires were melting also. 

Finally I had to restore/rebuild front winch controls, all main ground wires, several winch wires, engine starting wires, some light wires, fix air conditioning system as one pipe had melted hole in it. As result, I got little bit better car now. For positive surprise, batteries survived, all the rest of electronics survived, engine had no other fault. Sturdy car - gives some confidence for difficult situations.

In total covered 377 km on land and 65 km in water. Learned a lot about car electrical system. Found out that wind drag and influence to speed is really minimal.

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