On Tuesday morning there was an almost tangible amount of stress aboard Snark. We had experienced what seemed like endless days of high seas and high winds, with the churning ocean tossing us about constantly. A pervasive lack of sleep, combined with our mechanical difficulties, was starting to wear on everyone on board. Our generator was still not working, our batteries weren't charging properly, our water levels were running low, we'd had to tap into one of our two reserve tanks, and without the power needed to run the watermaker, we weren't refilling fast enough. We had made it halfway across the ocean, and now, like an initiation into the gang of the Western Atlantic, the seas were testing our resilience, bending us to see if we would break. Something had to change. Ben, Dugald, and I set to thinking. We decided that the problem with our generator lay in the starter battery. What if we removed the starter battery from the generator, and moved it into the engine battery bank, hooked it up to the generator battery, and tried to jump it? Of course, if this didn't work, and for some reason we shorted the starter battery, we would have no engine. This was a sobering drawback. We lashed the generator battery into place near the starter battery and prepared to hook everything up. We had been able to remove one battery connector from the generator battery (red to red), for the other connection we used several lengths of 20-amp wire spliced together. "Now, Ben," Dugald said, as we got ready to make our connection, "is there a way I can shut off the battery, an isolator switch perhaps, if the wires start smoking and catch fire from the excessive ampage? We certainly don't want anything to explode." Now, I don't know about you, but when I hear terms like "fire," "smoking," and "explode," especially when I'm well over a thousand miles from a landmass, a little red flag pops up. Hmmm
this could either work, or this could go horribly, horribly wrong. Flashes of Mayday calls and evacuation drills began to run through my head. "Chris," Ben said, "Go topside and man the steering, on the off chance that we blow everything out-the autopilot will go off and you'll have to try and keep us on our course."