James and Steffen spent much of the morning determining what might be the cause of
the small compressor malfunction. We knew we’d probably need a new part, but we wanted to give it one more go to try
to fix the problem.
After much poking and prodding with the computer boards, it was found that the outer
computer board was the culprit. We speculate that one of the minute soldering joints was loose, but which one out
of the 100s on the board we do not know. We do know that if we push on the board in a certain spot, the compressor will start
So, a new part was ordered, but will not arrive until the 22nd. To limp along, we zip-tied a thick wire to the magical spot to push the board in,
the compressor started and we continued our journey down the Mighty Mississippi.
Later in the day, near late afternoon, we entered into a narrow stretch of the MS
River . . . maybe half a mile wide. The river was fast through this section due to the constriction forcing barges to
use a lot of power to navigate the waters. This added energy from the barge engines in combination with some gusty wind caused
6 ft swells in the river.
We went up and down. The Harvey Pete bumped strongly against the Strong. The Chirp was riding high in the water. To get through the stretch, we increased the number of air bubble bursts from 8.5
per minute (every 7 seconds) to 12 per minute (every 5 seconds). This allowed us to move more quickly through the turbulent stretch of river.