Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not Every Day is a Holiday

Left Wrightsville at 0630, this is really getting sorry getting up so early without time for breakfast. But today we have one of the dreaded days where we need to open four bridges as our mast is too tall to clear them. This stretch has currents running faster than Mario Andretti, lots of shallow spots, and distances between the bridges that are impossible to time. So, you go like a bat out of hell, run into a bad current, and then realize you will not make the bridge that only opens on the hour. So, you waste time drifting, hopefully avoiding skinny water and the other boats with the same predicament.

This gets really interesting when your engine starts sputtering. Like today. For some reason, our new engine will not tolerate fuel that is even a little bit dirty. We bought this very cool gauge that is supposed to tell us when we are about to have a problem, but the thing does not work. Didn't when doing the night crossing into Nassau, and isn't now.

We get through one of the bridges, pull over, and anchor. Captain changes the Racor filter and we are good to go. Until we need to ramp up the RPM and the cough, cough returns. A ha! This has happened before. Need to change the engine filter, which we then agree to do once we reach port. This requires us to run very slowly, and an adverse current does not help our situation.

While waiting for the final bridge, we need to put the engine in neutral and we both feel and hear loud "clank clank clank" from below. And it is very loud, and very scary sounding. Solution: stay out of neutral until we reach port in a few miles.

Upon arrival, Peter discovers a loose bolt on the engine mount, tightens it, and hopefully has taken care of Mooch doing the shimmy. Engine filter replaced. We'll see how we run tomorrow.

Peter decides to change the oil while he is at it, and then run the used oil into Casper's dock that we are anchored off of (needless to say, cocktails are delayed this evening). Mack the Merc outboard won't start.

This sailing life isn't always fun.

But it is interesting. During this trip, we heard this load roar and looked behind us. A fleet of Navy inflatables hell bent for election were coming upon us, and slowed slightly as they came abeam. It was so cute to see some of the sailors trying not to smile as we were giving them thumbs up, while others (the ones manning the mounted rifles) didn't seem quite so stiff and enjoyed our greetings.

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