Inevitable drama

4/24/17

Yesterday was a pleasant enough day at sea but the post generated by pleasant enough is boring enough. Today will be different.

Nice wind all day.  The equator is long behind us.  We have made about 25% of the southing below the equator we need to reach the Marquesas.  Just need to work on getting our westing.  Our average is probably 120 miles a day.

There is still water in the bilge.  Is it old water?  Is the repair holding?  Is it from somewhere else?  I spent a hot hour looking into that.  Conclusion.  Repair holds.  It’s old water.  But I’m staying tuned…

The solar array is off line. It just was not obvious at first.  Early in the trip we were running the motor to make water.   Now we are running the  motor to charge batteries.  We have plenty water.   If I ever wondered how useful the solar was, now I know.  I put a meter on each panel.  No output on any of them..  seems odd that they would all break at once.   We’ll they didn’t.  I looked at the charge controller and one of the two panel terminals is cooked.  Must have had resistance there? Anyway toasted.  To bad.  But good news is I have a spare.  Somewhere…  Spent some time looking for it with no luck.  Then it was time for dinner.  My luck improves!

After dinner we sailed into a squall line.  it was between us and the Marquesas, so not much choice. We have full main and jib out.  Kind of a lot of sail at 25+ knots of wind..  Plus Mr. Sulu has allowed us to head more into the wind.  This is not just off course, upwind like this a lot wilder way to sail.  So we are in the process of fixing all that.  Motorsailing for best control during the adjustments.  The adjustments being let’s reduce our sail area.  Less sail area means less horsepower when you have too much.  Good Idea!  Oh but then the motor decides to stop running.  We finish getting the sails reduced and then we get to work on the motor.  The vacuum gauge on the fuel line reads 3x what it should.  Ok.   Filters all new.  Switching from filter 1 to filter 2 no help. Secondary filter full of fuel, not air.   Hmmm.   Yes this has happened before.  So part of the fix was to blow backwards on the fuel line between the filters and the tank.  I remove the hose from the filters. Remember I’m crawling around in the bilge on a boat on really lumpy seas in the middle of a drenching dumping bunch of rain in 25 knots of wind.  Almost perfect.  The cockpit has a canvas cover to protect from sun and rain.  How about we have a zipper let go on that sucker.  OK.  Now we have a Trifecta.  I never wanted anything like this!  Or did I…. I certainly choose to be here.  And none of this is a surprise.  It is an interesting bunch of challenges.  Anyway we remove the canvas in the maelstrom and get it stowed.

Meanwhile, back in the bilge…  Lynn had suggested blowing backwards on the fuel line when we had our first motor failure.  And now I’m trying that again.  I remove the hose like I mentioned before.   And I hear “pffft”.  The hose was under vacuum.  And that hose  should never be under vacuum.  And I blow backwards through the hose again and that’s that, it all starts to work.

Now the sails are shortened, the motor works, the canvas is stowed.   Back to sailing as usual.  I have to say I recommend going to sea with an unflappable crew.  We did and it makes challenges way more fun.  We review the situation.  It’s starting to look like there is a strainer in the tank.  Check this rig.  Secondary filter at the motor.  Change that on a schedule.  Primary filter.  There are two of these.  You can use one or the other.  Slick.  If one gets clogged you can switch to the other without even turning the motor off!  How to make this all perfect?  Add a strainer in the tank that you can’t get at to inspect or clean without a bunch of dismantling.  Nice!  And the canvas guy gets credit too.  There are two kinds of thread.  One lasts 10 years in the sun.  One lasts two years.  What to choose.  Canvas genius can’t decide so uses some of each.  Have I ever done stupid stuff like this? Probably.  🙂  Let’s just move on then.

Time for night watches.  Mine is 1 to 4.  I’m getting settled and note that another squall is steaming our way in the darkness.  When the stars start to go away that’s your clue.   So I shorten sail again.  Jib and main.  This is done from the cockpit. I do this by myself because that is how it is all set up to work.  Lynn and Rebecca are trying to sleep.  No leaving the cockpit. Convenient and safe.  Really appreciate the furling jib and main

We escape the squall with no further drama.  But then I have not run the motor yet….!   As l am getting settled I hear something behind me in the cockpit.   Another flying fish.  This one didn’t poke me in the eye and won’t end up dried out on the deck.  Back to the sea my brother!

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6 thoughts on “Inevitable drama

  1. Pipe Dream had the same fuel-line-clogging problem. We had black slimey gunk plugging the uptake tube inside the tank. We cleaned the tube (we did not have a strainer in the tank) several times and after a while it would pick up more gunk and plug again. Finally(in Cancun) I cut a few holes in the top of the tank big enough to get my arm in and cleaned the tank out with paper towels. I also made some covers for the holes I cut in the tank. Problem solved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought your cruise was going too smoothly up to this point. No ocean crossing ever goes without something serious breaking. Crud in the fuel tank can be a problem. Ever try “fuel polishing?”

    Like

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