And on the Third Day…

We’ve been blasting along. First day 24 hour run was 160+ nm and the second day was 150+ nm.  With that we’ve been pleased. However; W/ still isn’t up to snuff. She’s taking Stergeron @ 15mg twice per day and still not feeling like she can eat or function down below.  On the advise of Persephone she tried a bowl of Oatmeal, on the advice of Lison Life she opted out of the can of beer. Funny Germans!  However of our good fishing / cruising companions Don and Terry – Don too recommends beer to settle the ills of sea sickness. I couldn’t talk her into any beer. 🙂

So with her feeling slight we ambled along towards warmer climates, clear water, and NO MUD on the bottom.  But as dawn alighted we heard a clinking sound somewhere up our mast. When you’re on a boat, in the middle of the ocean (we’re now 300 miles from the nearest land) your senses are hyper  alert to any different sounds. And this sound was different; much like someone at the top of our mast taking a spoon and randomly taping a nonsensical tune.  Out come the binoculars and I begin to scan up the mast and finding what I can’t believe.  I was just up the mast a few weeks ago and every time I go up I look things over.  I NEVER noticed anything wrong with the spreader lift; but indeed it was the upper stbd spreader lift that let go. It was swinging around pinging on the mast and the spreader, once in awhile it would tap the head of the sail (we had our main reefed to the first reef) then wrap up on something for a few minutes and off it would sail again swinging to and fro bouncing off any object it came in contact with.

We reported our situation  on the am net and said we were considering sending me up the mast to tend it but haven’t decided yet. Well;  at sea we need to consider how critical the issue is and how much a possible accident of our body is worth so in this case we had decided that all that was going to happen was cosmetic and there was no potential mast failure from it. The spreader was siezed to the shroud anyway so we decided to leave it (much to our peril as we later found out). Eventually the spreader lift found a home wrapped up around the stbd shroud and stuck in our one baggy wrinkle we have on that side. It stayed there for about 4 days. Lucky us.

After the net we went to run our generator. This powers the boat by recharging the batteries and pulling down the cold plates in the refrigeration / freezer. Damn and double Damn. About 1/2 way though the charge the compressor shut down and the generator was running hot. I shut it down as W/ checked the water flow (none) and then pondered (really cursed quite vociferously) then finally sat down and looked at our options.  We can get by without the power as we have a large frame alternator on the main engine that we can run for a couple of hours a day to charge everything up; but then all our frozen goods and any perishables will need to be thrown overboard. I didn’t want to do that. We have this boat because it’s comfortable and to drink warm water, and eat canned food isn’t what I wanted. So to the drawing table I went and then I spent most of the morning rerouting water lines  so the generator would get the cooling water it needed and take care of it’s job. (Some may remember that we too have 12v refrigeration/freezing capacity but when we’re traveling over 4 kts it won’t work – the pump won’t draw water in faster than the boat wants to pull it away).

Impellor on Genset

Impellor on Genset

Now to run down this problem it wasn’t going to be easy. While we made sure when we installled all systems that we could get to EVERYTHING; that did not mean that while on a boat offshore going up waves, down waves, twisting around waves anything would be easy. First I had to check the hardest piece; is the impellor still 100%.  To do that I took off the cover plate and to avoid twisting with a mirror held just right I took a picture of it (I love digital cameras)! Luckily the picture showed that the impellor was 100% intact and I could then make sure that water was getting to the generator and air wasn’t coming in from any other avenue. So I cut the line to the 12v water cooled compressor, eliminated the salt water pump in the galley . Moved the intake higher up the food chain or lower in the water chain and then try it. Fortunately after about 4 hours of work we did get it running with cooling water and were able to charge the batteries and the refrigeration / freezer. Whew!

Night Watch

Night Watch

As the evening wore on we again settled in the life of a cruiser offshore. W/ still feeling under the weather and I exhausted from being a plumber in a cramped space while on a Disneyland ride. But; and this is a big but!  We’re in warmer waters; we’re heading in the right direction and with any lucky we’ll be there before Thanksgiving.  As a note: this pic I think was taken in the next couple of days while motoring. The seas actually this evening were running 2-3 meters, in the pic they’re less then 1 m.

Fair Winds


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