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Old 11-04-2009, 08:11   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Cambridge Cay – "Cruising Is…" 4-8 to 4-9 2009

Cambridge Cay – "Cruising Is…" 4-8 to 4-9 2009

As we left you, we dinghy’d over to Seahawk to greet our friends on the sistership to Flying Pig. I’d mentioned that he’d bought an engine from someone I pointed him to, just as we were leaving the Chesapeake area over a year ago. He stripped all the usable parts from it, thinking he was going to rebuild his engine, and to get spares. However, as usually seems to happen in the world of cruising, particularly when you have 4 kids, as they do, reality intruded, and they left with the same engine they had.
As time went on, before they got too far, their engine showed signs of what might be a lingering death, but it might also have died at any time. Rather than risk having it give up the ghost somewhere remote, they pulled in and did the swap with a rebuilt. When you remove an engine from our boats, you have to pull all the significant hang-ons off in order to get it to fit the available openings on the way out. Knowing that, he’d removed all the usable parts from the other engine and sent them off for cleanup in anticipation of his rebuild.

His original intent had been only to get them glass-beaded (like sandblasting) to clean them up, but couldn’t find anyone to do that. Fortunately, however, there was this powder-coating place, which would have to do the equivalent, anyway, for preparation… So, heat exchanger, oil cooler and filter housings, intake and exhaust manifolds, fuel delivery system, oil pan and valve cover and the like were all beautifully, hard-coated, brilliant in their "Perkins Blue" color. Having a rebuilt block, which the rebuilder also runs and tests before (then) painting, meant that when I looked into his engine room, the engine shone like a jewel. Compounding my jealousy, not only was the pan underneath the engine brilliant white, where he’d repainted it, there wasn’t a drop of oil, nor even oil-absorbent pads. Color me extremely envious!

I suggested that we hurry and go snorkeling, as it was nearly low slack tide, and perfect for the couple of little islands right near us, and a beautiful trip up to the marine aquarium with the wind and the tide in the right direction for our return. They enthusiastically agree, and we decide to meet shortly for our trip. Louise had wanted to revisit the aquarium and Lydia the small islands to our south, our first visit being during a tide, making it difficult to get a full perspective of the scenery.

We did indeed go off snorkeling, but both Lydia and Louise took a pass, the weather being cloudy and not very warm. We got to visit the couple of little islands just south of us before the current started running, and headed north to the aquarium. With 4 kids in their dinghy, and nobody in mine, I offered to lighten their load. So, their oldest and youngest rode up with me to the aquarium.
When we arrived, it was thick with boats and snorkelers. However, as most of them had been there for some time, several left quickly, and there was plenty of room. I wore my weights (which reduce my buoyancy to nearly neutral) and did my usual underwater cruising which, between the prior dive, all the wind on the still-wet-wetsuit in the cloudy, no-sun, not-hot air on the way up, and this dive, I was well chilled by the time I got out. The current and the wind were with us on the return, however, so my chill wasn’t exacerbated, and it was a short trip. Stripping out of my wetsuit and getting into sweats, sitting in the enclosed cockpit with a cup of coffee and the sun on me soon had me revived.

A short while later, my snorkeling buddies showed up for dinner. The Morgan 461 was designed originally for the charter trade, with up to 11 sleeping quarters in 4 doubles (fore and aft cabins, plus two salon make-up doubles) and three singles (a sea berth in the salon, plus two in the "third stateroom," the walkthrough). So it was no particular surprise that we all ate comfortably in the salon. Lydia had baked earlier in the day, so we enjoyed a simple dinner of beans and rice with the accompaniment of fresh baked bread. We bade them farewell long after cruiser’s midnight (8PM).

Wednesday dawned still and brilliant and Jeff came over; we got the pulley off my Sherwood (traded to him) with some effort, and onto his Jabsco, likewise with much effort, including breaking the first attachment bolt I used, on which more anon. I gave him intelligence on his trip south to Georgetown, with all the local places to see and do stuff, as well as where to find supplies. Earlier, taking advantage of the mirror-smooth water, I’d lifted the slack anchor chain carefully, unwinding it from a couple of rocks it had wound around, and Lydia and Louise (her mom) went off in the dinghy to attempt finding more of the lovely shells ruined in our last episode. As it’s a pretty good distance in a dinghy, the calm water was welcomed.

When Lydia and Louise returned from their shelling trip, I’d not quite managed to get the pump installed, nor cleaned up, what with all the stuff all over the workbench. The extraction of the pulley from my traded pump, along with all the exertion needed to get it on his supplied pump, had taken longer than I’d anticipated. However, Lydia wanted to go over to the "meet and greet" island mentioned in a prior post, and get a couple buckets of the especially coarse sand for Portia’s potty. So, I commenced to put the pump on, and, just before they arrived back at the boat, was just finishing up my cleanup.

As I was now certain that the water in my original pump had been coming from the weep slot designed to tell you when your seals are failing, I tried using the same hose attachment I’d used before. Imagine my dismay when it just RAN water, much worse than before, again from the weep slot. However, it had appeared to have come from the hose, the flow was so great, and I couldn’t’ believe that it was the pump, as it worked fine when he removed it from his engine he took out.

So, I went back to plan A and commenced with my "kludge" of a stepdown to accept a short piece of the properly sized (well, with some heating and lubrication!) hose from the clearly oversized one I’d had.

That went relatively simply, the heating and lubrication aside, and I remounted the pump for yet another time. No such luck, same results, with there being no doubt at this time that it was the pump, as there’s no way the hose could possibly leak.


So, I again pulled off the pump, having a rebuild kit in the stuff Jeff had traded me, and resolved to rebuild it. However, it had gotten late enough by that time – nearly everyone else’ midnight - that I decided to put it aside until the next morning.

Up again shortly after dawn, and just as I was finishing my first cup of coffee, Jeff hailed me on the VHF. "Speak of the devil," I said. "That doesn’t sound good!" he said. I told him of the experiences, and he asked to come over to help me rebuild it, "to assuage his guilt," which I gratefully accepted.

On his way over, I dug into my spares, the two nearly useless Jabsco pumps I had, and took apart the worst of them, to see how they went together. By the time I had it apart, Jeff had arrived. Once we clearly saw how it went, reading the parts breakdown he’d printed off for me (I’d expected to rebuild my other pump which had leaked the first time, so he offered that from his computer library the previous day), we were confident to disassemble his traded pump.

All went relatively well, but as we were putting it together, I noted that the junker’s bearing was in a different place than the one we were working on. Could it have moved? It certainly seemed so. Rooting around in all my tools produced the proper sized socket to fit over the shaft and we beat the bearing down to its proper seat. Reinstalling it was another challenge, as the bearing wouldn’t QUITE go all the way into its seat. Another rooting around produced a properly sized chunk of pipe, and we finally got it seated fully.

Around this time it dawned on us that our whaling away on the pulley and shaft to get them to seat was what pushed the bearing up on the shaft. Without the bearing fully seated on the shaft, there was nothing for the seal to seat against. Thus, the totally useless seal, not broken nor worn out, but just, simply, not sealing!! So, unfortunately, we took out a probably perfectly good seal, but as we didn’t do any visible damage, I put that back in the box in which the new ones had come, and put it with the spare impellers.

By this time it was dinnertime, and he went off, inviting us for sundowners after we’d both had our suppers. We’d originally expected to stay only a short time, but Jeff and Kami are marvelous hosts, with perfectly wonderful Sangria accompanied by freshly baked beer bread, and the evening wore on to, again, well past cruisers’ midnight. So, instead of putting on the pump immediately when we got home, I again delayed until the next day. Jeff and Kami would be leaving first thing in the morning, for a straight trip to Georgetown, in order to get provisions, stock up on water, gas and diesel, and get to church on Easter, so we were all ready for bed. The installation of the pump would have to wait until morning.

As this is getting long, as usual, we’ll leave you here, until next time.

Stay tuned!


Skip and crew

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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"And then again, when you sit at the helm of your little ship on a clear
night, and gaze at the countless stars overhead, and realize that you are
quite alone on a wide, wide sea, it is apt to occur to you that in the
general scheme of things you are merely an insignificant speck on the
surface of the ocean; and are not nearly so important or as self-sufficient
as you thought you were. Which is an exceedingly wholesome thought, and one
that may effect a permanent change in your deportment that will be greatly
appreciated by your friends."- James S. Pitkin
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