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Old 11-04-2009, 08:43   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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Cambridge Cay – Warderick Cay 4-10 2009

Cambridge Cay – Warderick Cay 4-10 2009

As we left you, Jeff, from Sea Hawk, and I had rebuilt the pump that we’d unknowingly compromised in the course of installing a very tight-fitting pulley, we’d had our sundowners and the tour of their boat, and crashed again after another late night.

Up again at about dawn as Sea Hawk hailed us (with their hailer, this time, waking us) as they left, I sat down to get the weather from Chris Parker. As the sun was streaming through the window, just as I was about to get my subscriber’s custom forecast, I noted that the sun seemed to be moving.

Yikes! Are we dragging??? True to expectations, the wind had come up, and, of course, we’d expected to be leaving yesterday, with the new-to-us pump installed, so our shortened anchor chain (unwinding it from the various rocks it had encircled) hadn’t been of any issue. However, it certainly was, now. I dashed upstairs, confirmed my fears, dashed downstairs again and turned on the switch, dashed up again and started the motor and reversed out of harm’s way. We’d come within 50 feet of the very unfriendly rocks to leeward.

Of course, my not having installed the water pump was on my mind, so I ran the engine for only a couple of minutes. In that time I was well away from the rocks, and the fact that the anchor provided no impediment to my rearward progress confirmed my hypothesis. By this time, of course, Chris was the last thing on my mind, even though I was convinced we needed his information. However, having heard some other conversations before all the excitement, I knew that the winds would be very nice for a trip over to Warderick Wells, so I wasn’t very concerned.

Nearly over to the mooring field by now, I turned off the engine, dashed to the bow, and let out a very substantial amount of chain. It hooked satisfactorily, and while Lydia and I took our next – this time a bit more relaxed – cup of coffee and kept an eye on the shoreline, we confirmed that we were hooked. Phew…

Not so fast, pardner…

Putting on the pump was pretty much a non-event, since I’d already expanded the hose in its last installation, and it was a simple matter, by now, to attach the hoses, put in the bolts, tighten the belt, and crank it up. Sure enough, no leaks. We closed the engine room door, let it run for a bit, and then shut it down.
However, we noted that we smelled something different – was it that blasted diesel leak? No, smelled different, somehow. Open the ER door, and I’m greeted with a cloud of blue-gray smoke. Oh, yah, forgot to put on the blowers. That’s a bit much on the smoke department – I don’t recall that much in the past. But wait…

There’s water everywhere. What’s that about??? $#%^&*(!! There’s a hose off the exhaust cooling water riser. Well… That would explain the smoke, wouldn’t it? No big deal, I’ll tighten the clamp. Must have had so much water by comparison that it blew the hose off…
Start up again, now getting suspicious and a bit "snakebit," I leave the door open this time. Lydia tells me there’s no water coming out the back, but there sure is in the engine room, along with exhaust.


Shut-er-down again, and discover that we’ve had a waterlift muffler intake pipe failure. After a couple of futile attempts to make the hose stay on the tiny remaining stub of the intake, I give up. We’re not leaving today. And despite my having felt sure of the anchor, without an engine, I’ve got to put out another anchor to be secure. I’m not at all sure how long it will take to figure out how to deal with this.
So, I hail a couple of boats in the anchorage, with one responding.

Together our dinghies push Flying Pig against the wind until the now-extended anchor chain is about at right angles to the increasing current as the tide goes out. Lydia lets out another hundred feet or so of chain as we continue to push, and we’re very well away from the shoreline.

Our other helper wrestles the 75# CQR from its nest and holds it in position while I maneuver against the current to get my dinghy under it, while the other dinghy continues to push our dead-sticked craft to windward. I back the dinghy as far as it will go before the weight of the chain on the secondary anchor on the seabed halts its progress, and heave over the anchor, which hooks immediately. Out comes about 150’ of secondary anchor chain, and we are well and truly stuck. Nothing short of a hurricane will move us this time, while I deal with the exhaust issue.

In the end, we inserted some PVC pipe between the engine side and the muffler side (removing the muffler from the system). That pipe, sacrificed from a tiller extension for the outboard, was a close fit to the pipe sizes for the hose, and the connections were pretty straightforward, once I figured out what to do. I don’t like the solution, but it’s a workable patch until I can resolve the muffler. We are, after all, going to be back in the States in less than a month, and I’ll again have access to parts and supplies. Plus, we aren’t running the engine much, anyway, so it’s likely to be of no issue. Crank-er-up again, and, sure enough, a veritable Niagra comes out the rear. Hallelujah! And, it’s not any louder, at least not that we can tell, than it was before. While the waterlift muffler has some anti-siphon features which are very useful, our exhaust system has siphon breaks in it, and the output is well above the water line, so that’s not a big concern for me.

As we’ve been running lots of stuff, our amp-hours’ usage has been a bit high, so while we eat lunch, we elect to run the engine a bit to charge the battery a bit. With the sun and the alternator, we’re putting in well over 80 amps, and we enjoy our lunch on the patio, listening to the rush of the exhaust water below us and noting with satisfaction that the rocky shore is a great way from us :{))
Well, let’s get out of here today, after all, we think.

Not so fast…

A look below reveals that we have yet another exhaust-related leak. This one is small, but a distinct nuisance, and answered a conundrum about where we were getting evident salt-water collection, drying on top of the now-inactive muffler. Shortening the story, I overcome that one as well after a thorough search of my plumbing spares, installing the part without much fuss, if you disregard my explosions and complaints. Cruising is, however, boat repair in exotic locations, and this one certainly fits the bill. That we overcame several cooling-water issues (the exhaust also being cooled by the raw water pump) in one day was satisfying, in a way. Good thing I like problem solving and don’t "do" panic very well. Analysis and execution is more my style, so, despite the delay, we commenced to getting on with the solutions.

Now, all that remains is to get up the anchors, and we can get under way. Unfortunately, bringing up the secondary pulls the primary chain so tight – nearly directly apart for the primary and secondary - that we have to go through the necessary dance to lengthen (after – already! - pulling up a lot of it) the secondary. As we have a single windlass, it’s sort of a half-manual, half electric exercise to either lower, under control, or retrieve, the secondary. We put out enough to allow us to pull in some of the primary in order to remove the primary’s snubber and let out another hundred or so feet so that we can (again!) bring up the secondary.

That does, in fact happen, and the sail-raising and final anchor retrieving are uneventful. However, that run of primary chain was the longest we’ve ever had out of the chain locker. The last 50 feet or so were salt encrusted from all the dripping chain above it for the last couple of years – I’ll have to let it all out some calm day to get it rinsed off! We finally get under way, only a couple of days later than planned, about 2:30 in the afternoon.

Our sail out of the anchorage/mooring field, through the cut, around the corner, through the next cut, around the next corner, through the turn, and to our anchorage, with anchor down at 5:30, was blissful in comparison to the earlier 8 or so hours. It was a moderate breeze day, and our course of travel, not very well reported by SPOT (I have yet to figure out the idiocy of the required sequence to turn on the tracking and send a message to our primary contacts; it takes not less than three separate operations when – to my mind, at least, it should be a simple, one-operation effort: either send an OK and transmit, or transmit, done, finished, until you turn it off…) involved every point of sail, as we sort of did a circle, albeit opened on the windward side, as we finished much further north than we started. All systems performed beautifully (that blasted SPOT excepted), and given the amount of water that comes out the back, now, we imagine we might even have less of an issue when we’re under full throttle for an extended period of time.

So, at (AGAIN!!) well past cruisers’ midnight, we’re comfortably anchored in about 8 feet of water off the West side of Warderick Wells, Exuma, near Emerald Rock, at just about high tide, with over 5 feet under our keel. I hope to take advantage of the relatively shallow water to finish the scrubbing of port side’s bottom paint (recall I’d done all but the last couple of feet in Big Majors) while we’re here, if we can tear ourselves away from the very excellent internet service, the first since we left Sampson Cay…

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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