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Old 23-10-2007, 17:46   #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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October 19- Travel, Interrupted

October 19- Travel, Interrupted

To tell you what that's about I need to back up to our time in
St. Michaels. Well, actually, to the time we left Annapolis, on
the 18th.

As usual, the ladies aboard slept in, so we didn't begin to even
prepare to leave our anchorage until nearly noon. As we were
stowing the dinghy and motor, Roy and Doon, our Kiwi buddies,
motored by with a handheld depth finder. They were scouting a
location for their Kiwi buddies they'd found on a prior voyage to
join them in the anchorage for some work on their radios. We
advised that we were leaving, and the holding was tolerable, but
more importantly that the depth was entirely adequate for their
7' draft. They took our place the moment we left!

We'd been stuck on our anchorage for so long that upping and
cleaning the anchor and rode (the chain leading to the anchor),
which were well encrusted with the mud from Spa Creek's soft
bottom, took quite a while. Lydia manned the buttons, and her
mother, comfortably ensconced on the seat in front of the furled
genoa (the large sail wound up on the front of the boat), manned
the hose nozzle. However, it came up, and was cleaned, and I
looked at my watch. 4 minutes to the 1:30 bridge. If I floor it,
we can make it.

However, noises of alarm and "STOP!" came from the bow. "UP"
didn't mean "Stowed" - the anchor was still dangling by 5' of
chain, even though it was "up" from the bottom. That's not a good
place (under water, hanging from the chain) for the anchor to be
when under way, so we stopped and finished the proper stowing
sequence. That didn't take very long, so we had plenty of time to
get to the next opening, and, after wandering around so as to not
run into the bridge before it was opened, we did, in fact,
transit the bridge at 2PM.

Weather looked to be favorable to sail down to St. Michaels, but
first we had to clear the very narrow and congested channel
leading from the Severn River. We did that in short order, and
prepared to hoist sails.

But wait! An engine alarm! Shut it down, and go below to see if
we can decipher what's happening. Inspection of the engine yields
no immediate clues. Using my digital infrared thermometer
suggests that all is well with the engine thermostatically, as,
all the possible trouble points I measured showed the expected
healthy-temperature readings. Oil pressure is fine every time we
again fire it up to see if it was just an anomaly, so it's not
oil-pressure related, but the alarm persists. All the
water-moving fan belts (though there's no fan on this engine
cooling system, the naming habit remains) look fine.

On the possibility that it really is overheating (despite my
infrared results) as a result of not getting water, I close the
seacock (the thing that prevents water from getting in when you
don't want it) to the primary filter, and open the filter top.
Nothing seen in the filter itself, but I wash it anyway, as
there's silt from the anchorage coating the screen. When I open
the seacock, the water falls away with no apparent blockage. I
closed the seacock again, and refilled the filter housing and
repeated. Same result. That suggests it is able to get water.

So, I again closed it, filled the housing, and poured water in as
the engine ran, easily taking it. So, the pump is pulling water
from the housing, if not from the sea. In the end, we still don't
know why the engine alarm occurred, and it still goes on after
this test, but, perhaps, it was a plastic bag momentarily
blocking the intake, causing an overheat, because, eventually, it
did cease alarming and the temp guage (continued to!) read

In the course of my searching, and back-and-forth to the seawater
tap in the galley sink (to refill the filter housing, not to
waste the fresh water we had to pay for on fillup, our first
experience, anywhere, of having to pay for water), I noticed that
the temperatures on both the freezer and refrigerator were way
higher than normal. What's that about???

Another foray into the engine room reveals that the controller
for the refrigeration is defunct. I, after some meandering around
all the possibilities, presume we have a wiring problem with
either the controller or the power to the compressor, as we're
getting power to the thermostats and the fans and lights related
to those circuits.

However, it's more than warm in the engine room, and I don't want
to have to address the presumed wiring problem until it cools
down. So, I turn off the refrigeration, making the temperatures
stable. Without doing that, all the (relatively) warm air in the
refrigerator will wind up in the freezer. That's because we have
what's known as a spillover system, in which the refrigerator is
cooled from the freezer (actually, the way household refrigerator
units work as well). That means the fan will keep trying to cool
the refrigerator, but the freezer, not running, can't dispose of
the heat. Keeping the freezer cold is more of a critical event
than the 44 degrees in the refrigerator. The freezer is still
just slightly below freezing, and the squid and Bonita (bait for
fishing, of which we've done none since leaving the Gulf Stream!)
in the bottom will survive the experience if we just keep it that

While I'm doing that, another try shows that the engine alarm has
finished it's exercise, and all appears well with the engine.
Skipping ahead a bit, by the time we anchor, having run the
engine room exhaust fan as we motored and sailed for the
remaining couple of hours of daylight, apparently a (presumed)
overheat relay in the refrigeration relaxed, and our
refrigeration again worked without any intervention on my part.
So, I turned it on again, and removed the magnet which controls
the lights and fan in the refrigerator. That will allow the
freezer to get down to its normal temperatures before sucking in
heat from the refrigerator. All that happens in due course, and
two mornings later, the freezer's at 7.7 and the refrigerator is
at 34.3 - all is well, again.

So, back to our journey. During all this, we've been in the
middle of a wide, deep area, so we just drift. No hazards to
navigation, several sailboats gaily blow by us, waving
enthusiastically as if to say, "Ha, Ha! We're sailing, and you're
not! Neener, neener!" We grit our teeth and grin and wave back.

With all that excitement, we don't stand a chance of getting to
St. Michaels before dark. So, what to do? We really don't know
what's up with the engine, but it appears ok. Do we sail back to
Annapolis in order to be closer to help and gear should we need
it? Or, do we continue onward and hope for the best? In the end,
we choose to proceed.

We sail as far as we can, and, with dark approaching, choose the
best possible depth, with no shelter whatsoever, but certainly
adequate holding. None the less, we're in an area described in
the various guidebooks as one having no anchorages. Certainly,
that's true, as there's nothing but straight shoreline on the
western side of Kent Island, our home for the night.

The boat rocks and rolls and pitches and heaves in the brisk wind
and moderate surf/waves, but we're warm and comfy below, and
enjoy a reasonable sleep aboard. The good news is that, while
none "spoke to us" last night, shoreside mansions and farms even
have a wifi connection available the following morning as our
position changes slightly, improving the antenna's reach.

I catch up on the emails, and send off for some information from
some of our vendors, presuming our circumstance to have been a
momentary clog, and, eventually, the ladies emerge from their
coccoons. We get under way before noon and head to St. Michaels.

Whatta day. Whatta boat! The apparent wind was such that we
pinched nearly all the way there, but it was a great, relaxing
sail under brilliant skies, and we arrived in St. Michaels well
before dark. The guidebook descriptions indicated that we should
take the left bifurcation to an anchorage in preference to the
right side. However, going down that trail led us only to a dead
end of docks on both sides. In tight quarters, Lydia pirouetted
Flying Pig and we headed back out.

A call to the local marina disclosed that the anchorages in
question were actually right at the beginning of the entrance of
the channel, so we headed into one with several sailboats and a
large trawler. Our first attempt at hooking didn't work so we
went out closer to the channel, well stuck, and settled in.

A bit of a delay, but not much in the scheme of things, and we're
here, in totally protected waters. Stay tuned to see what else



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
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