Well, interesting read this. Me? I've had my share of adventures this past week, unfortunately not of the good kind.
On a brighter note, I'm now officially a live-a-board person. The cars are gone, all my land ties broken save one small storage
room where I'm keeping family
heirlooms and such. A kind former next door neighbor is selling what I didn't get sold before my departure. I packed the van to the point it was on it's axels and litterally crammed to the ceiling with the few possessions I still have and save clothing
, all boat related in one form or another. The trip down to SF was slow due to the over burdened car, but I arrived in the wee hours in good shape, but over tired as I hadn't slept in three days at that point.
Spent the next two days unpacking the car and packing the boat. Then turned the car over to the folks who bought it and ...... well.....that was that. For the first time in my semi-adult life I am car-less, house-less, furniture-less. WOW!
Back in the 80's when I was a live-a-board person the last time I kept my car and a small land base, but not this time. I've cut all the ties and I am free!
So, early Sunday morning last I got up, fired up the old Lugger made a pretence of stowing things away in preparation for my 40 mile jaunt up to Napa where I planned to be hauled Monday afternoon to do a bottom job and a few other odds and ends that needed doing. So, off go the lines, put her in gear
, manage not to ram either the boat tied way too close in front of me or behind me and I'm off!
All is well. Feels great to be back at sea, even if it's only SF Bay
. I pass under the Bay bridge and take some pics, avoid being rammed by some stink potter who knows nothing of the rules of the road, it's a typical day on SF Bay
with bright blue skies and 10 - 15 knots of wind
. How do you spell perfect?
Three miles past Treasure Island steaming at 2,100 rpm
I notice my Tach making strange moves. Then my oil
pressure gage doing the same thing, and I'm thinking electrical
problem? I glance behind me and to my horror see I'm billowing gray smoke! This can't be good. Shut down engine
immediately. At this juncture I'm not sure what is going on, but as soon as I start down the companion way ladder I see the floor boards are awash! Expletive deleted, I'm sinking!
So, what to do? Step one, find the source of incoming water
. I quikly open up the engine
compartment which is covered in black oil
and immediately see the source of the incoming water
. The hose between the output side of the raw water pump
and the anti-siphon valve has broken. Now, I checked this hose before I left, the mechanic
checked everything when he was working on the engine, yet the bad spot in the hose escaped us all. More expletives, lots of them. Time to break out emergency bilge pump
and get it running, which I do quickly.
One the pump is pumping and it's clear no more water is coming in I feel just a little bit better, even though I'm now adrift in the bay. So, next order of business is to try to fashion some kind of repair of the broken hose. As it was only a short jaunt up to Napa I had not prepared the boat for serious events
such as this (my bad). The only thing I could come up with was a roll of duct tape, so I figured what the hell? Give it a try. And I did, I tapped that sucker six ways and backwards. Turned the key and she fired right up! For joy for joy, my engine is still good to go! No smoke billowing out the back has got to be a good sign as well.
Back down below I check my tape job and find it leaking just a very little bit. No problem I figure. I shut down the engine, and apply yet more tape. Fire her back up, put her in gear
check for leaks
, none. Increase throttle; 1,500 rmp now. Check for leaks
....just a drip. 1,800 rpm
figure that will get me through the bridge before the Napa Marina that I have to clear before 5:30. Things seem to be going well, bilge pump
is still pumping water is noticably lower. I'm more or less happy again. Check for leak....****, ****, ****. It's starting to let go....oh damn, it lets go right in front of me! Do you know how much water a 1.5" hose can pump? Believe me, a lot more than you think. So, I shut down engine once again.
After some thinking, swearing, and other sailorly rants I conclude things have gone beyond my ability to easily solve them so best to call for a tow. As luck sometimes (but not often) favors me, I'd just one a one year free membership
to Boat US including free towing through Vessel Assist. Damn, that was good.
Of course, I'm deaf as a post, so I'm unable to call for help on radios or phones for that matter, but a quick text to my best friend in Arizona has Vessel assit on the way in short order and they tow me to Berkeley. So, here I sit. It's a 2+ hour bus ride to Alameda where Svedsen's Marine
has almost everything you need, except for those things I need which they are out of stock on.
Did you know there is not a Auto Parts
store to be found in the City of Berkeley? Well, not one I could find either and going by bus is not easy. So, I'm gathering parts
, enjoying the Marina and living the life of a full time cruiser. Ain't it grand?
A final note, one of the lessons learned her is that deaf sailors should not put to see by themselves. Had a hearing person been with me they probably would have heard something was amiss long before things deteriorated to the point they did. So, I set out on my quest for a cruising companion
with renewed vigor. If something doesn't turn up at the dock PDQ
I am thinking I will hop a plane to Asia
and see if something can't be found there.
As my friend Alex of Project
Blue Sphere fames likes to say: Sail far, live slowly!