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Old 26-02-2010, 11:35   #1
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Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part I

Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part I

Hi, all,

We left you after a large variety of both frustrating and rewarding refits
and upgrades accomplished by a massive buying trip to the US afforded by a
surprise visit to family over the holiday season.

Well equipped, we set about learning how to use our new chartplotter and GPS
combination, verified all the new installations, and set to waiting for a
good weather window.

Weather windows, particularly in the Caribbean, drive passage planning, as
going at one time versus another can make all the difference in your comfort
and safety levels. We'd expected to leave just after February arrived, but
one after another promising window slammed shut by the time it had arrived.

"By the time it had arrived" means that the forecast for a future time
turned against us. Either wind levels or direction, or, significantly, wave
height, caused us to wait for what looked like a better time in the future.
Unfortunately for our earlier arrival (than what actually happened), each
time the interval to that future time elapsed, 4 different times, we were
pumped up and ready to go in a day or two only to have Chris Parker, our
weather guru, in his daily morning forecasts, shoot us down.

In Marsh Harbour, we were blessed with three different open (available to
anyone) sites to which we could successfully connect our WiFi (internet
connection) system described in a prior log. The most reliable, in terms of
availability and data throughput (the amount of data directly determines how
long it takes to take a web page to load, for example), was 11 miles away,
and the other two were, respectively, by measurement on our charts, 6 and 8
miles away. Those who have struggled to find an available signal as they
travel can appreciate the magnitude of that achievement. We routinely get
the jaw-dropping routine when other cruisers ask if we can find internet,
as, even with some of the recently developed more sensitive antennas and
higher powered transmitters for WiFi, most can't exceed a couple of miles'

So, with generally good connectivity, we also took advantage of several
sites which could give us an advance look at wind and waves in our area.
Each time an approaching weather window bore closer, we'd scrutinize our
available sources. And, as above, each time, we'd disappointedly confirm
our suspicions with Chris.

Finally, the day arrived when the wind and waves were tolerable, and we got
ready to leave, confirming that conditions were tolerable for our passage
with Chris Parker. The sea state would be barely OK for Lydia, who, if she
had her druthers, would have lots of wind with no waves. However, out in
the open Atlantic ocean, there were lots of big swells left over from all
the fronts which had marched through, one after the other. None the less,
it was the best we'd find, so we took advantage of the opening and left.
First, however, we listened to the morning net as we were getting ready to

You'll recall that the morning net is akin to a party line, where traffic is
directed by an "operator" ("net control," in actual name). The first of the
segments on all the morning nets, wherever they may be, is weather, and this
was no exception. A specific to the Abacos, of which Marsh Harbour's island
is one, is the passage reports. With all the small islands between Marsh
Harbour's Great Abaco and the Atlantic, you can only get to open water in a
few places, called passages.

Our preferred passage would have been North Man-O-War, being the closest,
but it was a mess, not recommeded even for the freighters which serve Marsh
Harbour. We'd already made contingency plans for that, however, as the last
passage from Great Abaco, opposite Little Harbour, was sheltered in the
prevailing winds. Unfortunately for our departure timing, it required a
long, zig-zag, sail down the inside of the Sea of Abaco, on which more
later. Not a biggie, we had plenty of time in our scheduling, so we made for
the fuel dock to take on water, gasoline and diesel.

You'll recall that we made our first fuel filter change ever recently, made
easier by my dual-filter setup. When you remove a filter, of necessity, it
brings some fuel with it, and, to boot, this particular filter housing had
no fuel above the intake/output holes, located low in the housing. As the
housing has to be full of diesel fuel when you seal it, you have to get that
fuel from somewhere. Fortunately, my fuel polishing setup has valves at the
bottom of the fairly large tubes, and I took the old Gatorade bottle I keep
for such events, put it under the valve of the already-filtered
tube (there are two in series, the first being a larger media, taking out
the "big chunks"), and drained a bit into it. Over several times of small
drainings into the Gatorade bottle (didn't want to have leftovers!), I
filled that container, and sealed it up again.

So, off we go to start it, which takes a while, surprisingly, especially
since it's running off the other filter housing at this point (the one we
switched to when the first one finally clogged after more than 1000 hours).
Troubleshooting along, I have a look in the new housing, and, surprisingly,
it's low, too. Same song, different verse, I fill it up and go again. All
seems well enough. Meanwhile, though, to refill the tube in the polisher
I've taken some from, I run the polisher pump, sucking fuel through the two
filters in series. Hmmm. Seems to be taking a long time to get up to
pressure. However, it eventually does, and all seems well. All this was
done days before our departure, however...

Like so many things in our boating world, though, it's, again, "Not so fast,
Bucko!" We motor off our anchor to wend our way through the shallows
leading to the fuel dock, arriving a little after 7:30 when we think we'll
find them open. Somewhat to our surprise, when we hail them to announce our
arrival, nobody answers. Ah, well, no biggie, we can dock this 40,000 pound
behemoth anywhere, any-how, by ourselves, and we'll just tie up and wait.
However, and very fortunately for us, exactly as Lydia was about to put a
line over a piling, as I was reversing to bring in the stern, the engine
died. Well! That's a surprise. No problem, we'll just restart. No such
luck. We hurriedly throw a line over a piling, snub it, and Flying Pig
stops her forward movement. Good thing, too, cuz it's pretty crowded where
we are, and throwing out the anchor would not necessarily have prevented us
from finding another boat's part with one of ours!.

Anyway, the boat's secured, and, especially as nobody's bothered to answer,
I set about trying to find out why it is we're not running any more. An
inspection of the fuel filters reveals the one we're running on to be very
low, again. Much head scratching, and knowing that diesels run on fuel
suctioned to the high pressure pump, I conclude we must have a leak in the
intake line somewhere.

Much tracing and testing of connections later, we've found nothing
suspicious. Running the fuel polisher delivers a constant stream of
polished fuel back to the tank, so, as the polisher's supply lines are
shared with the engine, as are the return lines (diesels don't use all the
fuel pumped to each cylinder, and there's a return line for the unused
fuel). I concluded, after not having found any leaks, that the air in the
fuel polisher's canister must have found its way to the engine's filter
housing by suction. Out comes the gatorade bottle and we fill it up again.
But wait...

The engine starts again after bleeding (the process which gets the air out
of the lines to each cylinder), something I'm getting very proficient at
doing! Hokay, no problem. In the meantime, we've put out a call to ask if,
for some reason, Harbour View is closed, they not having responde to our
hails. Turns out they don't open until 9. As it's almost 9, we have a cup
of coffee and call them. Sure enough, they're there, and will be right out.

Out comes the attendant, but we've got ourselves on the wrong end of the
dock to allow the water hose to work. In the meantime, the wind has picked
up, and there's no way we'll walk it around. No problem, I'll do some
back-and-filling, required, by this time, as the wind's picked up and has us
pinned to the dock, to bring us back. Oops... The engine dies again.

We reluctantly let the attendant know that it will be a while until we can
figure out what's going on. Another round of fuel filter checking, and,
again, the housing is empty. WHAT'S GOING ON HERE??? Well, we won't find
out before we refill them, so I go, yet again, to the far side of the engine
room, fetch the Gatorade bottle, and prepare to refill the fuel canisters.

But wait! My T-Bar tightening handle is loose! I've forgotten to tighten
it up after the last fuel refills. That would certainly allow air to make
it to the filter housing, right? So, refill, and, this time, I remember to
tighten the handle on the polisher tube. Another bleeding sequence, and the
engine again starts. Having gotten all shipshape again, we call the
attendant, and attempt to back the boat up the dock. However, by this time
the wind has built even more, and, pinned to the dock, I can't get the stern
far enough out to make any headway, as our prop-walk pulls the stern back to
the dock, aided by the wind pushing against us. No problem, we'll go
around, and come in at the other end of the dock, he sez confidently.

We have about two boat-lengths past the end of the dock before we're in one
of the marina's slips. Except that it's occupied by a boat whose bow sticks
out substantially, and the wind will blow us down the aisle between the
marina slips. However, I edge off the dock, and, as soon as we're past
center, give a right-rudder hard throttle to push the stern out (but which
pushes the nose in and closer to the other boats!), and, as quickly as our
momentum will allow us to - by the time I'm finished with the first
reverse - I throw the rudder hard over left and hit reverse. That pulls our
stern to the right while we back. A couple of those forward-left,
back-right's and we were in position to continue our left turn out of the
space between the slips and return to the dock.

All went entirely uneventfully there, other than that we were pleased to see
that our relatively profligate use of water from our leaving our dock space
where we'd kept Flying Pig during our trip to the states, knowing we'd be
refilling soon, amounted to an average of only 5 gallons a day. When we
don't have ready access to water, our use would be far more conservative,
but, even so, we felt very happy that we'd managed on that little.

Well, I see our adventure has gone on (and on!), as usual, so, since we're
now fueled, gassed and watered, we'll leave you here.

See you next time - Stay Tuned...


Skip and crew

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
Follow us at TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig
and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so
much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in
boats-or *with* boats.
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's
the charm of it.
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your
destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get
anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in
particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and
you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:20   #2
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Ahh, sailing with a motor!
Have you by chance, perhaps, ever thought of crowbarring that sucker over the side?

Nice story, I think we can all relate. But just remember, at least you are out there messing around in your boat! Some of us aren't that lucky....yet.
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:31   #3
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Originally Posted by ConradG View Post
Ahh, sailing with a motor!
Have you by chance, perhaps, ever thought of crowbarring that sucker over the side?

Nice story, I think we can all relate. But just remember, at least you are out there messing around in your boat! Some of us aren't that lucky....yet.
YA, we certainly are blessed. Our real problem lies with the departure of our KISS wind generator, which normally would have kept up, along with our solar panels, with our usage.

However, shortly (well, whenever my guests fly in their own plane, making delivery of various needed stuff easy) I'll have the new housing and blades to replace those broken in the flight (I was fortunate enough to retrieve it from the sea floor, having made a dash to the chartplotter to throw on a couple of MOBO marks, making finding it later relatively simple on the calm day in 8' of water) and we'll be back on the wind charts.

Too bad, too, because it's been one front after another here in Georgetown, and we'd be full-up...


Skip, off to volleyball...
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:39   #4
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Just so long as you're still skipping!
Happy day! (with envy )
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Old 26-02-2010, 12:47   #5
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Nice write up Skip. What is your wifi setup?

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Old 26-02-2010, 16:14   #6
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WiFi setup


We have the setup sold by Marine PC's & WiFi by IslandTime PC, rstewart (Bob) @ is the bomb when it comes to setting up and customer service.

I also have one of his 12V computers, custom built for me, with 5 serial, 8 USB, 2 ethernet, 1 each firewire and hdmi ports, DVD burn/read/CDBurn/read, along with a filtered 12V output and use an AC-powered 20" screen, which I'm trying to find a 12V replacement for, but nothing I've had time to research fits the bill, as today's seem not to have the back mounts I'd need, trying to keep it as flat as possible.

You can see pix of my installation by clicking my gallery link in the original, then going to the 2009 refit, upgrades, electronics subgallery to see how I migrated to the current from my past, also from him, and excellent. Same manufacturer of the board, but the new one takes a direct POE rather than the Linksys 48/12V conversion (splitter with power and ethernet pigtails in the mast-top unit, AC, which is why I switched out before I got the current gear, as the old one also took POE and data on a single ethernet port).

You can save a few bux, but if you're not a network geek, you'll play hell trying to make it work smoothly. Bob will configure it in plug-and-play mode. If you go to his site, you'll see a subsection on our rig, but no details other than scans in the Bahamas. When we were coming down the east coast, I had to go to two pages to make pix of the scans off Daytona Beach, and shrink others to fit on the page (my snapshot -, I think - program makes JPGs of a screen shot, but if it is larger than the screen, it doesn't capture it all).

I can't say enough about his customer service; it's enough to say that there are now, after my seminars on the subject last year, a half-dozen folks here (at this time - there were more than a dozen sold from those seminars) now also have his rig. Note that I have no financial interest whatsoever in his operation - he saved my butt on a prior vendor's foul equipment, showing me how to make it work when several folks in various internet usenet groups had been unsuccessful, and I wasn't even a customer...

I gotta go to dinner - more later if you want...


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Old 27-02-2010, 09:54   #7
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Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part II

Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part II

When we left you last, we'd just finished a harrowing experience at the fuel
docks in Marsh Harbour. That all ended well, of course (all of our
harrowing experiences do, you know) :{))

So, with all our tanks filled, off we go in a building breeze, leaving the
fuel dock several hours later than anticipated, at 11:30AM. With the wind
at 20 knots or greater, and with all the changes of direction needed, we
sailed on genoa alone. Avid followers of our log will recall the same route
taken with my son and his wife, going south in approximately the same
conditions. I'll shorten the story to say that we went through every point
of sail, from an extreme beat (wind at 30* or less on our bow) to a dead run
(wind right behind us). During our sail, we were on both tacks (a tack is
the side from which the wind is blowing - thus, we'd be either on a
starboard or port tack), with our heading changes including both tacks
(coming about into the wind) and jibes (changing direction downwind) during
our trip down to Little Harbour. It was a marvelous sail other than the
constant changes every few minutes. Most places in the Bahamas are
recommended for VPR, visual pilotage rules, where you want to be able to see
and read the water and the bottom, and we made the cut opposite Little
Harbour at 3:45PM, with ample light to see our way through to the Atlantic
Ocean. Off we go!

The wind by this time is starting to moderate, and we set our course for
157*, hoping the wind would come further to our north, as it was nearly
directly behind us. Not only was it a bit strong for a spinnaker, we'd be
in darkness soon, and that's not the time to deal with having to take it
down suddenly - at least not without many crew. Our original plan had us
going through the two passages between Great Abaco and Eleuthera, but those,
too, were daylight-only exercises. We'd have arrived too early, and,
besides, I, at least, far prefer open water to having to worry about tides
(which create strong currents in these cuts) and worrying about coral heads
or sand bars. Accordingly, we headed outside, for the northeastern tip of
Eleuthera, after which we'd turn south.

Once we found how it was looking, we stopped and put up the main at 4:15PM.
We'd have preferred going wing-and-wing, with the Genoa out to one side and
the main out to the other, so we could have gone directly downwind, on
course for the northeastern tip of Eleuthera. In the lumpy, quartering
following seas, we didn't feel comfortable about poling out the genoa,
however, as, if we rolled far enough, we'd have the pole in the water,
unnecessarily stressing the rigging. Without that pole holding the sail out,
which would have helped even for our broad-reaching posture, the genoa
flapped and filled a lot, but we still made over 6 knots in 8-10 knots of
apparent wind, keeping the wind at 120* on our stern.

Unfortunately for us, the wind not only didn't turn, but instead backed a
bit, so, reluctantly, we adjusted our course to keep us on a broad reach
(wind approximately 120* on our stern), taking us much more southerly, at
165*. That course would require a later jibe to clear Eleuthera, but,
still, our dead-reckoning time of arrival would still put us at the entrance
to Georgetown early in the day. The wind started to die, and with only 4-14
knots of apparent wind, we frequently wallowed through 120* starboard to
150* port apparent wind direction. Fortunately, not only was the wind light,
but the rolls were quick enough, that we had only a couple of gentle jibes
of the main, which very quickly sorted themselves back out. Despite the
light winds, we made between 5.4 and 7 knots toward our destination.

Lydia went down for her first sleep after dinner, at 6:30, at which point
the already light winds got lighter and more fickle. With only 4-10 knots by
8PM, the boat rolled along, sails banging. Every time there was a gust to
(only) 14 knots, the boat stiffened up and our course stabilized. Conditions
other than the sea state in general were great, and I had terrific
propagation as I joined the Maritime Mobile (Ham radio) net at 7PM. The
wind, however, continued its flaky ways, and at 10PM I gave up and put in
10* further south to try to stabilize us somewhat, as our rolls were now
taking us through the full 120*Starboard-120*Port range. This was OK,
really, as we'd have to jibe it later, anyway, and the difference in
distance was still minimal in terms of the time to arrival in Georgetown.
Our estimated time of jibe would be 12:30-1AM. Despite the lowering and
flaky winds of 4-8 knots from many different directions, we still made 4-5
knots toward our destination (VMG, velocity made good).

We'd learned, much to our excitement, that our new chartplotter did what
we'd expected our other to do, which is to actually turn the boat toward the
next waypoint when we put in the "go to waypoint" command, rather than just
showing us the indicator arrows and the line we were to travel. Accordingly,
for the most part, Ray (the chartplotter) took over from Otto (the
autopilot), and we were left mostly to watch out for traffic. However, by
the shift change at 1AM, I'd taken to "driving" the boat with our autopilot
wheel (the thing which tells Otto what to do), moving as much as 30* at a
time, to cope with the wind shifts. The wind was shifting in velocity from
2-12 knots, and 45* in direction, with each (not necessarily at the same
time!) lasting no more than about 20 seconds.

Once Lydia was up, at 1AM, we jibed the boat to a course of 90*, and she
took over Otto's management while I went down to sleep. When I came up for
her relief at 4:30AM, conditions were much the same, and at 5AM, in about 2
seconds, I watched our wind indicator's dial go through a full 360* sweep!

Lydia reappeared at 7:30 after my listening to Chris at 6:30AM, being unable
to sleep with all the stern motion, and we had breakfast a little before
8AM. By this time, with all the autopilot activity (Otto and Ray are hungry
power-eaters) and full instruments, including radar, having been on for 24
hours, along with all the cranking we'd done in our many bleedings on
filter/air-leak expeditions, our batteries were down to 65%.

Our usual solution to low batteries is to start our Honda generator, putting
its output through our shore power outlet, feeding our charger, with the
generator sitting on the platform on the stern. However, that's not such a
good idea under way, as the platform isn't all that stable in these
conditions, so we reluctantly turned on the engine to take advantage of our
new high-output alternator. We hoped that some additional forward thrust
might help stabilize us, and were rewarded with not only lots of amps
flowing into our battery but a bit of stabilization as well as some increase
in speed.

As this is the end of the first full day, it seems like a good place to
stop, so I will :{))

Until next time, Stay Tuned :{))


Skip and Crew

Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
Follow us at TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig
and/or Flying Pig Log | Google Groups

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you
didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail
away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore.
Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain
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Old 27-02-2010, 20:41   #8
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Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part III

Marsh Harbour-Georgetown, 2/16-18/2010, Part III

When we left you last time, we'd just turned on the engine to replenish our
batteries and gain not only some speed but stability in the really horribly
fluky winds.

Ooops!! At 9AM, the engine stopped. WHAT's GOING ON???? Ah, well, the
water's not any fun here, so we will just have to go on like we were. Once we arrive in our expected lee of Eleuthera's relative calm, along with some more wind as forecast by Chris Parker, we should be more stable, and I can go back to troubleshooting.

All this excitement and decision-making had taken less than a half-hour, and
I went down for my sleep at 9:30. However, I wasn't really tired, and
between all the boat motion and the motor and autopilot (Otto's motors are
right under our bed) noise I couldn't sleep, so got up. My rule is that if
I can't get to sleep in 30 minutes, I get up and do something useful.

That something useful, in this case, was, as the wind had gone a bit more
north, allowing close to a beam reach, to raise the staysail at 10AM. We
set our course for 90*, set the genoa, then the staysail and finally the
main to take advantage of our new tack while we enjoyed the ride. That done,
I went back to bed, getting an hour and a half nap, and returned topsides
shortly before noon. Chris' forecast had called for increasing and
stabilizing winds, so there was hope that the ride would improve so that
Lydia could get some sleep.

Meanwhile, there was this strange smell coming from the engine room, almost
like wood burning. However, close inspection revealed nothing of the sort,
other than a very pungent smell. I suspected the new alternator,
remembering my last new alternator I'd bought in Charleston having done the
same thing, and having been reassured by the vendor that it was entirely
normal for a new one to "cook" for a while, we just turned on the ventilator
fans and waited for it to "cure." And, in fact, when the engine stopped, I
went in the engine room and, like a good chemist, rather than sticking my
nose right over it, wafted air from over the alternator to my sniffer,
confirming that to be the source.

With the new course of sail, and another sail up to help stabilize the boat,
while we weren't wallowing quite so badly, we still rolled a bit, but our
speed increased. The increased stability was sufficient to allow Lydia to
get "some" sleep - 10 hours of it, as it turned out :{)) Meanwhile, our
speed increased with the wind, making mid-6 knots VMG in 14 knots of
apparent wind.

By 2PM, the wind piped a bit stronger. With 14-22 knots of apparent wind on
a broad reach, still, but having to curve slightly more north at 75* CMG
(course made good) to keep it broad, rather than behind us, we were now
making 7.4-8.5 knots with white water coming over the bow. Brilliant
sunlight made the splashing water sparkle as it landed on the dodger. Our
enclosure made us snug and dry in the cold weather, and we charged along.
Despite our slightly north of east point of travel, we were making excellent
time, and we were able to turn south toward the Exuma Sound, following the
east coast of Eleuthera, at 5:35 PM.

Yet another jibe, the staysail, being self-tending, on a boom, took care of
itself, as did the main, of course. However, with the staysail in the way,
I rolled in the genoa a bit, got the genoa through the slot, and let it out
again. Now, with all sails flying on a beam reach, we were fairly flying
along at 176*, making for the slot between Eleuthera and Little San
Salvador. We had only about 45 miles to go from our point well north of the
tip of the island, and in a few hours, we'd be in the lee of Eleuthera,
where I could go back to figuring out our engine's challenges.

Sure enough, by 7:30, as we crossed into the island's lee, not only did the
wind drop a bit, but the waves started to diminish as well. We saw 8-15
knots on our beam, making only 4.8-6.5 knots VMG in what was obviously a
very strong current. That was good, because our dead-reckoning, even these
speeds, would have us to the mouth of Elizabeth Harbour, Conch Cut, well
before dawn. Lydia got up a little before 10, and I took advantage of a
second hand to try to figure out our blasted engine challenges.

Once again, I go troubleshooting, and find the fuel filter housing's
somewhat low on fuel. Out comes the Gatorade bottle, same song, second
(well, 4th, 5th? - I lost count) verse. Fortunately, I've got a cheapie
(that is, it doesn't cost much - under $5) pushbutton starter jumper which
allows me to bleed and restart the engine easily, right there at the engine,
with the shutoff valve close to hand to stop it. This time, we watch

The engine bleeds easily and restarts without much hassle - but dies
relatively quickly, as we watch bubbles come out of the bottom of the filter
(there's a clear glass bottom on the housing so you can see what's in there,
including water, which we've never had), eventually starving the engine (we
THINK - as you'll see in a minute).

DANG! There must be a leak, somewhere. More checking, of every fitting,
again. However, this time, the fuel polisher pressures right up, so it's
not likley to be in the line from the tank. If not there, then down the
line - I find that the one going to the manual pump (the one used to bring
fuel to the pressure pump if the lines are empty) is loose - the fitting
goes around when I twist the hose. That fitting is where I hang the
overflow bottle for the coolant; each restart, I unhook it and pour the cup
or so of coolant which remains back into the heat exchanger. Apparently,
when I checked the fittings before, I didn't rotate so much as wiggle that
fitting, thus overlooking it. Well, DUH! Air's getting into the line, and
regardless of the integrity of the lines before that, air is infiltrating
the fuel as it goes into the engine.

A quick go with a 5/8" wrench, and that's secure. Fill the filter housings,
tighten the fuel polisher canister, start the polisher to make sure that
there's no air possible in the lines, and we're good to go. Bleed, start,
wait, rev, we let it run for 15 minutes while we watch the fuel filters. I
start and stop a couple of times and switch between filters each time. A
couple of bubbles which, after reflection, were merely the void in the feed
tube when I refilled the canister, make it out of the bottom of the filter
in both housings, after which all is clear. After all those exercises in
frustration, in the end, it was the loose fitting at the manual pump which
was responsible for our failures. I'd done the same twist-check on each
other fitting, but had presumed the failure was before the fuel filters,
rather than after them...

So, off we go, motor-sailing with the revolutions about the same as would be
resulting from a flat-water motoring speed to conserve fuel, while our
battery recharges heartily. The same alternator cooking smell persists,
though, so with both of our engine room's ventilator/extractors going, we're
eating up another 20 or so amps than we would have under sail alone. The new
alternator handles it with aplomb.

Little San Salvador arrives in due course and we alter our direction
slightly to point us at Conch Cut, 63 miles away on a course of 161*, a
broad reach. We're still looking like we'll be there very early, but don't
reduce sail on the possiblility that we'll find the wind dying on us. We'll
heave to if needed to allow us to enter the cut in the daylight. I go down
at 11PM for my sleep while Lydia enjoys the ride and her iPod shuffle's
music. The gentle slapping of the waves, the easy motion of the boat and
the slight chirping which Otto does put me right out. Ray is on duty so
Lydia doesn't have to drive, and, Lydia tells me later, the radar is quick
to point out the few pieces of traffic which are in the area.

I'm awakened at 3:30 by Lydia, who tells me that we're about 10 miles out
from Conch cut, having made our passage down the Exuma Sound, and that it's
time to heave to. I move the mainsail traveler stop to center, pull the
genoa very tight-sheeted in, and make a hard left. As the mainsail comes
around, I sheet it very hard, centering it. As it turned out, it would have
been well to move the stop further than center, as I wasn't able, without
using a winch (which I far prefer not to do - and, since I rarely ever do
stuff I don't want to, I didn't, then, either), to sheet the main fully
tight. However, the genoa is plastered against the inner stay and sheeted
back, forcing the nose to try to turn downwind, while the mainsail, not
being fully centered, and our rudder, hard over, tried to make us turn
upwind. The two offset each other, and we slid sideways while moving
forward slightly, making a nice slick behind us minimizing the waves and
making a very smooth, rise-and-fall motion versus the prior wallowing as the
swells went under us. By the time we're settled in, we're only 5 miles off
the marker to Conch Cut.

As a result of our main not being fully centered, our heaving to was not as
perfect as it might have been, and we jogged along at about 75-80* of
apparent wind, instead of the ideal 45-60*, moving 078* ENE at about 2.8
knots in 20 knots of wind. I stood watch while Lydia slept, and at a little
after 6AM, prepared to make my turn back into a sailing position.

Coming out of a hove-to position is no more difficult than turning the wheel
the other way, which allows the genoa to push the nose around to where the
wind fills it again. The main and staysail both flopped over to the sailing
position as well, and we were off and running on what would turn out to be a
close reach. The close reach was as a result of all of our eastward
movement during our hove-to travels, over 8 miles, and, with only, now,
about 10 miles to go, we would have to beat into the wind. As the wind had
picked up again during this time, our return to a sailing position resulted
in a rapid shift from a starboard list to a port list. BANG! CRASH!
Needless to say, this brings Lydia up on a run. However, it was pretty

Oops. Despite our usual vigilance in securing stuff, there had been a
couple of items in the salon which had been overlooked. One was the
"sailing drawer" - the place where light-duty repair stuff, like
self-amalgamating tape, sail thread and needles and the like, were kept. It
wound up against the opposite bulkhead. The other was Lydia's laptop, which
had been sitting on the salon seat, definitely not where we'd normally
secure it. When it landed, it broke the tip of her power supply cord, still
inserted, and left the end in the socket. The video camera's USB plug,
fortunately, was merely bent, and I was able to bend it back into

So, along we beat with wind at 15-20* apparent, still motorsailing.
However, with the wind speed and the very tight pinch, we're heeled a bit
much, so we roll in the Genoa, and proceed on main and staysail. We made
Conch Cut at a little after 8AM and began our threading through the coral
heads with some trepidation. However, we'd sailed that route last year
during the "fun race around Stocking Island" (the one where we finished not
only last but by some 2-3 hours later than the other latest arrival), and so
knew that it should be all right to trust the Explorer Charts' rhumb lines
from waypoint to waypoint.

Sure enough, Ray (for Raymarine, our chartplotter's maker) swiftly turned
the boat at each point, heading directly for the next, as I surveyed the
bottom, finding nothing at all of note. This is in stark contrast to our
last entry, in late 2008, where we were white-knuckling it from beginning to
end, not having our Explorer Charts' waypoints entered, and, instead, merely
making sure we didn't hit any of that dark blob stuff under us. So much so
that, should we find ourselves in a position to have to leave here in the
dark on our way back north, we'd be comfortable doing it by waypoint, GPS
positioning, and charts.

I'd promised Bob Stewart, the seller of the WiFi gear we use, that I'd
survey each of the 5 beaches on Stocking Island for available connection
points, so we got to get the tour before anchoring in front of Chat'n'Chill,
the local drink'n'eatery on the beach. We had the hook down at 9:30, and,
having had a very lumpy ride overall, with little sleep between us, we both
went down for a nap. 44 hours from starting out, we're here...

Well, as usual, there's more, but for now, we'll let it wait a bit.

Until next time, Stay Tuned!


Skip and crew, happy to be in Georgetown

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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Old 05-03-2010, 09:51   #9
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I sure am enjoying your description of your sailing adventure! Please keep it going. And thank you...
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Old 05-03-2010, 10:55   #10
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Originally Posted by TurtleTime View Post
I sure am enjoying your description of your sailing adventure! Please keep it going. And thank you...
Glad you're liking them - and we'll keep them coming. With any luck, it won't be a litany of repairs! :{))

Still in Georgetown at the moment, kicking back, before doing a bit of explorations southward before coming back up, slowly, to take advantage of all the places we've jumped over coming down, and going north, last year, before we finally head south on the Thorny path...


Skip and crew
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