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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Getting to Sunbury, limping

Recall that I mentioned once, every day's a friggin' adventure? Today was one of those days.

The weirdness started last night when we realized that, boy, we just don't know nuthin' yet. While the anchorage was handy for dog walking (nice dinghy dock) it was a long bay that runs north and south. Around 7:30 pm the tide went slack, which lasted 30 mintues, then the tide went out. And by 9 pm it was racing. You didn't want to fall into the water because you'd be heading out to sea -- crazy tidal flow. This was not unexpected, nor our issue. However, weather was also coming up from the south.

So the tide is racing from the north, the wind is blowing from the south. What does that get you? CHOP. And given the speed of the tide and the speed of the wind, LOTS OF CHOP. Like 1 - 2 feet.

Dreary day. This was before the belt blew.
In the boat this isn't a big problem -- a little bouncy, which is kinda nice at bed time. For our dinghy, however, this was a problem. It rides low, so a 1 - 2 foot wave tossed it pretty good. We struggled with the idea of getting it out of the water, but to do that with our davit system you have to turn the boat sideways. We were sure it would get breached in an attempt. And sink. So we gave it an extra line, and let it drift a little farther from our hull (being close seemed to add to the bouncing and wiggling), and hoped for the best.

Yes. We still have a dinghy. Things calmed down within a couple of hours, so all was good.

Morning came. We walked dogs, had coffee and breakfast, and fired up the engines. While Russ fiddled with the anchor, I felt a shudder in the helm. I noticed the gauges for the port engine jumped all over the place, the RPM going up and down, as if it were sputtering from running out of gas. It only lasted a moment, then ran fine. Hm.

Fast forward about a hour or so underway. We're getting a bit of help from the tide, pulling us over 10 knots (which shows in red on our map). I noticed a boat coming down the ICW in the bay we're going to turn up into. As they approach I noticed a sound, and as they get closer it got louder. I mentioned it to Russ, "What the heck is that noise?" Then I realized, it's not them -- it's us. Russ decided to go check the engines.

Next he's yelling, "ALL STOP!"

I put the engines in idle. The air was smoky and had that burnt rubber smell. We broke the 2 fan belts on the port engine. Russ opened the windows to help air out the saloon.

We try to run a little while slowly without belts, but the engine started to over heat. So we killed it and ran on the starboard one, only.

The starboard engine running forward without the port engine means the boat will turn left, making circles with the single engine. So we mashed the rudder to the right to compensate. It's slow going, and eddys and current wreak havoc with steering. We did manage to get her moving in a relatively straight line, albeit much slower than our usually speed. Around 5 knots.

Originally bound for Sunbury (and their wonderful food) we were not sure that was right destination given the circumstance. It's not a town so they don't have easy access to auto repair stores (these are the same engines in big rigs, so parts is parts!). But given we were traveling on 1 engine the ride to Isle of Hope, our next intended stop, would be many hours. Furthermore, driving with 1 engine was tricky and taxiing. I didn't want to do that.

Russ called Sunbury and explained our situation. They had a volunteer that would take him to a Napa Auto Parts about 12 miles from the restaurant. We stayed the course. While on the way we hit a couple of downpours. Recall that Russ opened the windows? Yep. Water everywhere downstairs.

Why you come to Sunbury -- the Sunbury Crab Company!
Their flounder on top, crab and ahi tuna on the bottom. 

We made it to Sunbury and docked. Thankfully the wind was calm and the current was slacking. I was able to do it with just the starboard.

Based the part number from the shredded belts Russ bought 2 replacements. They are tight. So tight he can only put one on. 

We'll run to Isle of Hope with the one belt. Fingers crossed we get there!

Oh. And this happened. Some kind of bite that 
turned into a big blister.

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