Where we at

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

DAY ONE!... and we're back in LBK

That dark diagonal line is the ICW.
We didn't even get to it!
We knew it was incredibly positive thinking that we would head out today. We are optimistic people. Deep down, however, given the amount of stuff we mucked with, given we haven't left this slip since we docked in December, and given the fact that we only ever turned the engines on to do an oil change meant, of course, today would be nothing but a test run.

What went right? Engines started up just fine with the fancy digital display Russ installed. We backed out of the slip without issue and headed down the fairway.

Drifting on the Sarasota Bay...
Sarasota in the distance.
Then it gets weird.

While in the channel out of the marina I put inQuest on autopilot. Right away I didn't like what was happening. Usually we move in a solid straight line. This time we weaved about a bit, like a drunken sailor. Also, it kept giving a new error. Russ believes we just need to reboot the autopilot. We may have to calibrate it again, which involves boating in circles and patterns until the autopilot has a clue what to do. Either way, no biggie.

Once out of the channel we put some spurs to her. The new display is digital and clearly tells us our RPMs. The throttles, on the other hand, were way off. Typically they match, so you can push them with one hand. Now the port throttle must be much further forward to get the 2 engines to match RPMS. Again, no biggie, just weird.

Then the big problems start. The starboard engine got hot. Given all this new senders and readers and work Russ had done, it's not clear that it was really hot. But we slowed down for him to take a look, bringing that engine into idle while we cruised on the port one. Cooling was slow so Russ thought it best to stop, drop and anchor, and let the motor totally cool before he gets into it. The Sarasota Bay was flat, making this no issue. We were just a few hundred feet, at this point, from the ICW.

We took one last walk today.
Well...  maybe it won't be, now.
A quick catchup: All the while in LBK the anchor has been sitting on the deck. Our slip has very short finger piers, so for us to get off the boat using the side exit we have to pull pretty far forward. The piers here are NOT floating, so the boat goes up and down, and in lower tides, the anchor catches on the pier. Bad news for both us and the pier, so we always pull some line out and keep the anchor on the deck.

Back on the bay, with me on one end and Russ on the other we gave the anchor a pitch overboard, which went fine. But the windlass jammed as we try to let out more rode. Russ brings it in, won't go, lets it out, won't go. Eventually we see something very un-chainlike stuck in the chain, jamming the windlass.

It's dead, Jim.
Bottom line: In order for us to boat we need engines and an anchor. And we don't seem to have either. 

We limped back with one engine. Once we got off the channel we started the starboard one and we docked without any excitement.

Russ is sitting on the dock now, the windlass in pieces, trying to discover what got jammed and how. Hopefully we'll try again tomorrow.

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