Waiting for Engine Parts in Marsh Harbor
07 February 2007
J and B
Captin's Log :Feb 5 2007, Marsh Harbor, Abacos
Well this entry is not one of the bragging, bosting entries of how beautiful the water is, how the lobster is getting boring to eat, or how hot it is. No, today's entry is a little different, it's cold - probably mid 60's, blowing 30kts, and rough news on the front page. A few days ago while motorsailing south the diesel had a final breakdown. It had been giving me signs for quite some time, burning/leaking oil, hard to start, white&black smoke, nothing good. So on the final day it overheated, oil in the freshwater cooling, oil sprayed on the walls, freshwater resivor exploded water/oil everywhere, nothing good. But since we are blessed to have a Sailboat we shut her down and continued to sail to our anchorage for the evening. After much investigating by cleaning up the mess and refering to all the reference books we have on board we concluded that the situation was not a simple quik fix, this was serious. So we decided to sail back north to Marsh Harbor to have someone look at it. But before we took off back north we spent one of the best days down here so far. Jeannette spent the day on the beach working on her tan, while I took the dink around to the ocean side (just in front of where J was laying out) and trolled the reefs, snorkled for food and speared two of the largest fish I've ever slain. . .
Marsh Harbor 2/7/07 Jeannette's Log
The weather here has been nasty, gray and seriously blowy, up to 30 knots, that's serious when you're living on your boat in the Bahamas. But today is beautiful and clear! In fact, last Friday our head gasket blew on our diesel engine and we overheated and that was that- no more engine. Good thing we're on a SAILboat, but an engine is a neccesity for entering harbours safely, anchoring safely and going where you want to go, when you want to go. With sails you go wherever the wind blows you. We have been having engine troubles for a year and we knew we were pushing it by going on this trip without getting an overhaul. We had an appointment with a mechanic on the 5th, but we had to get into an anchorage and wait out the weekend first. We sailed into the anchorage and dropped anchor under sail, a nice trick not everyone can do as smoothly as Brian. Then we changed spots by hip-towing the big boat with the dingy, which has a 15 hp outboard, that was also a mighty good trick. So last night, just a matter of hours before our mechanic comes out to the boat, we hear the most awful loud grinding crash, we run out into the dark, windy, stormy night to see a huge sailboat towering over our little sailboat. His anchor snubber was hooked onto the fluke of our larger Delta which was sitting in our anchor roller on the bowspirit. Brian is hanging off the bow untangling them with hands AND feet. The anchor we had out was a 22 lb Delta with 25 feet of chain and 50 ft of line. As we let more anchor line out we had to constantly fend off until we were finally behind them, but we were still righ in front of another boat . I pretty much freak out and swear and curse. Brian remains calm, thinks, assesses the situation. The old couple on the other boat is also calm, considering we all are in our underwear in the middle of the night smashing thousands of dollars worth of boats and equipment together. Brian drops a second anchor in an attempt to stop dragging, and we let out enough rode (anchor line) to set us way back from the all boats within crashing distance. Now our two anchors with super long lines are holding us, we have stopped dragging. And remember this is all without any engine! I don't know if I'm gonna cry or throw up. Brian is making jokes and laughing (nervously) and telling me to calm down. Jack the cat thought it is was a great time and is tearing around the deck the whole time at full speed meowing like yeah, let's party! Charlie the dog was very scared and upset like me. Okay, maybe not quite as bad as me. We all sit together huddled in the dark cockpit staring at the boats and land around us trying to feel if we might be dragging again, we never did, but we hardly slept after that, I got up to look around like three times and laid awake with Brian the rest of the time. So this morning Brian dingyed in and made arrangements to get help to tow us into a dock, and he went and checked on the people we nearly ran over, they and their boat were fine. Our boat was fine minus some skinned up teak caprail. We were towed into a marina after leaving both anchors out there with floats to mark them. Brian ran out in the dingy and got the anchors by himself in 30 knot winds,. The winds are still crazy so we're staying at a dock tonight. We found out that during the night several boat drug anchor, one ended up on the rocks and one dingy got away from the mothership and also ended up on the rocks. The mechanic stood us up so we called another one, he came right away and gave a fair estimate, we liked him. However, we ordered the parts we needed today, they should arrive Saturday with an engine manual and Brian will try to fix it himself. He's really good at that stuff. We want to leave here badly because it's all populated and we spend money here. We like deserted islands because you can't spend any money, the diving and fishing is alot better too. We take lots of walks here for Charlie. We got a plant identification book and are studying and memorizing the local plants. It's cool to learn which plants are poisonous or good to eat or use as medicine. We have seen our friends from North Carolina down here. Tony, met him here 5 years ago, worked for him and rented from him last summer. Mark, our neighbor from Manteo 3 yrs ago. Brad, our dockmaster from Manteo 4 yrs ago. All on sailboats, big ones. Our friend Banff is down here sailing around somewhere, but we haven't caught up with him yet. It's beautiful and everything is so relaxing, but we are not happy unless we are working a little bit so we work on the boat. We polished all the stainless steel yesterday. We cleaned the upholstery, ceiling, floor, evrything. And guess who the plumber is? Me. I repair the head (toilet) like a pro, they have lots of problems. I 've been doing it for a couple years now and I've got a stash a spare parts and have memorized the size wrenches to use. Brian's parents even got me a shirt made that says s/v Puff on the front and Head Mechanic on the back, get it, head? yeah, it's funny, it's a cute girly shirt too. So, I turned 32 on the 21st, I'm stoked because I like my life. I am currently working on a novel, it's an action adventure with a female hero. Check out the new pics in the photo gallery to the right. Thanks for keeping up!