07/17/2010, Port angeles, WA
Our three day wait is over and, as promised, our fuel injection pump has returned from the doc! It looks brand new! The surgeon said that some time ago (in the boat's history before us) evidently, water got mixed in with the fuel or there was bad fuel added... as there was a lacquer build up inside the fuel injection pump ports. (Of course this means that now we'll have to get our fuel tested and double check our filtering system). Anyway...The good news is, my son-in-law James, is here to help (in his other life he was a diesel mechanic!)...so it looks like we have a good shot at installing the pump and getting the boat ready for the left turn toward California and Mexico! We still have a lot to do but things seem to be falling in place.
The Radio Story....
The other good news was from my radio guy. Cruiser people (that's us) usually have at least two different types of radio's on board. Well, our HF radio (think of it like long distance calling) wasn't working well at all. It was on the boat when we bought it; we could receive stuff okay, but could only talk very short distances...like...the boat next to us. Nothing made any sense. We even brought "experts" out to the boat to help...and still no joy. (Can you hear me now..."No"..."Can you hear me now... "No") ....so...yesterday, I packed it up and took it off the boat to a radio repair guy who specializes in this equipment. He plugged it into his equipment (and set up a whole batch of electronic ICU-like test equipment (ha!)...anyway... We plugged it in and turned it on... Ho-La! Perfect reception and even more perfect transmission! It was putting out like a gazillion watts! We could even hear God on the thing...anyway... It was like the radio had been asleep for the last three years! (We were really happy about this working so well as these things aren't cheap). Evidently, the problem had to do with the antenna and grounding system on the boat. It was designed to put out about 100 watts, and in the right conditions... reach several thousand miles...but evidently the previous owner had beefed it up a bit as it was putting out 150 watts in the shop! Very relieved...we'll be putting it back on the boat along with a new antenna system, so aside from Internet, it will give us Weatherfax at will, and ability to phone link out pretty far...hopefully, this will increase our capability for long distance communications when Internet and phone service is not around.
There are only two or three other projects and we should be off. Saying it that way makes it sound so simple...when in reality, these are huge, time consuming, and complicated projects like attaching the Monitor Wind Vane (a self-steering device that goes on the back of the boat), and re-wiring the masts for both lighting and radios = going up the masts...not fun!)......This, stopping-to-do-repairs-before-departure-stuff, literally took the wind out of our sails...at least in terms of the driving momentum to go south. It did give us a chance to visit with friends and family and that has been the "makes-it-all-worthwhile" part...but right now the boat isn't moving like it was when we we're out cruising the San Juan's and Canada....and when it isn't moving, something gets lost in the translation. On the other hand...I suspect we'll get our fill of travel and movement in the upcoming days as it's 15 to 20 days to get down the coast...then three months on the hook in San Diego waiting for hurricane season to end...then the next year or two in Mexico.
Ray out for now...
Still waiting for the injector pump to return from the hospital...meanwhile...decided to call my son-in-law in to help with re-installation and also in helping us get up the mast as we need to correct a VHF antenna problem and hook up our new LED tri-light.
Began going over the boat yesterday and checking out the steering system including rudder, pedistal connections, and quadrant connections. Today involves setting up the boom preventer and securing all the stuff above and below decks. Sandy has been busy with provisions, equipment storage, and layout, putting up a lee cloth (it's a sailing thing to keep you from falling out of bed underway)..doing all the finances, and calculating the weather window.
With help, we'll get the injector pump installed (and hopefully the engine running), after that it's final installation of the monitor windvane. We figure at least one more week here...which doesn't bother me so much as this is the weekend for the local tribal canoe journey. There is supposed to be over 10,000 people in all participating and everyone going through Neah Bay...which is our stop-off-waiting-for-weather-point-before-we-head-south! Ten thousand is a real number and important when you consider the normal town population is around 100-200!
07/13/2010, Port Angeles, Wa
Well, the verdict is in...the fuel injection pump is leaking and they'll have it fixed and ready in about 3 days. I think that's amazing for two reasons...(1) We have a weird sized Perkins (a 4-154... probably made back in the 70's or 80's) and (2) that someone is able to repair it in a timely manner rather than having to go for a replacement pump ala'$800!!
I ended up calling Seattle Injection and as Jeanne from S/V Eagle indicated "Port Angeles is pretty good spot to be for these kind of problems." They hooked me right up with an expert on these things...he had me fax him a picture, and from that was able to give me a quote of $300 to $400 for a re-seal... depending on what he finds inside. Of course shipping is $44 each way...and we have to remain at the dock for five days longer than planned, which put us in another bracket as far as moorage is concerned...which ultimately kicked our going-down-the-coast budget all to pieces ...you can see...when your cruising everything is connected....anyway I feel lucky we even found someone and we can get it fixed so fast (I figured two weeks down and at least $800 to $1200 for parts and labor and moorage!).
The wind finally quit here, it's been very nerve wracking even in the harbor... this is after three days of winds often gale force level! (No wonder the seas were so bad for us coming across the sound!...they even had to cancel some ferry runs as it was too rough!). So, in the next three days we plan to capitalize on the down time with the injector pump and do the things we originally set out to do when we arrived...that being...tune the boat and take care of the items discovered in the shake-down cruise. We've had a chance to visit with family and friends and that's been awesome! Because it's summer vacation, we've also had our granddaughter here with us for this last week! (She's eight and such a jewel...a natural on the boat! She's learning how to swim so she can come see us when we get to Mexico.
Oh BTW...the fuel injector pump...not so easy to get to or replace. Removing it required removing the starter again...and then there are all kinds of keys, dowels, and things that go zing-plop-clunk-and-sploing in the dark dropping things into recesses of the engine room....I've decided it's probably easier to just make the bilge my spare parts bin. In the meantime the %$#@ pump is out and on the way to the pump doctor....I could have sworn it moved after I put it in the box...".it's alive I tell ya...it's alive!"
Ray out for now...