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Sun Oct 4 0:00:00 EDT 2009

There was a lot of rain and consequent flooding in Navegantes/Itajai last week. The port was closed for a while, so I was late in leaving. On my first attempt to leave, a few miles downstream the engine over-temperature alarm went off and, having no easy place to anchor, and not having tested the new anchor handling system yet, I pulled alongside a steel fishing boat and tied up so I could shut off the engine and see what was wrong. In my haste to get the boat tied up and the engine off before it stopped itself, it wasn't the gentlest docking, but that is what strong boats are for :).

I checked the raw water impeller and cleaned the strainer (filter for taking debris out of the seawater that is used to cool the engine), which wasn't really dirty. I was pleasantly surprised that this seemed to fix the problem, as I didn't actually fix anything, but upon starting the engine again, the cooling system was working properly. The fishing boat I had tied to had to leave, and was nice enough to wait ten minutes for me to check the impeller and strainer. So I left and the fishing boat left. I continued down the river towards the sea, wondering what had really gone wrong with the cooling system, and if the problem would recur. As I approached the entrance (exit) of the harbor, a stiff onshore wind had come up, and from a distance I could see a fair amount of white water (breaking seas) near the entrance. Without getting closer I couldn't tell whether the sea was breaking in the entrance channel, or just beside it, but, given that I wasn't convinced I didn't still have a cooling system problem that could possibly cause me to lose the engine at a really bad time, I decided to turn back.

I motored back up the river, heading for the boatyard I had come from. Before I got there, I was passing my friend Fernando's other fishing boat (he has two fishing boats, one of which I was tied beside in the boatyard, the other of which was at another boatyard further downriver), and he was aboard, saw me, and invited me to tie alongside his boat. Knowing there is someone to throw docklines to when tieing up is always nice when you are singlehanded, so I tied up there instead. Everyone in the boatyard or on the fishing boat seemed interested in my boat, so came aboard for a look around (very few yachts come to this is all working boats). Fernando asked his engineer to look at my engine, and he pointed out that I had air in the cooling system (this happened for several reasons and had been building up for a long time) which likely caused my overheating problem and showed me how to bleed it.

Late the next day, after finishing a few jobs, I left Brazil for the second time :). The engine worked fine, I motored out of the entrance in much less wind, and started to head south. Now that I was in the waves, the anchor started banging around badly, and as soon as I was in deep water, I tied it up to keep it from moving. A nice tailwind had come up, and I began sailing nicely south, but needed to sleep, so sailed onto anchor after only a few miles. It was a rolly anchorage, as I wasn't being picky, just wanted to sleep and then continue in the morning. The new anchor held fine, which I would expect it to, as it wasn't a particularly difficult anchorage for an anchor of that size.

In the morning I noticed the hydraulic steering cylinder was moving around a lot and I realized the bolts were loose. I tightened some of them, but needed to get to a quiet anchorage to get them all done properly. I also wanted to work on padding where the anchor was held to keep it from banging around. Fortunately, there were lots of good places to anchor around, so I sailed to Florianopolis, anchored there and did the repairs.

After doing a lot of stuff to a boat, it is common to do sea trials, to confirm what is working and what needs more attention. One way of doing sea trials is to provision for a journey, head to sea knowing where alternatives (anchorages, shelter, etc) are, and test and repair as necessary.

The following day, in a flat calm, I motored off the anchor and out to sea, in my third attempt to leave Brazil. Sometimes, you just have to keep trying :).

The picture is of Ilha Santa Catarina, seen from amidships. You can see the new dinghy is mounted upside down on the deck.

Mon Oct 5 5:52:18 EDT 2009 | george Ray
Curious to see pictures of the new dingy.
Mon Oct 5 16:48:10 EDT 2009 | Ben
I had an air lock in the fresh water side of my cooling system once. Not fun... Safe journey, fair winds. and I'll hopefully see you in Puerto del Buceo, Montevideo in a few more days.
Mon Oct 12 5:46:01 EDT 2009 | Christian
Hi Richard,
I saw the news on tv about the strong current at Navegantes that close the harbour. I and Fernanda were thinking about you and Issuma.
Good to know you are on your way.
Bons Ventos!
Pirate Ship
Wed Sep 30 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Navegantes, SC, Brazil

Its not everyday that you step out to see an overtaking Pirate Ship :).

Thu Oct 1 19:42:35 EDT 2009 | Ben
Itajai Igreja
Tue Sep 29 0:00:01 EDT 2009, Itajai, SC, Brazil

Another pretty church in Itajai.

Itajai Igreja
Tue Sep 29 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Itajai, SC, Brazil

Church in Itajai

No more sliding hatch
Mon Sep 28 10:06:04 EDT 2009, Navegantes, SC, Brazil

This is a work-in-progress picture of what's changing in the cockpit. The sliding companionway hatch has been replaced by a stainless steel frame covered in 1/2" (12.7mm) polycarbonate (and plywood on the top piece). The stainless steel straps across the door are part of the hinges, making it strong enough to handle a lot of weight hanging on the far edge. The door is 1" (25mm) marine plywood. A window in the door is still to be added. The bolts in the middle of the door are for the handle that is on the inside (not visible in the picture). There are two handles to hold the door closed (top and bottom), which press against a rubber gasket making it watertight.

The outside steering wheel, which was always too large to be easily used, would have obstructed the door, so it was modified to be the same size as the inside steering wheel.

There are now rope clutches (by the red rope at the right side of the picture) on each side to make the preventers (ropes that prevent the boom from moving) easy to use.

Not well shown in the picture is a larger main halyard winch, which was moved from the foredeck (where it was never got much use).

Mon Sep 28 19:38:52 EDT 2009 | george Ray
Wonderful stuff !!, these look like some wonderful additions. I am guessing you are thrilled with the new work.
Sun Sep 27 9:19:49 EDT 2009, Itajai, SC, Brazil

Museum in Itajai

Sun Sep 27 9:17:36 EDT 2009, Itajai, SC, Brazil

Itajai is a larger city, across the Rio Itajai from Navegantes. I was there on Friday doing the clearing out process (several offices need to be visited to get permission to legally leave Brazil). It seems a clean and pleasant place.

Anchor Mount Details 2
Wed Sep 23 10:46:58 EDT 2009, Navegantes, SC, Brazil

A rope on a cleat holds down the inboard end of the anchor. New roller (white) is same shape as old roller (black), just farther over so the anchor doesn't hit the roller-furling drum (the dark grey circular thing).

Anchor Mount Details
Wed Sep 23 10:37:38 EDT 2009, Navegantes, SC, Brazil

Locking pin added to bowsprit to hold Raya 2500 anchor.

New Anchor
Tue Sep 22 0:00:00 EDT 2009

Issuma is the red boat behind the white-and-blue fishing boat, Adamantina. Adamantina has the kind of anchor (Northill style) typically seen on Brazilian fishing boats. These anchors are made to order by boatyards.

I had wanted a bigger anchor for a long time. I tried to buy a Rocna, because their 55kg (120lb) model seemed the size I wanted, but Rocnas are not really available in much of South America. In Florianapolis, quite near to where I am now, Ancora Latina makes their Raya anchors. While the very helpful Ancora Latina folks did not have an anchor size that was as heavy as I wanted, their 40kg (88lb) anchor seemed like it would work well for my boat, AND they were willing to bring the anchor over and put it aboard to see if it would fit. Fitting a new anchor can be a big deal, so I took them up on their offer, they drove over with their Raya 2500 and we put it aboard and saw that it would fit with some work.

The boatyard added another anchor roller beside the existing ones, made a lock mechanism to hold the anchor securely in place, and made a cleat (in Brazil, cleats tend to be made, not bought) to tie the anchor down for additional security (it is very important not to have a heavy, sharp anchor ever get loose at sea).

Tue Sep 22 15:00:33 EDT 2009 | George Ray
Raya anchor looks promising !
Wed Sep 23 9:06:43 EDT 2009 | Ben
88 Lbs??? That will be a workout, especially if using rode rather than chain!!! LOL
Wed Sep 23 10:35:05 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Sailboats are great inventions for exercise :)

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