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The Voyage of 'S/V Röde Orm' - Sweden
Come on board and take part in our adventures while exploring the world at the slow pace of a sailing boat. We left in June 2009, heading south to escape the northern winter... to start with. Currently in Algarve/Portugal taking it one day at a time.
The Death of an Engine
08/15/2008, Dirham, Estonia N 59 12,7 E 23 30,2

Long story short:

After quite imposing attempts to save the life of our old 'Yanne', the 30 hp Yanmar 3 HM from 1982, Hendrick the diesel mechanic, and myself had to realize that Yanne's days were sadly gone.

The 'autopsy' revealed that indeed there was a lot more than the external parts that were corroded.

Now, it turned out that there were a motor in the warehouse of the Finnish parent company to Ekstrm here in Estonia. A brand new Yanmar 3YM 30 hp. And on MOnday it could be shipped to Talinn. If averything, for once, should work out as planned, e could still be on our way to Finland by next Saturday or so...

Hendrik and we has become good friends by now, and he was kind enough to invite us to his home in Tallinn for the week-end. A nice change for us, to see the capital of Estonia instead of this tinyharbour day in day out.

By 10pm we were on our way at 35-40 knots on the road, listening to Estonian Radiio Chanels.

Arrival of the Mechanic
08/08/2008, Dirham

This little harbour, Dirham has a couple of advantages over Lehtma. On shore, exactly where the breakwater starts, ther is a small but very nice resaurant serving simple, but fresh and well prepared dishes. We sampled the Flounder at night. Furthermore there is a small food shop just 200 meters from it which we really appreciated. Last time we provisioned was at Kuressaare some time ago.

However, there is nothing more to mention about the place as such except that it seems so strange to us, that there are harbours here without as much as a village to accompany them. It still beats me, but it could be that they were built under the Soviet era for Navy purpose, what do I know...

At 6 in the evening (a Friday!) the mechanic came. Much to my relief he spoke quite good engish and seemed very profesional even though he were young.

After a while I realized that he mainly did installations of new engines, and regular maintenance. Therefore, it didn't come as a surprise to me that he found himself in a sort of chock when he saw the somewhat 'rugged' surface of the rusty old beast reigning under the cockpit floor n Rde Orm. This 3 cyl.Yanmar is built in -82, has an unknown number of running hours, admittingly looks horrid, but nevertheless has been serving me perfectly for 280 hours.

The corrosion obviously takes it's toll though. It took the two of us almost four hours to get the head off the engine so he could take it with him to his workshop. Every nut and every bolt fought for their life, and the injectors were extremely reluctant to leave their familiar environment. We had to cut two of the fuel lines from the pressure pump to the injectors after making the nuts more round than hectagonal, and my knuckles will carry their bloody trace from this battle for a few days. At time, this guy was a bit grumpy, suggesting an new engine, but I quickly took out the oil diostick and showed him how nice the oil looke after almost 80 hours, and the interiior of the cylinders looke good too.

The canals for the cooling water was clogged in both the head and the block suggesting that something has broke and come adrift...

Not much more to be said for the moment, quie exhausted I fell asleep as soon as I heard his car leave the dock.

The slowest 'Passage' ever...?
08/07/2008, Dirham - Estonian mainland

Since we had a headwind out of harbour, the crew of the Finnish flagged Delphia named 'Dealatis' that we got aquainted with under the 30-35 knotter these last days, gave us a tow the first mile. The first time ever I've had to accept a tow.

Soon enough we realized that this would be an endurance exercise. The wind decreased early on and was just about enough to provide steerage. In addition to this, we had to tack a few times to clear the numerous reefs the first 6-7 miles to the north and the east.

To make a looong story short, we just about made it. The 30 miles sailed included the tacks took us 24 hours more or less. And for an hour just after sunset, we made 4-4,5 knots close-hauled. Thus we mad an average of 1,5 knots or therabout.

When we arrived at the entrance (170 degrees and 60 meters wide between reefs, remember?) at 3 in the morning, the little remaining wind veered to South and made any attempt to sail in there impossible. Since we were far from in distress, nor wanting to call on the VHF at this early hour, I simply hoisted the mizzen, sheeted it hard to heave-to and then we slept until the morning.

We must have been tired, since we slept until 8, when a very light breeze came back....from the South, obviously.

The next three hours we were beating too windward to gain those 3 miles we had drifted while at sleep.

Back at teh entrence - still no way to sail into port, I called the Harbour office on the VHF twice with a few minutes in between. No answer. Then I called 'all stations' . even though there were a couple of sailing boats within eyesight, no one answered. Then the Estonian Coast Guard answered. I told them that we were not in an emergency of any sort, but needed a tow to get into harbour due to serious engine failure. After a mnute they called back and told me they were coming.

In the meantime, a man with a distinct accent of an English Gentleman, called from his yacht 'Arctic Tern' and told me he was further East but heading my way. I said the CG were already on their way but thanked him nevertheless.

So, we made landfall in the wake of an old Finnsih-built CG vessel from 1961, well maintained, and with tthe dual mission to break ice at winter. A 300 hp engine and an extremely thick steel hull saw to that.

Decided to Sail to Dirham to gain some time... - and Money
08/05/2008, Lehtma

Later in the afternoon, The Yanmar agent called Ekstrm BTW, and i branch office of an old Finnish company, and spread some light over the situation. When I first told him a suspected the engine to be filled with water he spontaneously said -'Oh, shit!'. Now he said, that the positive side of the mishap, was that I never ran the engine after the cooiling water made entry to the cylinders. Instead of bent valves and maybe more, he now suggested that it just might be the head gaxket and a few more minor seals that needed replacement.

He were to order the necessary parts from Holland (the European warehouse for Yanmar parts), recieve those on Thursday, (today is Monday) and be able to send a machanic over on Friday.

Now I got an idea, that I thought would be very bright.

For the mechanic to get frm Tallinn to Lehtma, he would first have to drive for an hour and a half, then take a ferry for another hour or more and lastly drive an hour more. That would obviously take the major part of his working day, and as a result cost me a lot of gold, so this is what came to my mind:

The forecast is ''promising us ' a Notherly wind 2-10 knots tomorrow then decreasing and veering to south the day after. Since it is 25 miles to Dirham port on the mainland, and the heading to get there approx. 80 degrees, we should be able to sail there. Upon a look in a *Pilot book for Estonia' the harbour looked pretty easy to sail into and even dock under sail only. A leading line into the harbour of 170 degrees, then turn SB round the head of the breakwater and simly going alongside it on the sheltered southern side.

So, we went to bed early to get going in the morning

Waiting for the diagnosis
08/04/2008, Lehtma

I met the Tug Boat Guy as soon as I stepped up on the dock. The yard had no time for my little vessel and he advised me to 'sail back home' and do repairs there. That is obviously ONE option. Labour are cheaper here than in Sweden or Finland though, and since I am not skilled enough to do this repair myself, I think it could as well be done here ASAP.

Phoned my insurance company in Sweden, and as I already knew, the engine is not covered, and since it is built in '82 this could never be the case anyway. The insurence, however, does cover the expense for a tow to the nearest Authorized Yanmar workshop, and they helped me finding the name of it. This turned out to be a company in the capital of Tallinn, some 70 miles from here.

After a phone convesation with them - and thank G-D they spoke English - and to be 100 % sure of the magnitude of the damage, I disassembled the injectors and turned the ignition key. A solid and sad fountain of water from them.

What more to say, except the mood on board Rde Orm actually HAS been better.

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Who: Magnus & Isabelle
Port: Falsterbo -Sweden
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