ENGINE PROBLEM – OR SO WE THOUGHT
30 August 2010 | Port Huron, MI
We tried to leave Port Sanilac this morning but as soon as we left the harbor we started experiencing problems. Unusual noises then when I tried to speed up lots of black smoke coming out the exhaust from the engine and would not get past about 5 knots. Gauges all looked within normal range and couldn't see any issues but definitely something not right. So, back to Port Sanilac we went. Waited for a marine mechanic to take a look and see what the problem was. Of course, Bill and I expected the worst (engine rebuild). At $90 per hour for the mechanic we were crossing our fingers hoping for the best.
Mechanic arrives, takes him all of about 2 minutes to figure out the problem - weeds wrapped around the prop. The harbor is being dredged and lots of very tall weeds in the water. Bill puts his swimming trunks on and jumps in the water (about 72 degrees) and untangles handfuls of weeds from around the prop. Off we go again (only cost $37.50 to solve our problem) and again we get out of the harbor and the same thing happens - weeds around the prop. We slowed down and reversed a couple of times which then cut the weeds off the prop, resolving the problem.
We finally make it to the St. Clair River. The water current runs so swiftly that we were doing almost 9 knots (very fast for us) under the Blue Water Bridge. Just past the bridge is the Port Huron Yacht Club (PHYC). Bill called them and asked if they had any transient slips available and they did. What a great group of people! They are a racing yacht club with a wonderful club house building that includes a bar. We were amazed to find out that the first night to stay there was free. We really lucked out there - great people, free place to tie up for the night (including electric) and very, very cheap booze. Highly recommend anyone passing through here to check if they have space available (only enough space for about 4 transient boats).
Got to meet the eldest living Past Commodore of the Port Huron Yacht Club. George. At 87 he sill puts on several thousand hours on his Trawler Florence. Great guy!!!!