09/30/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
Up at 7am and Steve picked me up at 7:30 for a repeat of yesterday's trip. First we picked up his outboard which had been professionally diagnosed as having water in the wrong places. They blew everything out with compresses air and called it fixed. We ran it for about 10 minutes in the tank and then loaded it into the pick-up. Then we were off to Easton again to return the used batteries. They hadn't charged me the core charge yesterday so I was honor-bound to get to old ones back as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Kathy was off to the grocery store with Donna which is always exciting.
When Steve and I returned, we mounted the outboard on his dinghy to head back our to our boats... but no luck. The motor would not fire. We pulled for about an hour...took the spark plugs out and dried them out but it just wouldn't start. After rowing me out to Sapphire, Steve was off for another bridge crossing to take the motor back to the shop. He was back later with a working outboard and some instructions on what to do when it gets severely flooded.
One of the little problems that we have been experiencing this summer is that every day there has been a little water under our engine. There is a large fiberglass pan under the engine that is about 8 inches deep. Any fluids that leak are easily identified and in this case had been identified as sea water. Our cooling system pumps sea water into a heat exchanger while another pump (water pump) moves antifreeze through the same heat exchanger and the rest of the engine. Anyway, the amount of water collecting under our engine had increased to about 1 cup per day of cold water which means that the sea water pump needed replacing. Sure enough, with a mirror and flashlight I could see water dripping our the weep holes that were put there for precisely this reason... when the seals wear, the water dripping gives you a little advanced warning that the pump is on it's way out.
Since I had a spare, and the pump is located on the front of the engine, the switch should be a piece of cake. By the time Ken brought Kathy and Donna back to the boat, I had the pump off and was getting ready to replace it with a the new one. I had Ken come down to inspect my work and we found that the drive tang (which for you motor folks, is just a reverse threaded nut with a tang brazed on that is screwed on to the end of the cam and drives the impeller) was worn and needed replacing as well. I made a list of all the Westerbeke parts that we needed ( including a rebuild kit for the bad pump) and got on the phone to the nearest dealer. Some of the parts were going to take a week for delivery so I put the new pump on and will take it off again when they arrive.
After a shower, we were off to town for water. We have four 5 gallon plastic containers and use around 10 gallons a day. With the boat show on the horizon, the public docks will be closed as of Sunday for 8 days so it's important that our tank is full. Since we're going to spend the weekend with Jack and Debbie, tomorrow will be our last chance for water.
The first item on our agenda today was to make sure our water tank was filled. We went to the hardware store and then walked to the State House which is only a few blocks from the water front. We just wandered around some of the narrow residential streets wondering what it would be like to live there. We filled our water jugs and returned to the boat . It was another perfect sunny day with 85 degree temps. I started on teak work and sanded more that I should have because it took me until about 5:00 to get a coat of varnish on everything. Then... we went on another water run to fill our portable tanks... our main tank is full. Kathy called the car people and they are going to be picking us up in front of our boat at 9am.
09/30/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
Annapolis...Monday another perfect day. 85 degrees with a pleasant breeze. I spent quite of bit of time this morning on the computer researching solar panels and on the phone tracking down replacement batteries. Around 10 am we were off to town for water, coffee beans, and a few other small items. We returned before noon and transferred the water to our holding tank before lunch. I picked up Steve and we took his sail (using the truck that his friend has loaned him) to a loft to repair a blown out batten pocket. On the way back we tried to find a battery distributor but I must not have had the address just right because it wasn't where it was supposed to be...
Steve's dinghy motor has been running poorly and this afternoon it wouldn't start at all. At some point I went down to see if I could help. Ken, another neighbor with lots of outboard experience, also came over to help. We found water in the gasoline (and everywhere else) and worked at getting it cleaned out. Unfortunately, it still wouldn't start. Steve got on the phone and found a shop on the eastern shore that would look at it in the morning.
I was up at 7 and picked Steve and his motor up at 7:30 and went to shore to transfer our load to his pick-up. We found our way through town and over the nasty bridge that crosses the Chesapeake Bay. The shop took the motor and said that they could probably look at it today and would call. From there we drove south about 20 miles to Easton to drop off our old alternator to be rebuilt. I also picked up 6 new batteries for the house bank. Arriving back at the boat around noon, I began the task of replacing batteries and was finished about 3:00. We took a trip to town for ice and then spent a couple of hours before dinner with Ken and Donna on their Bayfield 40 next door. Ken and Donna have been cruising for a number of years and have tons if valuable information that they kindly share with the rest of us. We took our charts with us and after touring "Second Wind", started marking anchorages, routes, and places to avoid. We left with a wealth of knowledge that will really help when we continue south.
More from Annapolis
09/29/2007, Annapolis, Maryland
We worked on the boat most of the morning and then went to town for a walk and some lunch.
Fawcett's was our first stop where we picked up a dinghy light and a parachute flare. Then we selected a residential street and started walking. We only lasted a few blocks due to 90 degree temps and shortly found ourselves in an air-conditioned pub for lunch and some football on TV. Shortly after our return to the boat Dave and Joan from the Norhaven "Next Dimension" stopped by and invited us over for snacks. They are leaving in the morning but we may catch up to them at some point on the trip south.
One of the good things about being here is that there is no reason to consider the purchase of sea salt. Whenever the need for salt arises we just scrape one of our stanchions and transfer it to the meal at hand. It works quite well... let the spray crystallize for a few days in the sun and we're in business.
Today we spent the day cleaning, waxing, and organizing for company in the afternoon.
We have not been happy with our batteries lately... they just don't seem to hold a charge and after a few tests it became evident that they were on their last legs. We have six group 31 flooded 12 volt batteries in our house bank. Although there are options (and 6 volt golf-cart batteries is probably the way to go) we have had so few problems with our current system that I think I am simply going to replace it.
I spoke with Jack and Debbie today and invited ourselves over for a visit next weekend. It will be fun to
see them again.
We had a few of our neighbors over for snacks ...which became dinner, and had a nice time getting to know each other.