Trying to Make the Best of Things
05 December 2011 | Vero Beach Marina
We got up at our leisure today, that is, we slept in a bit past 5:30 AM. But we took our time getting ready to leave because it's just over 40 miles to Stuart. We took Fuzzy ashore and Bud did his daily ritual of topping off the Racor filter. He called me down from the deck. "Jill, you cleaned up all of that coolant that spattered around didn't you?" Yes, I had. He had me take a look, there was more stuff spattered around. Oil. We looked and pondered and looked again and concluded that we'd had two problems. The first was that the coolant inspection port wasn't tight and coolant dripped. The second is an oil leak; that we still think is coming from between the engine and transmission. The oil leak seems to be getting worse while the coolant leak was stopped. So now instead of a red, slightly oily fluid being spattered around, we're seeing engine oil. And it's not clean, like you spilled it doing an oil fill, oil. It's black, been in a working diesel oil.
So we called St. Augustine Marine Center again. They called the Yanmar distributor and 5 hours later we finally talked to someone. Actually, the guy from Mastry Engines, the Southeast Distributor for Yanmar, was very nice. We are going to stay here at least until Wednesday when a local Yanmar guy can come aboard. He will probably have us clean up the oil (we're not touching it until he sees it) and then will have us take the boat on a sea trial or at least run the engine and he will try to diagnose the problem. I don't know what it means if it's the rear crankshaft seal as we expect. I guess we shouldn't borrow trouble. It will come to us soon enough.
Anyway, after it was too late to leave for Stuart, but before we had heard back from anyone, we decided to try and enjoy our day. Bud took Fuzzy and I ashore for a walk and he took the dinghy out fishing. Fuzzy didn't think walking was a proper way to enjoy the day, so he and I only made it about a quarter of a mile, down to the bridge over the ICW. There was a nice fishing pier built out under the bridge, but animals weren't allowed. I wanted to take a picture of Bud fishing, so I walked out as close as I could get without going on the forbidden structure and took this using digital and optical zoom. It turns out that Buddy was actually having fun. He hooked several small sea trout; as soon as he put his lure out there he caught one. And he hooked a 24-inch Ladyfish, which is described as a fun fish to catch, like a young Tarpon, but no good to eat.
After the man from Mastry called I had to get back to the boat to make the arrangements with the local people. Once that was done, and we knew we were going to be here a couple of days, Bud suggested it was a good opportunity to rebuild the bilge pump. So we did, and were almost able to complete the job in one go. But one of the bolts that holds the piston assembly to the base was stripped. So now we need to try to find a slightly larger bolt, drill that hole out and tap it. We still need to test it, and with the way things are going, I don't feel confident that things will work right after just one rebuild.
The folks on Kanau,with whom we are rafted, had us over for snacks and drinks. They've been cruising for fourteen years, so they were sympathetic to our woes. It will all get fixed in the end, I know. It's just the when I'm worried about. At least we're stuck in a very pretty place. I put a picture of the beautiful trees around the marina in the gallery.