04/18/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
We dropped the lines on Wednesday and headed out to Ant Atoll, about 28 miles from Kolonia. We took off just after 0900 with the help of Leslie and Phillip off Carina. We followed the track lines on our chart plotter VERY carefully as this harbor is full of wrecks and coral reefs. Once out of the harbor, we we headed west around the top of the island and then along the western side, always mind full of the reef that surrounds this island.
Six hours later, we headed in the south pass and made our way to an anchorage having the entire atoll to ourselves. Once the anchor was down, we were in the water swimming and enjoying some thing we have had in quite a while--no nerves on edge. We swam to the island where is immediately began the sprinkle. We, of course had left the hatches and port open to try and get the heat from the engine out of the boat. I swam back while Tracy walked the beach and joined me shortly at the boat. We got some water inside but I got back before it let loose.
During the trip down, we would go into the engine room and LOOK at just about everything. We found a leak out of the rocker arm gasket and some oil coming out from under the heat exchanger. Just a tad of water coming up from the new connections with made with the gate valve but nothing that looked bad at all.
As we came back and entered the marina on Thursday, I slipped the transmission into reverse with the engine idling. It promptly stalled. Started her back up and she did it again--three times in all. The idle is set to low. Again, an easy adjustment. Our plan to head back to Ant on Saturday shouldn't be a problem at all.
We made arrangements for Jun to come back so we can do some of the routine maintenance that has to be done when breaking in the engine after a sea trial. The valves need to be adjusted and the cylinder head bolts need tightening. Change the oil and filter and the idling and we should be fine. Jun just looked at the engine and thinks the leak under the heat exchanger may be from the head gasket!!! That's not a good thing at all. It means that we have to take off the alternator to get to the drain so we can get the coolant out of the engine and then take off the exhaust manifold with all it's gaskets. This may take longer than I thought. We'll see once he gets into it I guess.
As always--there's always more to come. CR_P!!!!
04/16/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
Today was break in the engine day. We started at 800rpm for 30 minutes, then 900rpm for 30 minutes, then 1000rpm for an hour, then 1200 rpm for an hour. Up to 1400 for two hours and finally 1500 for the final 4 hours. A long day with the sweet sound of an engine running though our boat. What a change after 13 weeks of nothing. We just shut if off(1915hours).
We spent much of the day getting ready for our sea trials that start tomorrow. We took a short break late in the morning and headed to town to get our permits to go to Ant Atoll, about 25 miles from here. The cost==$25.00 for the boat and $10.00 for each person on board! $45.00 for a one day stop. We booked a second on Sunday so if this trip works out as planned, we will be back here late Thursday for the first maintenance of the engine. Valves adjusted, and cylinder head bolts tightened. Oil changed and fuel filters changed. Inspect this and check that. Lots of inspecting. During the run today, we still have some smoke out the back along with some diesel fuel on the water. It's going to take some time to get her all broken in again. It just takes time.
As the engine ran, we did lots of preparation for the trip. Being here for over three months, we have settled into the marina and with the insides being all torn up, not much was where it was supposed to be. So the day was spent just straightening up everything from the deck to the cockpit to the entire insides. Tracy spent a great deal of Sunday just working on the forward section inside the boat. We can now get to the forward head without tripping over boxes, blankets and parts. It's become like home again instead of a total mess.
So, tomorrow in the morning, we will be heading out to Ant Atoll. Motor running and sail a flying. Spend a night(maybe even swim!) and then come back Thursday morning. Tuneup starts Friday early in the morning.
We're getting there!!
04/14/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
We're in the "fine tune" stage of the rebuild. Let's go back a couple of days.
The last two(we sure hope)parts came in on Wednesday via Fed Ex. We'd followed the parts across the world till Guam where we lost them as there is no scanning equipment(including at the USPS). I was at the airport 45 minutes after the plane landed.
I put in the heat exchanger on Thursday and Tracy went in and took off the raw water pump that the new one was replacing. Jun, our mechanic was doing other projects, both here and for Kumer(his boss).
On Friday, we made the decision that the DuoGen(wind power machine) had lost it's bearings and needed to be rebuilt. Tracy and I took it off and started taking it apart. Unfortunately, we lacked the skills of going further than taking off the bottom of the generator housing. We knew we needed a bearing puller and that we did not have. Jun took a look at it and said he could do it no problem.
For those of you that have been following us for a while, you know about our poor Honda EB3000C generator and the problems we have had recently. Well since we bought a new Yamaha EF2400iS, we haven't really needed the Honda. So, instead of having it repaired, we gave it to Jun knowing that he can fix it, use it or sell it for all we care. We'd discussed it with him before and I'm not he believed us when we said he could have it to keep. He though we wanted it fixed. On Friday, as he was leaving, we handed it over to him with all the spare parts we had stored for it(new face plate and two outlets, as well as a new exhaust system. We can't think of a better person for it to go to. I'm sure he will take good care of it.
About two hours after leaving here on Firday, back he comes, the Duogen fully rebuilt!!! He'd pulled the bearings and installed the new ones and brought it right back. We spent Saturday morning reinstalling it on the stern. She's now spinning right along making lots of nice volts for our batteries.
Later in the morning, Jun showed up with the last pieces we needed to complete the installation of the gate valve in the exhaust system. We had a great gate valve and while I'd asked for 3 inch nipples to screw onto them so they would slide into the 3 inch hoses that make us the exhaust system, they had sold me 3.5 inch nipples. Jun took the 3.5 inch nipples to a machine shop and had the insides of them threaded($25.00 each-5 times what I paid for the nipples) to fit another piece of pipe that is 3 inches in diameter. We spent the rest of Saturday installing that big piece of equipment. By 1630, we were finally ready to start the engine. We'd even filled the coolant tank. We turned the key and while it took a short time and some extra diesel, she started up!!! Suddenly, Tracy is rushing in from the cockpit---We have smoke in the cockpit!!!! I immediately shut down the engine. We were surprised as there was no smoke in the engine room. Some water had come out the stern but there was no sound of water in the new anti syphon I'd installed that runs into one of the cockpit drains so you can tell that there is water going through the engine. We decided to just shut the engine room doors and call it a day. Jun(our mechanic) would be here on Monday and he could figure it out.
Sunday was clean the boat day. Over the three months that we have been here, the inside of Zephyr has been a disaster area. It was a long day but in the end, Zephyr is far more presentable and we have enough things that we found to fill another box to send home. We made so new space to fill with other things.
Today, Monday, Jun showed up(15 minutes early) and headed in. I'd thought about what had happened and since we had installed a newly designed water pump assembly, maybe we hooked the hoses up to the wrong connections? As it turns out, I was correct(even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then). Instead of bringing in water, we were pushing it out when we wanted it to come in. With some new hose, the problem was fixed.
While we are still putting our some smoke, Jun is spending the day fine tuning the engine, looking for places that might be wrong and correcting them. We found that the nipples(more like a 3 inch chunk of pipe with threads on one end) still leaked past the two hose clamps I'd used. Jun got some sealant and smeared it around the nipples and back in they went. the two hose clamps were tightened and no more leaks.
It's now 1520 and Jun had completed the fine tuning and the engine is running smoothly with very little smoke out the exhaust in the back. Just a bit of diesel but the engine will take a while to break in and get all the parts and bits and pieces to seat where they are supposed to. THE JOB IS DONE!!!
We expect to be heading out to Ant Atoll on Wednesday for one of the stages of the break in. It's 25 miles one way. We figure to motor sail to it and motor back putting some strain on the engine and it's transmission. Another trip there a few days later and we should be all ready to go.
We have friends that are in transit here and while we don't want to miss them we can only wait so long. They(Terry and Christine on Teka Nova) are on their way from Fiji and we want to see them again. So we will probably be here for a day after they get here. We will see.
We have an engine again!!!
04/10/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
About 18 months ago, while we were at the Vuda Point Marina, I bought and brought back to Fiji with me 4 Falcon Line Master Snubbers. I'd love to show you. To give you an idea, you take your dock or mooring line and wrap it abound what looks like a long chunk of rubber with holes on the end that the ends of the line go through to hold it in place. As you boat is pushed around at anchor or at a marina, this long chunk of rubber springs back and forth taking lots of the strain off the existing lines. Shortly after we got here, one broke. I contacted Defender where I bought them and they put me in touch with the company. While they would not ship it to us here in Micronesia, they would ship it to my sister in law in Tennessee and she would forward it to us.
It arrived a couple of days ago ready to be put into service.
These snubbers come with a 5 year warranty. That's pretty much unheard of in the sailing world. So my hats off to you for standing behind your product.
04/09/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
When I was in Colorado, I bought a beautiful brass 3 inch gate valve to close off the exhaust so no outside sea water can get up the hose and into the muffler and into the engine again. We are finally at the point of installing it. Into the engine room we went and we looked closely at the bracket that holds the fiberglass "U" shaped exhaust elbow. Low and behold, about 16 inches above it is another pair of bolts that look like they will fit the current bracket. Off came the fiberglass elbow and off came the bracket. YES-- it fits perfectly. Someone at sometime moved the elbow and bracket from way above the waterline to being at the waterline. The question is why did they move it? Was it too high so perhaps the pump that pushes the water and exhaust that goes out it isn't strong enough to go up that high? We have no clue as of yet.
Now here's where the title of the post comes to the front. We measured the exhaust hose--3 inches. I specified that I needed a nipple that will fit both the 3 inch gate valve as well as the 3 inch hose. Well, we got the nipple that fits the gate valve but it's 3.5 inches!!!!! It won't fit the exhaust hose!!!! CR-P!!!
Today was the first day Jun had had off, away from us. Since he finished the fiberglass work, he was off for another project for Kumer. I called Kumer and asked him to get in touch with Jun so we could show him our problem. Ten minutes later, Jun was crawling over the lifelines. He looked at the problem and what we had and took the gate valve as well as the plastic nipples and is going to see what he can fashion out of metal at his shop. Why is nothing ever easy when it comes to getting things fixed or replaced on our boat?
04/09/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
The last couple of days have been full of rain for the most part. Jun took off early on Friday because of a hurt shoulder. We both then took off for town to check the mail and see what groceries we could find. One thing about being out in the middle of no where, you have to check the expiration dates on everything buy. Many, especially cereals and snacks will be out of date. Sometimes the stores will mark them down and sometimes not. We try and check everything we get.
Nothing at the Post Office so we hit a couple more stores and headed back to the boat. Saturday it rained again but there was a bit barbecue again here at the marina. Kumer and Antonia Panuelo were throwing a big barbecue(two roasted pigs) for all the men that are working for him building his new homes. He builds them, then rich foreigners or diplomats rent them and he make a good bit of money because he builds houses like no one else in the island does. They'd do alright on the mainland US. Not palatial by any stretch but he spares little expense to make them a nice place to live. All the cruisers in the harbor and marina(that's just us in the marina)were invited too. It was a great spread of food.
Sunday was another day of rain so not much getting done but we got an invitation from Antonia Panuelo to come to lunch at the "Village". It's been a big attraction here for the last 40 years but when it came time to renew the lease on the property(held by several families) no agreement could be made so they decided to just close it and move back to the US after 40 years. They've lived and raised their family out here. Hope they can blend back in with the folks on the mainland.
Monday, Tracy went to Antonia's house and and did laundry. Started just after 0900 and finally got back at 1700. We had lots of laundry. I meanwhile sat and helped or just sat with Jun and gave him what ever tools or information he needed. Tracy and Antonia showed up just after 1200 and brought me lunch. Nice treat. Other than that, it rained and then it blew big time and then it rained some more.
Today, Jun came just after 0800 and finished the fiber glassing just after 1430. Tracy ahd I spent the next couple of hours putting the stern back together. Restring wires for the fan and replace a lamp that just up and burned it self out. Not the bulb, the entire fixture just up and burned it self out. Fried a circuit board on the main switch. OH well, I pulled out one I'd brought in for a different place and strung the wires and installed it. We rebuilt the mattress(one of those inflatable mattresses) and had a shower to cool off and then dinner. Tracy is taking her shower as I'm typing this so she will be nice and cool for a good night sleep.
Tomorrow, we tackle the exhaust system on Zephyr. We want to make sure what we had never happens again.