THE HEART OF THE MATTER
09 May 2012 | On the way to the Caribbean
It sits down at the lowest point of the boat. Its dark in there. It waits silently. Insulated, protected, its fed only the cleanest, triple, quadruple filtered - all vital fluids, changed, revitalized - on schedule. No less than 50 cables, wires, hoses, emanate from it to every corner of the boat and back. Like the human heart and its pact with the body, all must sacrifice, saving it, and it alone, as the last resort.
And as one plies the seas, only that block of metal in the bowels of the boat is going allow you into a complicated harbor, safely. No sail is going to pull you against a raging current with ragged shores on either side. Its night and as your batteries fade, only it can save them. That monster of the sea, the supertanker, bearing down on you unexpectedly...
So, this morning at 3AM when I noticed the batteries 'fading', no sun nor wind to help, I confidently appealed to the 'heart of the matter', the engine. And when I turned the key, that nightmarish sound, rehearsed dismally so many times in the silence of my head - there it was...CLUNK, I tried again harder...CLUNK...the engine was dead.
10 hours later, - after reaching out to my friends Clyde and JT in the USA and finding JT of Halden Marine Services and, after speaking on the SSB to Ike and Daniel, both now sailing within 500 miles of me, together we managed to resuscitate the moribund engine. None of us is sure as to the permanence of the fix -starters and solenoids and electrics!
And, one last thing...a catamaran has this great advantage over the monohull - we have TWO engines!