The ship's blog for SV Nelleke out of Shelburne, NS

Tuesday and work progresses on the engine!

Yesterday there was one little point that I have neglected to mention. Whenever the guys are working on the boat, either taking the old block out or prepping the site for the new engine install, we have made it a point to keep out of their way by either going for a drive with Peri or, like today, heading off to Baltimore to try to do something about our cruising permit. The down side is that I am not here to watch what they are doing. Yesterday, for example, one of them accidentally discovered that when I installed the dynaplate to ground the SSB, apparently I had not really tightened down one of the four bolts holding it in place. He tapped it or something when he was loosening a butterfly nut to remove some wires and the ocean or at least the Chesapeake began to flow in. I was there in time to help tighten it down and we’re OK but was a little nervous for a while there.

Our trip to Baltimore Customs House was an all day affair with us departing at 0900 and returning at 1700 but well worth it. I really enjoy driving through Virginia countryside looking at the rolling farmlands. It reminds me of what I pictured in my mind as I read the first book that I ever owned, “Danny Meadow Mouse” by Thorton W Burgess. It absolutely captivated me as did all of his other books that I managed to beg or borrow. They were what got me started in an enjoyable lifetime of reading and the farmland and woodland that Mr Burgess described must have been drawn from the area around here in Virginia.

The trip itself, although three hours each way, was well worth it. The vessel customs staff in the Baltimore office were the absolute epitome of helpfulness, friendliness and professionalism. Part of it may have been due to the fact that we were in personal contact, but whereas the other offices that we had been speaking to on the telephone either didn’t understand our situation or were preoccupied with other matters, Officers Tune and Jeckle had no problem answering my questions and issuing us another cruising permit. So we are back to being legal until the 1st of July. Baltimore Customs in general and Tune and Jeckle in particular are our new heroes.

When we got back to Nelleke, her new engine had been lowered into the engine compartment. Although only 15 hp smaller than the old Perkins as you can see from the photo she is substantially physically smaller. This, plus her layout will make things a lot easier for me to do maintenance on her. We never used even half of the beef of the old engine so I am not worried about the smaller power and I am very much looking forward to giving her a spin.