An interesting day.
02 December 2013
So yesterday was a rather interesting day. It started out in typical Sanderling fashion with leaving the Jekyll Harbor Marina at the crack of 11:00. We never seem to do things too quickly, and now that we have Eric and Courtney on board there is even more reason to lounge around and enjoy their company.
We had a rather short trip schedule to St. Mary's, Georgia where we had arranged a ride for the children to the Jacksonville airport on Sunday afternoon. The winds were pretty strong out of the north so we were able to motor sail for a bit before the winds died down and the ICW narrowed down so we rolled up the sail. After about an hour of motoring the engine alarm went off which means that either the oil pressure is low or the engine temperature is high. Turned out that the engine temp was high so we shut down the engine and rolled out the gennie.
No problem. We are supposed to be sailors and this is what sailors do. After getting the boat moving under sail, it's time to figure out why we are overheating. My initial thought was that the oil level might have been a little low. That proved to be a bit optimistic as the solution would have been very easy. Go to check the oil and see the fan belt lying on the floor of the engine compartment. Well this certainly isn't good. Further inspection reveals that the alternator has fallen off of the engine. How the heck did that happen? How could both the bolts loosen and release at the same time? Don't really have time to figure this out. It's time to figure out how we will make it into St. Mary's without the engine. Fortunately, all we needed to do was a little zig-zagging up the St. Mary's River and get the anchor down in a pretty wide open anchorage. Wish we had practiced setting the anchor without the engine. Get the anchor ready, ease the gennie, head out of the channel and into the anchorage, head up into the wind, drop the anchor and we are all set. It wasn't exactly by the book - back winding the main to help set the anchor - but we have the anchor down and it's holding.
Eric and I quickly head into town to walk Casey and find some replacement bolts. Fortunately, with the help of a very nice dockmaster who drove me to and from the auto supply store, I was able to get the necessary bolts and get the errant alternator back on its bracket and functioning. Crossing my fingers that the tension and angles are correct.
Backing up a bit here..... We knew we needed to be on Jekyll Island by November 26 in order to meet the children at the Jacksonville airport the following day. After spending 2 wonderful days in Hilton Head, Roger decides Chrisy needs a bit more "experience" offshore... And truth be told, he has no interest in traversing the windy ICW throughout Georgia having done this stretch 14 years ago. So Roger finds a great weather window to take me offshore overnight.....with no wind.... But at least I won't be freaked this time around. We arrive in St. Simon's very early the following morning but have no issues dropping an anchor in the dark. So now we have plenty of time to relax in the "Golden Isles" of Georgia before the children arrive. With two wonderful visits with Roger's aunt and uncle in Sea Island, very hospitable people in both St. Simon's and Jekyll Island, we are feeling blessed with everyone's kindness and so excited for our children to arrive for Thanksgiving! And it was a wonderful visit with Eric and Courtney - filled with laughter, bike rides, walks on the beach, Flyers games, cribbage games, and yes, great turkey dinners!