Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dingy to the Rescue

Enee is broken. Sad right?

As reported here recently we had a 'minor' problem with the engine dying for no apparent reason. I then deduced that it was the paper filter in the Racor water separator which had never been replaced! After replacing the filter we ran the engine for an hour to make up for charge on batteries and to make sure all was fine with the engine. Later that night we returned to the boat and as is our policy run a little engine to top off batteries before turning in for the night and the engine died after only a couple of minutes. Now what? Seems like the engine is not getting fuel so I suspected the fuel pump itself which is
electric on our engine. This brings up another list of potential suspects: Is the pump itself broken or are the little electrons not even getting there? There are some circuit breakers up stream from the pump and shorting them out didn't help. I also took a wire and brought 12 volts directly to the pump...nothing. OK it IS the pump.

Broken Fuel Pump.....also sad.

Now we are hanging on the anchor in Baltimore's inner harbor. This is now Thursday morning and on Friday morning I am flying to Chicago from DC to surprise my daughter on her birthday. That means that Enee has to be put into a slip today so Sue can have electricity (hey she deserves it!) while I'm away. If possible we'd also like to find a new pump and put that in so that I don't have that worry while I'm away. Looks like a busy day for us!

We have a marina we intend to go to about two miles back out of the harbor called
The Anchorage. Now how to get Enee there? We called Tow Boat as they were so helpful when we went aground. They are not so helpful this time. They consider this sort of tow mooring to mooring and only cover half. I say no deal. Instead we lashed the dingy tightly to the starboard quarter with the engine on it. Sue rode in the dingy and steered the outboard while I steered the mother ship. I'd only read about this solution but it turns out to be easy as long as you are in pretty calm conditions which we were. We motored at about 2.5 knots and with some help from the harbor hands, got Enee nicely into a slip. One job done.

Imagine.....approaching the Anchorage Marina with Scott at Enee's helm, binoculars raised, and barking orders to Sue who is 5 or 6 feet below in dingy lashed to starboard with outboard throttle in hand and the roar of the motor in her ear.....What?.....Imagine......

Now, while I cleaned the ugly mud off of the boat that the anchors brought up Sue went to pick up a rent a car. Our good friend, Sean, from Authentic Yacht Brokers and come through again and found us a pump at the Hartge Boat Yard south of Annapolis. Ok, we are ON it! We only got lost 3 or 4 times on our way to the yard but once there they did indeed have the pump. Back to Enee. While Sue threw in some laundry I installed and wired the new pump. Not difficult except for the standard dropping of small parts into the bilge a few dozen times. Upon starting the engine I heard the good old sound of the pump clicking away and knew this was the solution we were looking for.

Now for the point: If someone asks me what is a 'typical' day like in the cruising life I'm sure I'd have no answer. Some days we are sailing fine, some we are getting thrashed about by wind or waves, some swinging on the anchor, walking through a small town, or going on a quest for a needed part. Maybe this is part of the allure of typical days!

Note to all who like to comment: You'll notice now that to leave your comment you'll have to type in one of those word verification deals. I've been getting a lot of automatic spam comments and this prevents them. Only one more step so don't let it stop you from commenting!

Capt. Scott


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Brian said...

You have a nice blog here and I beleive you deserve more in life...... after you show compassion to your cat. If anything happens to Gracie I'm sending you a small dog.

I know some people like the pictures and characters. I like the repair details as long as they aren't written from one physicist to another.

Rich P said...

So many of the troubles you have, Scott, tell me I might not be cut out for this. I'm not as mechanically or scientifically astute as you are! Plus, I would get too flustered with all the slow downs and hassles, which you seem to take in stride. You are definitely cut out for this!

Anonymous said...

Scott,Great to see you last friday..was a real treat! Hope the surprise ball game came off as planned. We got a bullet in the race Sat. and Dave let me drive. That will probably never happen again.
Be sure to take in some of the Ann Boat Show. Go down early and anchor in the Severn River or there is a neat little creek behind the Navel Academy. Also a good creek just west of Annapolis. You can putt into town in your dingy from any of those...there will be no tie ups available at the City Dock.
I'll be anxious to give you other tips on do and see in the Bay Area.

Brian said...

I tried this anonymously but your new filter must have caught me. I was addressing Rich P's comment on behelf of your wife. OH PUH...LEEEASE.

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right!
You don't even want to know of the 'stride' Capn Snappy can take on.
the sailing wife Sue

Anonymous said...

I think cruising has been referred to as doing boat repair in exotic places.

[Enjoying catching up 3 years after this section.]