Saturday, May 10, 2008

Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

We explored Jolly Harbor very briefly. Actually we only used Jolly Harbor to clear customs. Not much actual town there but a big marina and shops and restaurants around it. Sue had one job possibility here but after talking to them probably not. We think there are more opportunities by Falmouth/English harbors which are right next to each other on the south side of the island. It is only about 8 miles around the corner from Jolly to Falmouth. To make it that short though we’d have to go between some reefs and the shore. Plenty wide (about a half mile) but still you’d like to do this sort of thing in good light. Of course the trade off there is that by waiting for the sun to be highish we’d be giving the wind a chance to build up and this little trip will be dead upwind. We opted for good light since it wouldn’t be that far to motor-sail up wind. We did tack our way in the narrow parts to keep some wind in the main and just kept an eye on the reef and on the gps. Slow going but we were in Falmouth by 1 pm anchor down.

We knew that the company that provided wifi back in the Saintes (hothothotspot!) operated here as well. So, as we motored around looking for a good place to anchor we had the computer on to see where the signal might be strong enough. That worked! We’re somewhere between a couple of marinas and the signal is strong enough albeit desperately slow!

After getting the bimini up we sat down and Sue said, “I hate to mention this but there’s oil dripping out of the outboard”. CRAP! We mount the outboard on the stern rail when sailing with the shaft/prop inboard over the deck. Sure enough there were drips on the deck. They seem to be coming from one of the tiny drain holes in the case of the motor way down low and across from the plug where you would fill the oil for the lower end. I’m hoping that some oil from the lower unit got bounced around and into the water jacket around the lower unit and this is not big deal. Or, the lower unit is completely out of oil and those were the last 3 drips on my deck. Of course I do not have lower unit oil on board.

Our friend Joe on Halfmoon is here in the harbor. Here’s how we hailed him. We tried the radio but he wasn’t answering. So we e-mailed him and said, “Turn on your radio”! That worked. About 10 minutes later he hailed us on the VHF. He’s going to come over and take me to a marine store so I can get some oil. Then I can open the plug and see if 1. any oil comes out and 2. if it is milky (has water in it). Note that this motor is 2 months old with maybe 20 - 30 hours on it. If this is a big deal my next purchase may be a handgun to use on myself! Stay tuned for REAL drama.

SPECIAL REPORT - I have now opened the drain for the lower unit oil and let a little out (having bought some replacement oil this morning). Good news! This oil is clear and in great shape. Opening the top hole tells me that the lower unit is full of oil as it should be. So, what IS the black stuff that dripped out of the little drain hole? Maybe a little grease from a bearing? I'll keep an eye on it but I don't think this is serious. All comments and ideas about this are certainly welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My wife and I stopped in Antigua on a Christmas cruise last year. We did a little sail from English Harbor. English harbor is absolutely bueatiful and they have the biggest boats there we have ever seen. Your boat just won't look very big next to those 100+ footers.

Spring has finally arrived in Michigan and we will be launching our newly purchased Catalina 387 in two weeks for our delivery trip from Bay City to St. Joe. Sailing Lake Michigan should be great this summer.

Thanks for all your reports throughout the winter that help all of us northern bound sailors make it through the winter cold to a new sailing season. Enjoy Antigua and the Caribbean.

Terry in Michigan