Tuesday, November 15, 2016

We tried but it is a no-go

We tried leaving this morning but it didn't work out.  We had everything aboard, the power cord disconnected and stored and the engine running.  Unfortunately the engine didn't stay running, it bogged down and quit and would not restart.  I exhausted my knowledge of diesel engines and still couldn't get it going.  Two calls to our friend that works on most of the boats here helped and by the afternoon it was running again but very rough and would kill after a few minutes.  In the afternoon I didn't know what else to do so I just took a nap waiting for a call back.  Cori woke me up with a suggestion that I call Al.  Al is the mechanic that worked on the engine last spring when we were in Florida.  After describing the symptoms he gave me a couple of things to check and he was spot on with the first idea.  Air was getting into the system at the fuel filter.  I had changed the nut that sealed it with a new one that had a new vacuum gauge on it,  It either is not sealing properly or I messed up the gaskets when I changed it out.  I replaced the gaskets and o-rings from another filter and put the old nut and gauge on.  It started right up and ran smoothly.  Now I need to check if it is the new parts or if it was the gaskets.  It should be an easy test.

The bad news is that we have missed our weather window and just leaving one day latter will put us in much rougher conditions.  Our weather forecaster gave us an option to leave on Friday but conditions would not be that much better and we would be right ahead of a cold front on Sunday.  We have chosen to wait a week and head out after the front has gone by.  We will see, the forecast can change a lot in a week.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The New Adventure Begins

We are ready to start our next adventure.  We have been working on the boat getting things ready and are about done.  We have been talking with our weather expert and he says that tomorrow should be a good day to start.

Where are we going?

We have decided it is time to make the jump to the Caribbean.  There are a number of ways to get there and we have decided to take the offshore passage.  The plan is to move down to Morehead City, out Beaufort Inlet, turn southeast to go around Cape Lookout, then continue southeast until we reach the Virgin Islands.  It is a trip of about 1200 miles as the bird flies but we never go in a straight line.  We expect it to take us nine to twelve days.

Once we arrive we plan to spend some time in the US and British Virgin Islands and then start down the chain of islands eventually ending up in Granada or somewhere close to there for the summer.  Our plan at that point is to leave the boat and come back to the States for the summer.  In the fall we will go back to the boat and start working our way back up the islands eventually ending up back in the US.  As we say as we are traveling "plans are written in the sand at low tide," meaning that they are subject to change at any moment,  We decided to make it a two year trip since there is so much to see and there is no reason to rush back.  Friends that are there tell us that the summer months are hot and uncomfortable so we are opting to come back for those months.  We made a change in our insurance to keep us covered as long as we are not in what they call the "hurricane box" during the season.  Granada is south of the box and should be okay, time will tell.

It has taken a lot of work getting ready for a trip of this length and has taken a while to wrap our heads around everything we need to do and plan for.  We think we are ready.

On the other hand we have really enjoyed our time here at the marina seeing old friends and making some new ones.  We have had several friends we have met cruising stop by on their way south and it was good to see them since we will not be going to the Bahamas to meet up with them.

The next post you see should be from the Islands if everything goes well.