Cruising is like having bipolar disorder. There are high highs and low lows, with very few flat, calm in between days. I’m ready for some flat, calm days.
Our ride from Devils Hoffman to Nassau was miserably roly with a big swell on the hip, and the boat wanted to round up every time. This meant that it was physically exhausting keeping the boat on course. Adding to that, the engine started overheating for some reason and we had to keep the rpms at around 1500. Fortunately, we had wind behind us so we didn’t lose any speed. We anchored just outside of Nassau Harbor in calm waters and it only took 5 minutes before we were speaking to each other again.
The next day we headed for Norman’s Cay, and while it wasn’t as roly, a huge rainstorm pounded us and I discovered more leaks where the ports weren’t screwed shut tightly enough. With each new river of water I found, I made an announcement to George, much to his great joy. With the wind on the nose at the end and the engine only at 1500 rpms, we made no more than 3 knots adding another 2 hours onto our wet, miserable ride.
To top everything off, we ran the Frankenmaker to fill our water tank, but the hose was in the diesel tank. Fortunately, (and there is a bright side), there were only 2 gallons of diesel fuel left in our “day tank” so he only had to siphon out 4 gallons of liquid into an old jerry jug. An hour later, we were back where we had started and we filled the water tanks. Re-routing the water fill tank was on our to-do list last summer, but when the engine rebuild took over everything else, the list got scrapped. It’s back at the top of next summer’s to-do list.
Today we were up at dawn ready to tackle our chores – George with the engine and me with the laundry.
George is very methodical when it comes to troubleshooting systems rather than trying to guess what’s wrong. He starts at one end of the system and works his way to the other end until he finds the problem(s). In this case, he found several issues that together caused our Perkins to overheat.
Sitting in a Freeport marina for a week hooked up to shore power and not running the engine let growth accumulate in the heat exchanger. There was also a partially clogged sea strainer, which looked fine from the outside, but the inside was 1/3 full of sea grass. He also found a melted gasket on the heat exchanger. No idea what happened there, but he made a new gasket for it. Even at idle speed, the engine is now running cooler.
We were done by noon and finally got off the boat for a well-deserved treat. We dinghied into shore and had a fabulous lunch at MacDuff’s. I think it was fabulous. The rum punch was definitely fabulous. We liked it so much we went back for dinner.
After lunch, George took off in the dinghy with his spear and I took off in my kayak. He speared a couple of lobsters and I paddled away most of the stress from the past few days.
Back when Norman’s Cay was the drug running capital of the world, the warehouse at the end of the runway (MacDuff’s is next to the runway) was refrigerated to store cocaine. As recently as 2 years ago, the DEA, in a Black Hawk helicopter, did a slow pass down the runway slinging gravel and sand into the restaurant, just like the wild west. Cowboy mentality.
So far we’re averaging 1 great day for every 4 miserable days. Those don’t sound like very good odds to me. I’d much rather have a great day without needing a rum punch at the end. This is getting old and my soul is getting restless.