S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Steamy Valentine's Day

14 Feb 2006

So there we were, motoring through the tricky, five-mile passage from Red Shanks, our anchorage during a frontal passage, back to Sand Dollar Beach, when all of a sudden... no more engine. We quickly dropped the hook (anchored) so we wouldn't be driven back onto the reef we had just passed. I opened the engine hatch and found billowing smoke. Uh-oh.

We waited for the engine to cool, as 291 other boats listened with interest to our VHF transmission to the boats behind us, informing them that we were stopped in the channel. Of course, people were asking us about our adventures for the rest of the day.

Once the engine was cool, a quick check seemed to suggest that we hadn't done any serious damage to the engine. We added more coolant and proceeded. I had thought that the problem was nothing more than a slow leak exacerbated by the heavy load of the alternator. We started out--no steam, no smoke, looking good.

We dropped the hook and were waiting for it to set, when Jill said, "Should the water light be on?"

We stopped the engine and I dropped into the engine room, which was once again filled with steam. The real leak was found, fortunately in a hose that should prove easy to replace.

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Blogger Gregory Burd said...

What's funny to me is that days earlier Dean was commenting to me about how the engine mysteriously needed more and more coolent and he didn't understand why. Lucky for us, we had decided to take the easy and least interesting trip back from Rat Key. There was talk about going to all sorts of places and then racing back under diesel power to George Town just in time to get me on the flight. Had we done that we likely would have a) run into this at a location much futher away from a parts store, b) I'd have missed my flight home, and c) we could have been in a much more dangerous situation given the weather during that period of time. All in all, we were very lucky to have had this problem happen when and where it did.

12:38 PM  

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