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Robin & Jim
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Posted By Robin & Jim

We left Bimini, Bahamas for a 75 nautical mile crossing to Palm Beach, FL - a slow trip with just one engine, but we would get a bit of a speed boost from the Gulf Stream which was running about 3 knots.  We departed early with the sun, enjoying a beautiful dawn sky.

bimini sunrise

It was a nice day to travel on the ocean and the seas were pretty easy.  About two hours out of Bimini we heard a loud engine alarm go off - it was the high temperature alarm.  We monitor the engine gauges closely, but the temp spiked very quickly in just a few moments.  We shut the engine down and Jim found that the vee-belt had broken.  Rather than just drift in the Gulf Stream we decided to fire up the "bad" engine to maintain steering and keep us steady in the waves while Jim was in the very hot engine room replacing the broken belt.  It didn't take him long to make the repair and as soon as we fired up the hot engine and the cooling pump was running again she cooled down to normal quickly.  Crisis averted, we shut the "bad" engine back down and continued our passage.  We've certainly have had a lot of little adventures on this cruise.
At the Lake Worth inlet we turned our cell phones back on, cleared US Customs with a phone call, and anchored for the night with a lot more boats, cars, trains, and lights than we've been accustomed to for a while.
The next day we went back out in the ocean to run up to Ft. Pierce - a perfect glassy day on the water.  We even saw a big sailfish right at the surface, with his tall fin sticking out of the water.  We had a quiet night at anchor, and left very early for the long run up the Indian River to our next destination - Cocoa, FL.  Cocoa has a nice marina convenient to lots of shops and restaurants, and we have good friends who live nearby.  It's a great spot to sit still for a few weeks and make our engine repairs.
About an hour before we got to Cocoa the sky turned ugly and we heard warnings about severe thunderstorms on the radio.  We tracked the storms on radar and managed to avoid most of the squalls, but the chance of lightning is scary when you're all by yourself out on the water.

angry sky

We settled into the marina at Cocoa so we could remove the failing damper plate and get the correct replacement.  Removing the damper required building a lifting frame to support the 200 lb. transmission so it could be slid back out of the way.  Jim built the frame and rigged a block and tackle, he unbolted the shaft and transmission and bell housing, replaced the damper plate, and put it all back together - and he did the work all by himself.  For both engines.  He is amazing!

replacing damper

Here is what a new drive damper plate looks like:

new damper

We're working on other small repairs and little projects while we're sitting still.  It's a big change from snorkeling every day in the beautiful Bahamas, but we're having fun with our friends and we're getting some things accomplished.

 


 
1 Comment(s):
Scott Judy said...
Looks like fun. Next time you try something like that, give me a shout. I work for food and scotch.
August 10, 2012 6:27 PM
 
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