December 1, 2017
Wow… and then November was gone.
Eight days at anchor sitting amidst loading dock activity, interstate bridges, as well as barge and powerboat traffic seemed like an eternity.
During our first seven days, only one sailboat and a couple of small fishing skiffs had stopped and asked us if we needed assistance. However, it quickly became apparent that, after a week of not moving, we had started attracting the attention of the local authorities. We began getting visits from the marine police and even the Coast Guard. All very friendly; just checking on our situation and status.
Finally, we got a call mid-afternoon Friday from Chesapeake Yachts informing us that the parts had just been delivered… hallelujah!
An hour later I was back in the engine compartment installing our new raw water pump and drive coupling.
Eventually, everything was back together and, thankfully, I had no extra clamps or screws that were not accounted for. After one last check, the moment of truth was again upon us.
We started up the Perkins and hurried to the exhaust port where our hearts sank… no fucking water coming out… son of a bitch! We shut it down… again.
Throwing in the towel, calling the tow boat, and getting to a marina where we could get a mechanic aboard was not the outcome we had hoped for, but it was looking more and more likely.
There had to be a block somewhere restricting flow in the raw water system. If it couldn’t be located by morning, we would have to seriously reassess our situation. So, once again, I commenced with disconnecting hose after hose trying to track down the location of the raw water blockage.
After numerous repetitions of disconnecting a hose, cranking the engine, having water shoot out, reconnecting the hose, and moving to the next junction, it became apparent that water was entering a mysterious shiny silver box and was not coming out… hmmm… this seemed suspicious.
Further investigation seemed to verify that the box had something to do with the already non-functional (and now obsolete) engine-driven portion of the old refrigeration system. Perfect… this meant that it was not important… even arguably undesirable. Thus, disconnecting and bypassing the mystery box (which I proceeded to do) should not theoretically have any adverse impact on our systems.
So I re-routed the hoses going to and coming from the mystery box and, possibly in a subliminal act of semi-desperation, fired up the Perkins before hesitation and doubt had the chance to set in too deeply.
And, damned if water didn’t start coming out of the exhaust port… abso-fucking-lutely!!!!
All in all, we thought things turned out quite well. The cost to us was $557 for parts and eight days stranded alongside a shipping channel with the industrial sounds of a shipping dock and interstate highway that roared like a passing twenty five knot wind. But, in the end, we had managed to sort everything out ourselves, plus estimated we saved nearly two thousand dollars in marina and mechanic costs… two thousand freedom chips still in the cruising kitty!