Ideal Conditions for Visitors

There were issues with Red Ranger. Kind of awkward when you have guests. But sailing conditions were ideal. Ideal.

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Meet Fatjon and Blerta. From the 14th floor. Fatjon was a captain in the Albanian Navy. And an ordinance diver. He knows ships and the sea. Blerta is a biologist.

Tropical Depression Hermine had just blown past, veering south of the Bay and taking the storm offshore. This leaves the air clear, cool, and dry. With the predominant low-pressure is off the coast, wind is out of the N and steady at 10-15, gusting higher.

This is right at the edge of mains’l territory. We opted for double heads’l and mizzen instead of the main. The main might have been appropriate at the end off the day as the wind died down. But right after lunch, it seemed more prudent to reduce sail area.

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Issues? We’ll get to those. First, here’s two of the annual jobs:

CA is checking all the through-deck screws. This means someone else is below deck with a wrench.

Who took the picture?

Yes, this was posed.

Normally, I’m below decks trying to find the nut that’s spinning.

Heh.

Nuts below deck.


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Here’s another annual job. 

Restitching the blown seams on the sail cover.

The zipper on the top of the sail cover is 18′ long. Yes. That’s feet. Not your ordinary trouser zipper of a few inches. Or your hoodie zipper of about two feet. This is an 18′ zipper. A monster.

Most of the stitching had rotted and pulled apart. The sail cover was no longer a “cover” but more of a “wrap” or a “shrug.”  At best, it accented the sail rather than actually keeping the sun off.

Did I mention issues?

The pan under Mr. Lehman had two gallons of fluid. What kind of fluid?

Hm. ✔ Nearly clear. ✔ No floating oil or diesel. ✔ No greenish hue from the anti-freeze. 

Stick a finger in. Tastes like sweat.

Okay. It’s raw water. From the creek (or the Bay.) So. Diagnosis time: where did the raw water come from?

There’s an immense, multi-part cooling system surrounding Mr. Lehman. That’s the source in a broad, vague, and useless observation. Which specific part has failed?

✔ Check all the hoses. Look good. ✔ Check the pump. Dry. 

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Rats.

Okay. Remain calm. Start the engine. Look for water.

It turns out that it’s this thingy. ☞

(Thank you Fatjon for spotting this. I was looking at pumps an hoses.)

The offending thingy is the anti-siphon valve in the exhaust system. It has a flapper valve that lets air in through the top, breaking a siphon. Stopping the boat from sinking.

If the flapper valve has a tiny bit of crud that keeps it open, then, water comes out the top. The top where air is supposed to come in. Raw water runs down the hoses.  It drips on the block. It fills be pan. It leads to corrosion. It’s all bad. 

We have guests. And as have an engine room full of water.

Mystery Water.

Mystery water that I’m tasting to see what it is. And CA tasted it too, just to be sure it tastes like sweat. 

(What are they thinking?)

We have a manual pump. It didn't work.  Sigh.

So I bail the pan under Mr. Lehman. I clean the gook out of the flapper valve.  Things are good. We’re off to sail the Bay!

  © Steven Lott 2017