06/21/2009: "Delivery Attempt Two"
Delivery attempt two went well.
The previous attempts ended in failure due to motor problems. More specifically it was a fuel problem. The motor ran fine until the fuel got stirred up and then it would drop rpmís and barely keep running. This happened twice and we were towed in both times. The mechanics kept working on it thinking the problem was in the filters. I talked to them several times voicing my concern that it was the fuel pick up that was getting blocked, not clogged filters. They disagreed with me.
Friday the 12 was my last day at school and Cori, Galen, and I drove all night to Atlantic City arriving on Saturday. We then went to work on getting the boat ready; put sails back on, load all our gear, load provisions, a few minor repairs and shop for final provisions. Among the items I shopped for was a length of fuel hose, five feet to be exact. By noon on Sunday Cori was on her way back to North Carolina. Everything was ready so we headed out the entrance and started on our way.
As always, everything went well. We followed the buoys out to the end of the channel and were ready to start south, hopefully Norfolk, but the mouth of the Delaware River in the least. That is when everything stopped going well. Just as we approached the sea buoy the motor dropped rpmís again. The mechanics were wrong; we could not have clogged a filter this soon. We turned into the wind and raised the sails; we were not going back to that marina. We had 10 knot winds on the beam and we were going sailing.
We charted a course of 210 degrees to our first waypoint and were off. Around 9:30 the wind dropped and we were faced with motoring again. We started the engine and headed off but about five minutes later and we lost rpmís again. This told me that something was clogging the fuel intake and when the engine was shut off it cleared until there was suction again. I cleaned out the starboard locker and climbed in to get access to the fuel filter. I removed the hose leading from the tank, connected the hose I brought along, fit a five gallon jerry can into the corner of the locker, and ran the new hose into the spout. Diesel engines also have a fuel return that sends fuel it doesnít need back to the tank so we disconnected that one and fed it to the jerry can also. This gave us a closed loop with a five gallon fuel tank. It was time to test the system. At about this time I started wishing I had tested all of this at the dock. If it didnít work we were going to be stuck out as sea without a motor or wind. We may have to reintroduce ourselves to TowBoat US again.
We started the engine, ran up the rpmís and everything seemed to work. We put her into gear and started motoring again. Everything was running smooth. I had been right; it was the fuel pickup, not the filters.
All went well with the offshore part of the trip and by 8:30 Monday evening we were tied to a dock in Norfolk VA having a cold one.
Next the ICW.