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Thursday, 3 November 2011
Chesapeake City, MD to Galesville, MD
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 11
We woke before sunrise to get an early start so that we would have the current in our favor exiting the C&D Canal. Susan walked Beecha and got things ready to leave... get the engines started so they can warm up... GLITCH IN OUR PLANS!
The starboard engine (the one with the good propeller) would not start... UGH! Worked with it for about an hour checking everything... engine would turn over but would not start. We were not going to spend another day in Chesapeake City... it's nice but after two nights we were ready to leave... off on one engine we went... departing at 0815 hours. With boost from the current we were able to make between 6.5 and 7.0 knots... but once we exited the canal we started to get a little current against us... soon we had slowed to 6 knots.

At about 1015 hours and decided to try and start the starboard engine again... earlier trying to start it the starter got really hot so I gave it a couple of hours to cool down... I turned the key and she fired right up... have no idea what the problem was but it was now running and we were under power with both engines... dropped her in gear and brought her up to rpm and we increased speed to 6.6 knots... surprising how little the second engine increased the speed... :)

The starboard engine is the one we had discovered a raw water leak in Chesapeake City... coming out from behind the heat exchanger at the rear of the engine... checking the engine after it started and 30 minute checks all day long I did no see a single drop of water leaking out... another mystery with this engine.

The port engine that has the damaged wheel (propeller) from the rebar did not exhibit any vibration whatsoever and underway it does not seem to be affecting the cruising speed... I sure some efficiency has been lost but nothing noticeable.

Boat traffic today was a little heavier... we passed maybe 6 sail boats during the day and a 65' Fleming passed us going north... Going under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge we passed 5 or six ships at anchor waiting to go into port... those things are massive!!!

Our destination for the day was Galesville, MD on the western shore of the Chesapeake... it is on the West River. We arrived and docked safely at the City Docks at approximately 1715 hours.

Fingers crossed that the engine starts in the morning.

We traveled today for 9 hours covering 56.79 nautical miles and averaging 6.31 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 434.62 nautical miles
Hours: 74 hours 36 minutes
Avg Spd: 5.82 knots
Days not moving: 2

Posted at 7:17 PM
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Chesapeake City, MD
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 10
We did not leave Chesapeake City today... late yesterday we discovered a leak on the starboard engine... salt water was leaking from behind the heat exchanger... a real slow leak but non the less a leak... have a damaged port wheel (propeller) from the rebar that wrapped around it. Anyway. we decided to take a layover day and figure out what we wanted to do.

Conclusion was to proceed on south tomorrow... the leak is slow and I really do not want to tackle a repair when we are at a remote location... need to have parts source readily available... we are accustomed to having a dry bilge so we will deal with water in the bilge for now.

The wheel damage does not seem to affect things much... of course it will affect the efficiency slightly... we may loose a little speed... instead of getting 7.5 knots at 2750 rpm.. we might only get 7.3 knots... at the dock there is absolutely no vibration that I observed. If we get underway and discover that my assumptions are incorrect then we will deal with swapping out the wheels then.


Trip totals to date:

Distance: 377.83 nautical miles
Hours: 65 hours 36 minutes
Avg Spd: 5.75 knots
Days not moving: 2
Posted at 6:19 PM
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Greenwich, NJ to Chesapeake City, MD
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 9
We departed from Greenwich, NJ before sunrise at 0640 hours and headed out of Cohansey River with a current giving us a boost... we enjoyed while we could because soon we would heading out in to Delaware Bay and have a 1.5 knots current against us... :(

Just outside of Cohansey River we hit a crab pot with the starboard wheel... a quick thud and luckily nothing stayed on the wheel... bits and pieces of what was the float remained in our wake. But we did have the current on our nose slowing us down to 5-5.5 knots.. slow going... winds were as predicted blowing out of the NNE at 15-20 knots and it was causing a short 1-2 foot chop... just making noise on the hull... it was not affecting our ride at all... and it was bright and SUNNY!!! WE had gone to sleep thinking we would be having rain to deal with so the sun out was awesome!

Not much ship or boat traffic at all... the night before coming up from Cape May. NJ there were 5 or 6 ships running in the ship channel... communicating their approaches and passes on the VHF radio... today the radio was silent for the most part.

After we made the turn to the north adjacent to the nuclear plant we started noticing a lot of large debris in the water... mostly braches and chunks of trees... enough we had to keep turning to avoid them... just before the C&D Canal the debris got really bad... just in front of was a large patch of branches and other debris...suddenly, 100 feet in front of the boat a large tree bobbed to the surface... it was maybe 20 feet long and 8-12 inches in diameter... it was bobbing from submerged to on the surface... there was not enough time to try and swerve and avoid it... I took the engines out of forward and dropped them into reverse to slow us down as much as possible before we hit the tree... reversing of the engines slowed us quickly with the help of the strong current on our nose and we hit the tree just as we stopped moving... I continued to back down slowly and back away from the tree. Suddenly, BAM, BAM, BAM, BAM... a loud banging from the wheels... we had picked something up in the debris field... I took the engines out of gear and we drifted with the current until we were well clear of the tree and the debris field... I put the starboard engine in gear... no noise... put the starboard engine in gear... BAM, BAM, BAM... a loud banging on the hull... SIGH.

I continued forward on one engine and headed toward the mouth of the C&D Canal just an 1/8 of a mile in front of us... 3 knots.... UGH! I looked out at the water we were traveling in... it was a lovely shade of brown and appeared more like coffee than water... plus the current was ripping at about 2 knots now... I did not want to dive under the boat in these conditions... IDEA!!!! let's call TowBoatUS and maybe they can dive and clear the wheel or at least tow us to a dock where I could dive safely.

The closest towboat was at Chesapeake City and informed us that they would be to us with in the hour... 1115 hours and we continued slowly east across the C&D Canal using only the starboard engine... 3 knots is really really slow!

1200 hours I could see TowBoatUS approaching us from the east... he hailed us on the VHF and let us know he would be right there... he came alongside... I asked do you dive to clear props? He replied no but I can get a diver to come out to where ever he towed us... I asked how much... he said diver is $150 an hour with a 2 hour minimum... OK... just tow us to Chesapeake City and I'll dive under the boat myself... secured the towline and off we went. According to my chartplotter the would take us about 2 hours arriving around 1400 hours. I killed the engines and saved some fuel!!!

Halfway, through the tow the towboat hailed me... if you're wondering why we slowed down it's because I've lost one engine... I'll keep trying to get it started but wanted to let you know what was going on... I acknowledged and we continued on... Susan had just made us lunch so we enjoyed the ride and ate our lunch.

It was not long before the towboat hailed me again and said he got the engine started and all was okay... something to do with switching fuel tanks but all was good now... :)

We arrived at Chesapeake City just at 1400 hours and the towboat came alongside to be our port engine as we docked... the floating face docks were wide open with the exception of one 20 foot sailboat that we slipped right behind. 1420 hours and we secure to the dock... :)

Now it was time to go for a swim... water conditions had not changed.. coffee colored and maybe 1 inch of visibility... but no current to deal with. I pulled the Hookah rig and my dive gear from the lazarette... jumped into the water... BRRRRRRRR! it was cold!!! dove under the boat and went to port wheel... I found 10-20 of poly line and attached to it was a piece of steel rebar... it was maybe 6 feet long... at least that was how long it was before it wrapped around the shaft two times like a pretzel. I managed to wrestle it free untwisting the wraps... took me about 45 minutes. It damaged two blades of the wheel and I will have to swap it out fro one of the spares we have... but I think I will hire a diver to do that job... :)

Jumped out of the water took a HOT shower to warm up and noticed that somehow I had injured my left wrist... the top of it is swelled up with a big knot... will ice it and see how it does... :)


We traveled today for 7 hours and 40 minutes covering 33.38 nautical miles and averaging 4.35 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 377.83 nautical miles
Hours: 65 hours 36 minutes
Avg Spd: 5.75 knots
Days not moving: 1
Posted at 4:41 PM
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