SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Friday, 4 November 2011
Galesville, MD to Lodge Creek, VA
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 12
We departed from Galesville, MD City Docks at 0720 hours and headed out just as the sun was rising… saw an orange ball as it broke over the horizon and from the looks of things that was the last time we were going to see the sun all day. Forecast was for 15-20 knot winds out of the north increasing to 20-25 late afternoon and as we left West River we had about 10 knot north winds… Seas were choppy but nothing to worry about... and we had an awesome boost from the ebb current making 7.5-8.5 knots.

Engine started right up… still a mystery as to why it did not want to start in Chesapeake City… anyway, we saw a few boats during the day… a sport fishing boa passed us first ting in the morning and a larger motor yacht passed mid morning… had a huge ship cross our bow near the Little Choptank River… still can’t get over the size of these ships no matter how many I see. The winds had already reached the 20 knot level by mid morning but were out of the northeast rather than the north so while we were in the narrow portion of the Chesapeake Bay above the Potomac River the waves were not bad… 2-3 foot with an occasional larger one… we were also close to the eastern shore and in it’s lee.

Early afternoon the winds picked up to steady 25 knots and with gusts to 35 knots… waves also increased to 4-5 feet… it was a flowing seas so it was not too bad but starting to get uncomfortable… just below the Patuxent River we started moving away from the eastern shore and the waves started to increase… soon we had 5-7 seas with some larger ones every few minutes… the ride was now definitely not what you enjoy… As we approached the mouth of the Potomac River it got really really rough… had a steady 8 foot wave hitting us on the port quarter… we were doing some surfing and rolling… it was 1500 hour and we had 2 hours +/- to go for our planned destination of Reedsville, VA and it appeared the conditions were worsening… then the Coast Guard came across the VHF with a PAN PAN… weather alert... for the area we were approaching… warning of gale force winds and gusts to 50 knots… all boats should immediately seek safe harbor… so that’s what we did… changed our destination to Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina the MTOA Yacht Club located off the Potomac… it would be well protected from the weather and it’s a great place to stop… :)

We turned toward Point Lookout at the northern side of the mouth of the Potomac River and this eased the ride tremendously… the 10 foot + seas were directly on our stern and we surfed them towards Point Lookout… once around the point we would gradually move in to the lee of the northern shore of the Potomac… and gradually the waves subsided to 3-4 foot as we headed up the Potomac towards Olverson’s. With the turn we slowed as the current was against us but it was nothing horrible.

We left the Potomac and headed up the Yeocomico River that leads to Lodge Creek… at 1700 hours we were safely docked at Olverson’s Lodge Creek Marina. We traveled today for 9 hours and 40 minutes covering 70.03 nautical miles and averaging 7.24 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 504.65 nautical miles
Hours: 84 hours 16 minutes
Avg Spd: 5.99 knots
Days not moving: 2

Posted at 5:52 PM
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
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