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Monday, 14 November 2011
Georgetown, SC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 22
Not moving today... sitting in Georgetown, SC due to the shaft coupling issue that we discovered yesterday... update on this issue is... the company that makes the couplings makes them per order... so you place and order they make and ship it... soonest one will be available to ship will be Thursday the 17th... hopefully it can be shipped overnight to our location so it will arrive to us on Friday and repaired on Saturday and be back underway on Sunday... kills our goals of making it back to Florida for Thanksgiving but it is what it is.

Option 2... continue ahead on one engine... slower and tougher to maneuver the boat but we would be making progress... still would not make it back to Florida by Thanksgiving as it would take us longer due to the slower speed and traveling with one engine does pose a safety issue... a lot of places ahead of that have some strong currents... Georgia has water depth issues and take the chance of damaging our one good engine's running gear... actually the port engine has a bad wheel (propeller) from the steel rebar that we picked up in the Delaware Bay... weighing al of these issues makes option 2 not a real good choice.

So, for now we are sitting in Georgetown. SC till we can get the new coupling and installed.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 946.11 nautical miles
Hours: 151 hours 26 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.25 knots
Days not moving: 4
Posted at 5:43 PM
Sunday, 13 November 2011
Bucksport, SC to Georgetown, SC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 21
We departed from Bucksport Marina at 0845 hours and headed south on the Waccamaw River... the current was against us and we were only able to make 4.9 to 5.2 knots... not bad since we only planned to go to Georgetown, SC today and the Waccamaw River is awesome! It was glass smooth and the trees lining each bank were mirrored in the water... absolutely gorgeous!

Very little to boat traffic... did see a couple of boats pass us heading south while we were still at the docks.

As we departed I had to turn the boat 180 degrees as we had docked facing north due to the current... I put the starboard engines in gear and a heard a tapping noise for maybe 10 seconds and then it stopped... assumed a branch had gotten tangle in the propeller during the night with the current... there was a lot of debris floating in the river.

We arrived in Georgetown, SC and docked as the Georgetown Public Docks... while docking I noticed that I was not getting any help from the starboard engine... as if it was not even in gear... made it the dock ok but when I was helping Susan with the stern lines I noticed that there was no prop wash coming from the starboard engine... after getting fully secured to the dock I went to the engine room to check things out... I found that the shaft would spin freely inside the coupling... well actually there are two parts to the shaft coupling... a smaller portion that the shaft connects to and then a larger diameter section that the transmission connects to... it is a Federal Flex Coupling... the large diameter section is mounted to the smaller section with four bolts that are rubber shock mounted... the design is suppose to absorb vibration and also allow for slight misalignment of the shaft to the engine... the four bolts had evidently vibrated loose and with the centrifugal force of the coupling spinning had backed themselves totally out of the smaller section... this was allowing the two sections to spin freely of each other... no connection... so, the noise I had heard for a few seconds as we left the dock... was actually the last bolt or bolts coming loose and spinning around the small section of the coupling... if you want to see the construction of this coupling you can view it at...

http://www.gpcprop.com/pdf07/Federal%20Flexible%20Couplings.pdf

The coupling is what I would call brand new... it was installed as "new" November of 2010... just a year ago... so will call the yard in the morning and check on any kind of warranty... the bolts that came loose are a factory assembly... should be covered by some type of warranty I would think... ???

Thinking about today's speed and what happened with the coupling... we were probably going so slow because we were basically running on one engine all day... wish I had a speed through the water indicator... it would of let me know... :(

Anyway, we were secure to the docks at 1330 hours... we traveled today for 4 hours and 45 minutes covering 24.55 nautical miles and averaging 5.17 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 946.11 nautical miles
Hours: 151 hours 26 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.25 knots
Days not moving: 3
Posted at 2:56 PM
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Southport, NC to Bucksport, NC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 20
We departed from Southport, NC at 0645 hours and continued south on the ICW... it was a chilly 32 degrees. The winds were mild and the sun was coming up... a mist/fog was rising off the water... looked to be a great day. We would have a mix of current with and against us as we passed each inlet along our route... our slowest speed during the day was 5.0 knots and highest speed was 8.6 knots. We had several bridges to deal with but all opened on request so timing was not an issue today.

At approximately 1130 hours we stopped in Little River, SC... Cricket Cove marina to take on some diesel fuel... 500 gallons @ $3.55 per gallon... ouch! But that was the lowest price we had seen in several days. It was slow pump and it took almost an hour to put in 500 gallons departing at 1218 hours and continuing south on the ICW.

One area just ahead of us is called the "Rock Pile" and named this due to the edges of the channel are lined with large rock structures... stray out of the channel and you hit rocks. As long as you stay n the center of the channel you're fine... but you heard many boats hailing the VHF that they were entering the Rock Pile and asking about opposing traffic... passing another boat or having another boat approach you is what you do not want and especially something large like commercial traffic... tug and barges frequent this area.

We were 2 miles from the beginning of the Rock Pile when we heard a vessel on the VHF... "I've gone aground on the rocks just past marker 17... I'm taking on water..." of course the Coast Guard hails them and plays the twenty questions game with them... SeaTow and TowBoatUS are also communicating with the boat... it was a 38 foot sailing catamaran and one of his hulls was taking on water and he reported it was already above the floor in the cabin... it was not long before both TowBoatUS and SeaTow zipped past us to assist the boat. We could see the sailboat from the time they made the first VHF call... we were just under 2 miles from them. When we passed by them TowBoatUS and SeaTow were working together to get pumps set up to dewater the boat... was the first time I have seen the competing companies working together... normally they are fighting to see who should do the job... it was refreshing to witness this.

We continued on and soon we were passing Barefoot landing... we had the current on our nose fairly heavy from the time we left the marina from fueling... making about 5.5 knots... :( Our destination for the evening was Bucksport Marina in Bucksport, NC... ETA was approximately 1730 hours... current holding us back... :(

We arrived to Bucksport right on schedule and were safely docked at 1730 hours. Bucksport has been closed the last few times we have passed it and assumed it would be closed this trip also... to our surprise they were no longer closed and speaking with the new owner they will be officially fully open in a week... the marina has been totally renovated and the restaurant also has had a face lift... was told about a lot of exciting things they had planned... we will plan Bucksport as a future stopping point.
We traveled today for 9 hours and 55 minutes covering 59.9 nautical miles and averaging 6.04 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 921.56 nautical miles
Hours: 146 hours 41 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.28 knots
Days not moving: 3
Posted at 8:15 PM
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