Sea Trial Episode Two
Today we finished up rerouting the fuel return to the fuel tanks. Also, Dave gave us a ride to the warehouse to get the things we had stored there since June, including most of our food, pots and pans, and the dinghy. Let me tell you, pumping this dinghy up was a workout!
By 11 AM all things were ready again, Bill came over, and we started back down the river on the way out to Biscayne Bay. As you can see, we didn’t get far…
We had barely motored through the 22nd Avenue bridge when Dave hollered up from the engine that it was spewing coolant into the bilge.
This time it was from a different spot than previous leaks. It turns out there are two petcocks to drain the coolant, one on each side of the engine. The workers had tightened one, but the other was just barely on. By this point the engine was too hot to reach down under it to try to tighten it while underway.
We immediately turned around, back through the bridge, and back up the river, all the while Dave was pouring our drinking water into the engine trying to keep it cool.
It wasn’t too long back at the dock before they fixed the problem and added fresh coolant to the engine. We ran the engine under about 70% load for a half-hour with the engine in gear. In the past, they had tested the engine in neutral, but without a load, the problems weren’t manifesting. It was an interesting experience to be chained to the dock while trying our best to pull it down the river!
After an under-load test of the engine, the guys also snugged up the engine mount bolts and double checked other things to be sure all was as safe as it could be. They also double-checked the stuffing box nuts, but yesterday’s leak hadn’t returned, so all good.
By this time it was 2 PM and apparently too late to try taking Strider down the river again. There are seven bridges between here and the bay. These bridges shut down between 4:30-6:00 PM, and there was fear of not getting back up the river before dark.
So, we spent the remainder of the day organizing all the stuff we had brought from storage, putting food away and trying to get everything ready for what we are assuming will be a successful sea trial in the morning.
I also had to start setting up the “house internet,” hooking up a travel router, and beginning to network the various devices that can talk to each other. This way, wherever we happen to be, so long as the router is on the internet, everything else also will be. It can use a variety of sources, including cable, WiFi, phone tether, etc.
The plan at this point is to head out for Sea Trial Episode 3 as soon as the bridges open at 9 AM.
If these are successful, We hope to leave the guys at some dock on the Bay and head immediately out to sea.
Wish us luck!