Monday morning came and we had friends and neighbors come by to wish us farewell. Our longtime friends Michael and Shannon even took their boat “Mazu” out to escort us out to the gate. (I’m pretty sure they just wanted to be sure we didn’t chicken out and just anchor out in Richardson’s Bay for a while….)
Once we were out the gate we “hung a left” and we were officially on our way.
This weather window called for light winds all the way to Long Beach so we were prepared to motor as much as necessary. We were also really wanting to sail if it was possible. Eventually we decided to try even though there really wasn’t a whole lot of wind. We headed upwind and raised the sails.
Unfortunately there wasn’t even enough wind to keep the boat steady. We pitched and rolled in the swell causing the sail to flop back and forth. It was hard on the sail and hard on the boat.
It was hard enough that it actually ripped out a reefing block off the boom. Luckily no one was on deck when it happened and no one got hurt. We were able to get it back under control and quickly decided to take down the main and lick our wounds.
With a bit of investigation it was obvious that the rivets holding it in were all corroded. All the old rivets on the boom and mast would need to be drilled out and replaced.
By now you should have figured out that leaving the dock without doing proper shakedown sails means that you will be finding all your issues while under way. Luckily we are good “figure outers” and we decided we would rather do all this while working our way south towards warmer weather.
Our trip continued to have little mishaps and mysteries. One issue was that the autopilot would shut off unexpectedly. We think this was an overheating issue or a voltage issue so we will keep you posted on this one.
The biggest problem came after we had tried sailing a second time. When we fired up the engine we heard a sound that was like firecrackers coming from the engine room! We immediately shut everything down and went to investigate. Once we had the engine room open we discovered that the belts running the water pump and the 12v alternator had disintegrated. Luckily we had spares and were able to get them replaced and the engine fired up again. Further investigation once we got to Long Beach revealed a small leak on the diesel return line that had been dripping fuel on the belts over time. Unfortunately diesel will destroy rubber belts. We replaced the return line and fixed the root cause of the problem.
See our YouTube Video of our journey below.
Marc and Laura.
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