Hampton to Eleuthera Part 3

abacos eleuthera 002
Julie hoisting the Bahamian courtesy flag

We are out of the Gulf Stream now and the sailing is going well. We have a stern quartering breeze and the motor is going to keep up our pace because the weather is filling in behind us. The boat works well and the crew is able to keep up with her needs.

Everything is going great until…we are in the cockpit playing kings cribbage, a board game similar to scrabble only everything has to make cribbage connections. Julie can count the score without her fingers and without her mouth moving. I however have some kind of a block and it takes me too long to count and Julie says things like well that was good by why didn’t you do this… So Roma I feel your pain.

I will find a game when I go back to my life and I will hone my skills and score counting and I will get good at that game.

Anyway, it was sunny winds 10 knots +/- and life was good. It was nearly 2 and time for the call to Chris Parker the weather guy. All he said to Dawson was look behind you!! We saw it coming and we ditched the game and got the boat ready to go. Wind up, Sea up and with the new forecast no way to land on Abacos. We had to make a new plan that skipped Abacos and took us to Eleuthera. The weather freshened and we had a ride to Eleuthera. Our new port was Spanish Wells.

When we prepared to clean the boat up for motoring into Eleuthera and our anchorage at Royal Island the engine quit when it was throttled back. We jumped to the conclusion that tank 1 was empty and switched to tank 2. The engine would not start. We switched back to tank 1 and the engine ran but without enthusiasm and it required continuous throttling up and down to keep it going. Any of you who have been to Royal  will know how narrow the entrance is and how it is not a place to have an iffy engine. But we made it. The stout boat got us into harbour safely.

We vowed to leave the issues until the next morning and enjoyed the remainder of the day prior to crashing for an extended night of sleep. I slept on deck and was eaten alive by bugs.

In the morning we worked on the engine issues. The constant gyrations of the vessel had sloshed both fuel tanks constantly for 6 days. Any crud or junk in the tanks would be in suspension and would move to the filters.  The filter plumbing does not meet my expectations because the two filters are specific to each tank. So if one tank is empty you have no way to switch filters. This is a relatively easy fix for Dawson and Julie to get done.

The second issue was getting fuel from tank 2. It turns out that the tank service valve for the full fuel tank is under the sink cupboard and pots and pans live there too. It seems an errant pot or pan may have bumped the ball valve arm and closed off the fuel. Once opened the fuel flowed.

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