Wednesday March 22nd, 2017
We left Allen’s Cay on Wednesday morning on a beautiful day. We started out sailing but eventually the wind worked it’s way around to the nose as it does from time to time. Looking back at Mango we saw her sailing on a bejewelled ocean and took a few shots of her.
Everything was going great. We had planned on a few days at Great Sale Cay to ride out the three day cold front that Chris Parker promised for us. Three days of 20 to 30 kts of wind but all from the East. Great Sale is a good place to ride out wind from the East.
We arrived at Great Sale Cay at around 14:00 and were about to drop our hook when the engine sounded different. I shut the engine down and we coasted to our anchor location. It would have been nice to set the anchor with the engine but priorities dictate actions. When I went below and into the engine room it was obvious that something was spraying water around. Quickly I saw the exhaust loop was broken.
Now we had an issue. We don’t carry a spare exhaust loop. You have to draw the line somewhere about what spare parts you carry. The next day was taken by planning our Apollo 13esque repair. We could have sailed back to Marsh Harbour and perhaps we might have got a proper repair. But, Marsh Harbour was 65 nms upwind. The Gulf Stream crossing coming up on Saturday/Sunday looked like good sailing crossing days. My goal was to patch up the exhaust enough to allow us to maneuver and dock if required.
My first jerry rig was structurally sound but did not stop the exhaust from leaking enough to use the engine. So, I took it all apart again and came up with plan B. This fix reduced the exhaust leak enough that the engine room fan could keep the bilges relatively clear. The weak link in the repair was the foil tape. I was fairly sure the foil would be able to take the heat. The adhesive on the tape was my worry. We ran the engine for about 30 minutes and set the anchor gently. I drew a red line at about 1300 rpm as our max for this repair.
The rest of the day we sat in beautiful weather waiting for the cold front to arrive.