Date: 17 August 2014. Hot Engine.
Horseshoe Beach are on the west coat of
In the morning after leaving
Three Miles Out
(Thursday's Child) article] off
Pepperfish Keys I continued south along the Gulf coast. The
forecast of one to two foot seas was wrong. It was not even close to
reality. On the
beam I was taking 2-3' seas with occasional swells even larger.
And it's my fault too. Let me explain.
First of all, the winds were
higher than I like (15 mph with higher gusts) and that means in my mind that the seas
will be kicking up ahead of those winds. Whatever is predicted
tends to be a bit larger. That's my experience at least though the
experts may differ.
And prior to this particular
morning, the winds had been below ten miles per hour. During the
night it started blowing harder. Indeed Thursday's Child relocated a
bit* during the night.
*Relocated a bit: dragged anchor.
So, cruising along at four to five
knots, Seaweed was riding nicely. She doesn't roll (much!) though a
few times the boat didn't behave well and we did some serious
rocking. Of course I watch the instrument panel and noted the oil
pressure was right where it belonged (38psi) and temperature was
steady at 160 degrees.
That's normal for my Seaweed.
I know that boats can take far
more than their owners and never felt in any particular danger. Even
though the waves were higher than anticipated and forecast by NOAA
(who can kiss my transom), all was
well aboard Seaweed. That said, the doggone DVDs atop my bookshelf did not stay
put. And I have a lot of DVDs up there! Or, more accurately, had up
there -- until they fell down.
However, about ten minutes after
the above readings of 38psi oil pressure and 160 degrees for the
engine temp, I heard a different sound. No, not a clunk, clank
or bang -- Robert (aka BOB, the Volvo) just sounded "different". A
quick glance down showed me what I did not want to see. The engine
temperature was at 200 degrees.
I immediately shut down the
motor, and looked out the starboard side to make sure water was coming
out of the exhaust. It was, or more accurately: I saw water
exiting the thru-hull. That's not quite the same thing.
Anchoring was the next thing on my
agenda. I needed to be safe, secure and stay in place while
waiting for the engine to cool off. And the winds and waves would
push me aground if I didn't anchor.
I had been following the
three mile line -- that pencil looking mark on the chart shown
There's not much depth to the Gulf of Mexico near the
west coast of Florida.
Opening the engine hatches showed
nothing out of the ordinary and I didn't know what to do -- except
wait for the engine heat to dissipate. So I did.
An hour and a half later I
restarted the engine. Alas, she would not stay lit. Basically, she
was running ragged and stalling with no discernable reason.
In this particular area of
Florida's west coast, I have found Verizon cell phone coverage abysmal.
I knew from previous experience [see the
Expert Advice versus Intuition
(spare parts inventory) article]
that the easiest way to contact TowBoatUS was through an
intermediary: specifically, SeaTow in Horseshoe Beach.
Yes, the SeaTow radio man Captain
Sammy responded to my request for a phone patch to TowBoatUS and
called Captain Dave out to my location. A few hours later Captain
Dave arrived and gave me a tow back into Steinhatchee.
Both are good guys. It's nice to
know the two services work hand-in-hand to help boaters like me. I
appreciate that sort of professionalism.
This is Steinhatchee's Captain Dave from TowBoatUS:
Captain Dave towed me back to Steinhatchee and
helped me anchor safely near Ellison's Fish Camp.
Ellison's has the freshest seafood
found locally. Here's one of the boats arriving with a fresh catch:
So, next begins the process of
troubleshooting this engine. I've got to figure out what's
wrong and how to fix it. Wish me Luck!
Have you spent time in Steinhatchee?
And, what was your favorite part about the place? (As for me, it's
Cherish the Memories of the Night ~
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