With great foresight, if little far sight, we decided to minimize disasters this year by going to one place and staying there. That strategy almost worked (so far). Due to the recently very peripatetic behavior by the magnetic north pole (it is moving rapidly to Siberia, thusly throwing off all magnetic bearings), and my equally questionable visual bearings we ran aground twice before making slip at Bay Creek. Neither Kay, I or the three senior yorkies where surprized at all. (After all that seems the rule, not the exception.) In fact, the the three 4-legged crew members seemed to be smiling at the event (or me). The fourth York, Winston, on his maiden voyage, looked confused, as if he was missing out on a Joke.
Once into the slip, we and our friends the Honeycutts on "Kailani" noticed that the bilge pump was running almost continuously. This is rarely a good sign.The ideal boat is said to
In our case the "Eat 4" has to be slightly modified to add as many as 15 visiting Yorkies, but, otherwise, we conform to the above rules. As a result our "Aft Cabin" has been turned into a portable attic, and like most such repositories it is overly "reposited". Why is this significant? Well there is a device on boats like ours called a "stuffing box" designed to let the propellor shaft out and keep the water from invading. The stuffing box is under the aft cabin, aka "attic" floor.
After removing a ton of supplies Kay opened the floor hatch and reported "A FLOOD". Surely not, thought I. We just had the stuffing box repacked, so maybe a drip, a drop, at worst a thin stream. But alas
though I could not well see it,
more water than issues from the average faucet
upon my questing hand, poured forth.
Fortunately Dennis H., possessing what I don't, visual acuity, strength, and a set of stuffing box wrenches, offered to fix it. And so, with considerable effort, he did.
That, of course, still left the mystery of how a perfectly performing stuffing box could go to complete failure in a short time (and would it happen again).
Fortunately that mystery was not to disturb me long, as I had yet another one to solve. On the way over our temperature gauge became bipolar, jumping between 200 and 150 and back in seconds. I checked everything that could cause that and all was right. I did find something strange, and in the absence of all other causes, I inkle this as the explanation. The pickup tube in the "radiator" overflow reservoir had vanished, disappeared, whatever, it had been there, now it wasn't. So water could go in, but only air out. YIKES.
Fortunately, Old Town Cape Charles has a hardware store like no other. If you do not get lost, you can find about anything. This necessitated a "death defying" ride into the town in one of the marina's motorized golf carts, Kay driving, and me with eye closed. After a great lunch at Venitos we found what I needed at the hardware store.