Leg 2: Diesel Dilema
This leg was from Morro Bay, California to...well we didn't have much choice...Monterey. That's OK, because Monterey is a great place. We originally planned, as in the previous leg, to make San Francisco Bay. It wasn't to be!!!
The crew: Brave Miguel...back for a second helping, Tony the Tiger...just for fun (fooled him good), and Steady Steve...cause he's a sailor, and me...the skipper!
Now if you remember from the first leg, we lost the mainsail. In Morro Bay, it had to be chopped out of the main mast (it's a main roller furling system) with a utility knife as it was jammed in their pretty tight. Well, I ordered the new sail which never quite made it by departure time. (It was stuck in Alaska at customs...computers down...on it's way from Hong Kong!!!) That minor detail did not daunt us, for we had a backup plan in place. We rigged the storm tri-sail to the mast, complimented by the staysail and a yankee jib. We got a few strange looks as we sailed out of Morro Bay...wonder why??? Turns out we didn't need any sails...NO WIND...shit!
Not to bother...we have an engine ya know! A big one! A Perkins 130...VROOM! VROOM! SWOOSH! So here we are trundelling up the coast for what seemed like a long time.
I have two diesel tanks, each 75 US Gallons. One goes dry, the other one's full. There's a manual procedure for switching tanks over, after the engine has suffered fuel starvation. The fuel pump basically starts sucking air. This sucks!!! One (I) must start ridding the fuel system of air, affectionately known as "BLEEDING THE SYSTEM". Here's the procedure:
Of course if you switched the tanks before the engine croaked, you would probably skip a couple of beats and continue along. I haven't experienced this yet, but I am experienced on the above procedure. However, I'm having tank tenders installed to easily monitior the state of all my tanks. Very nice!!! Installation is proceeding as of the time of this writing.
OK, so back on track, pointed to our intended destination...for about an hour...in the vicinity of Carmel...about 10-15 miles southwest.
Engine starts vibrating more than usual,
Excessive smoke coming out of exhaust...then smooth running engine...kinda peeeerrrrrring...the result of removing load from engine, as in going into neutral...except you're in gear. HHHMMM!!!
The so called "LOAD" happens to be the shaft and propeller. GEE! Now we're F@$!ed!!!
Remember...NO WIND...and now... NO PROPELLER! Take approproiate actions to deal with this.
Now seasickness usually set in when boat is bopping up and down with the ~~~~~swells for an extended...in our case, 22 hours...period of time! I, of course, am immune to this (so far) while the rest of my crew suffered various degrees of nausea. I rebuilt the forward head with occasional disgusted stares from the crew in the cockpit.
WIND IS REALLY WHAT WE NEED NOW!!!
Lets give it til 2pm...2pm comes and goes...winds gotta start blowing at about that time...let's wait till 3pm...HHHMMM!!!...3:30 then...YYYYEEEESSSS!!!
Sailed into Monterey, anchored, half of crew escaped to shore, 2 left. Anchors holding...dinner!
Tow and haul-out next morning!
Weekanahalf later...new sail arrives (remember!)...$3.2K...engine and prop remarried...engine realligned and tuned up...$2.4K
End of diesel dilemma!!!