Although sad to leave the place, with this heat wave it was getting too much like mooring in a fat giant’s sweaty armpit. It’s beautiful and a fantastic spot to sit on the hook for an extended period, but it was reading 31degrees in the salon by 10:30. Hardly a breath of air was moving. I gathered up both our bikes, organised the boat and got the hell out of there. I’ve been told that sometimes it gets too hot in the Bay, and they were right. with the humidity it felt like 36 or 37 degrees!
I decided to lope over to Teseum harbour. ALmost as soon as I got out of the Bay and into Saanich inlet I found some nice breezes. All on the nose of course, and besides, I had to recharge my battery bank. I’m quite pleased; after 9 days on the hook we only drew the bank down just past 50%. It’s rated at about 450 AH, but batteries degrade over time, so is suspect it’s actually about 380 Amp hours, or maybe even a bit less. I do know that the alternator was only putting out 80 amps, and wet cells only accept a charge of maximum 25%. But there are also various loses and loads, so who knows. I’m not interested in dragging it all the way down as the last bit of charge shows up as dim lights and so forth.
The problem of course with having a large bank is that you have to run the engine quite awhile to get them topped up. It is probably best to just pull up to a public dock and recharge with shore power. Easier on the alternator.
I did notice a couple of things: One was that the engine was running ten degrees hotter than normal. This had me worried and I figgered I was going to have to ream out the heat exchanger yet again. I also noticed that the engine was lugging a bit. Max RPMs I could get out of her was 2000 RPM, which is about 400 less than normal.
Didn’t take me long to figure it out though – the alternator was really loading down the motor. It’s only rated at 30 hp, so drawing down 80 amps is diverting a lot of energy. it’s also walking wounded I think. since the overheating the motor is harder to start and I believe there’s a loss in power, so it wouldn’t surprise me that the head is warped or the head gasket is blown, leading to a loss in compression.
I need to replace the aft crankshaft bearing seal as it’s leaking, and so maybe I should just pull the motor and take care of these little jobs. One weekend should do it, I think.
I think I might have found the problem with the depth sounder. The symptoms are just like it isn’t getting an echo return, as if the transducer isn’t bonded properly to the hull. I checked the other day and pried it off, and the epoxy seemed fine and well bonded. But what I found was that if I put the transducer in the bilge and keep it immersed in water, it seems to work okay. Transducers must be in water or closely bonded to something that is in water to work. One of the old sounders that used to be aboard even had a vertical tube filled with water that is glassed to the hull. The transducer is immersed in that tube.
I’m wondering if over the years the epoxy that i used to adhere the transducer to the hull is becoming opaque to the sonar signal. I’m going to experiment a bit more with this before tossing the unit out.
So I motored around to Teseum harbour, just north of Sidney. As I was pulling into harbour, the engine started complaining, speeding up and slowing down. It figgers of course, act up just as you are clawing your way between reefs and anchored boats! At least it didn’t act up in Iroquois Passage (see pics). Engine temps had reverted to normal (battery bank all charged up) so that wasn’t it. It didn’t completely stall but I couldn’t get full RPMs anymore. Ten to one I picked up some bad diesel somewhere along the way and I’ve got another filter about to be plugged. I think I should install a vaccuum gauge on the fuel line so I can see what’s going on.
Maybe it’s time to think about getting the fuel tank cleaned. Sounds like $$$ to me, but I don’t like losing my motor when I’m pulling into harbour.
I’m not sure I’m going to want to stay here, either. This place is a zoo; much busier and noisier than Brentwood Bay. But the breeze! it is sooooo cool and refreshing. The ocean is like 5 degrees cooler and the air isn’t stagnant. When the weather changes I might want to go back (I think autumn in Brentwood Bay would be wonderful), but as long as it’s forecast to get even warmer, I’ll go where the sea breezes are.
nad that’s one of the joys of living on the hook: you go where the urge takes you.
I’ve been sleeping poorly ever since I stopped wandering. I finally slept in the AM but when I woke up I was hot and grumpy and not worth much. I debated a variety of jobs I could do, but none of them interested me at all. I hate when I get like that – I can’t decide what to do with myself. There’s a lot of things I should do, but that didn’t help. But once I was under way, all that junk between the ears just seemed to blow away. Partially it was the cool, clean air, but even more so there’s a grounding that happens when sailing; only the present matters and all the abstract worries are replaced by concrete things. It was such a relief to be on the water. These guys that do it for weeks and months on end…I wonder if it gets addicting?
Iroquois Passage: Narrow…
And reefs. I’m glad the engine didn’t conk out in here. It’s no joke; odds always seem that that kind of problem always happens at the worst time. When we had our last boat my engine once died right in the middle of boat passage, with a 3 knot tide going against me. That whole area is lousy with reefs and shoals. It didn’t die 2 minutes later when I would have been safely through; it didn’t die a minute earlier so I could have avoided it. No, I died right in the middle of the @#%$#%$ place.