Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beaufort to Mile Hammock (and Dead Engine)

ICW 205 to 244

After a rough night of swinging on the hook, we were up at 6:30 and decided it was too cold to tour Beaufort more.  We'd visit it on the way home in the Spring.  The tide was rushing in at about 2 kts and the winds were down to 15, but had some hefty gusts.

The weather ensured we stayed in the ICW and did not try to venture offshore.  Our Speed over Ground was 9 knots once we turned south on the ICW.  We were making great time, until...

The starboard engine decided it was time to loose all power.  It was really an odd problem, and seems to go into a forced idle mode intermittently.  I called my brother, who knows a lot more about engines. He ran me through some possible causes, but none found the cure while underway.

We started calling marinas looking for Yamaha services. Not much luck.  the tide was turning and the current was going to be a bear on one engine.  So we decided to go into Dudley's Marina.  They were very nice, but did not work on Yamahas.  They swapped out the Racor filters and looked for water.  No luck.

Bonnie posted about our predicament on Facebook, and our next door neighbor in Annapolis, called to tell us of two good service places near there.  Thanks Brent!!!!!!!!  I called them and one, Gregory Pool Engine Services actually has trucks and makes boat calls.  They sent a great guy named Robert, within an hour.  He did the usual checks - plugs, oil, connections, etc.  While checking, he noticed the engines were installed without any alarms hooked up.  Odd.  Then when showing me a cable end, realized that it was bare and might have slipped to a position to be grounding out.  Apparently the grounding out of the sensor was acting like a dead man switch and putting the engine into a low oil survival mode, even though it had oil.  That was a lucky find!

Robert checked over the engines and gave me a list of things to change and connect, when we got someplace warm and had time.

We were back under way at 3:19pm.  We raced to catch the Oslo Beach Bridge, when we did - and weren't even the last boat through.  We motored down past the Marine Corps Training Center where I spent many a training exercise.  It brought back a lot of memories.

USMC Osprey

It was dark as we arrived at the Mile Hammock anchorage.  We eased through the other 9 boats at anchor and found a good spot in the back near the boat ramp.

We were in best before 10, in a sheltered anchorage listening to the night ops flights of CH-53s going overhead.

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