Saturday, June 23, 2012

North on the ICW - Day 1

[Kyle]After Maryanne had left for the airport, I backed out of the slip, turned Begonia within her own length with one engine in forward and the other in reverse and left for the long solo trip to the Chesapeake. Once I had run both engines long enough to get them completely warmed up and working under a load for a bit, I brought the throttle back slowly on the port engine, then shut it down. Once it stopped, I put the port transmission in gear to feather the blades on our windmilling propeller, stopping them in a low drag position. {Maryanne: for those of you not in the know, you can probably tell by now that Kyle is very pleased with his new props}

I had installed feathering propellers in Ft. Lauderdale to replace the worn fixed ones that came with the boat. The boat now has stronger forward and reverse and has less drag when an engine is not being used. Win, win, win. Under a single engine, the boat is still very controllable and burns half the fuel at 80% the speed as under both engines, although sailing is generally even faster still.

The first day was pretty dull, in that there was little change to the scenery. This part of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) is miles upon miles of marshland forming a thin line of green along the perfectly flat horizon. I had a long way to go and seemed to be fighting a foul current almost the whole day. I was worried I wasn’t going to make it to my intended anchorage in the Winyah River by nightfall, but a couple of hours before dark, the current finally shifted and with some help from the sails, I just made it.

I put the anchor down, but it would not hold. I tried a couple of other spots. Nothing. I finally got it to dig in in a completely different part of the river after it was completely dark. I was frustrated because I had many long days planned and even though it was late, I still had to be underway at first light the next day.

As I was tidying up and preparing for the next day, I found that the starboard engine had some kind of small fuel leak that I had to clean up. I couldn’t figure out the source, so I decided to keep monitoring it (and keep cleaning up), in the hopes that the source would soon make itself known.

No comments: