Day thirty six
Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
66Trip End Jun 10, 2008
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Where I stayed
Sea Hag Marina
We got up at 5 a.m., left at 6 and just outside the Steinhatchee channel, Tom asked Beverly for his sunglasses. I offered to go down to get them. As I entered the cabin I smelled a different odor. I looked around, and when I couldn't see anything amiss, raised the floorboard to look at the engine room. At that point, billows of smoke came pouring out. Bev and I screamed to Tom and told him to stop the engine. We grabbed the nearby fire extinguisher, but before we had a chance to use it, realized that what we were seeing wasn't necessarily smoke from a fire, but steam and the smoke from the charring of the exhaust manifold
We diagnosed the issue for 45 minutes before realizing we had no choice but to go back. Luckily, I had been advised to buy the Boat U.S. unlimited towing and 45 minutes later we were towed back to, yup, you guessed it the Sea Hag (although some (Bruce) have called it the Sea Sag and others the Sea Hog...They were nice enough to accomodate us once again despite being full. The Towboat Captain, Bill, did a superb job of getting us in without even touching our boat.
After looking at the issue, we determined the cause was, once again, the problematic hot water heater. The hot water heater in this boat is connected to the engine so that one may have hot water while under way. Well, it decided to leak and this time took the antifreeze from the manifold. Thus, while the manifold almost burned up, the engine temp showed normal. Had we not discovered the issue when we did, the entire engine would have fried and we probably would have had a big fire in the engine room...very dangerous. What a mess! The boat now has a new odor "eau de smoke"...no telling how long before it dissipates. My brand new white engine now has a black manifold. Needless to say, there was no getting in touch with Cummings Engine or any mechanics today due to the holiday, so we were pretty much on our own
Tom worked on the engine all day while Bev and I made numerous trips on the zippy purple golf cart to both the marina supply room and the only store outside of the grocery store in Steinhatchee...good old Ace Hardware. Tom thinks it might be fixed at least enough to take us to a larger city with a boatyard, but we will find out tomorrow. If that's the case, we may try to leave on Memorial Day. Otherwise, we will have to order the new manifold part on Tues for Wed delivery.
Did I tell you how much I love this place and how nice the people are? I think I might toss a line in the water tomorrow and see if I can catch one of the many fish. The store has the nicest selection of bait ranging from names like Gulp, slurp, love's lures, blurp, greedy gut, terror eyed and salt water assassin. Surely one of those will catch me "the big one"
We did find a new pizza place to have dinner and it was pretty decent. We are desperate to find transportation so Beverly googled "transportation Steinhatchee" in an effort to find us any wheels to rent. She spoke to a really nice man who was in Georgia and said his business was not car transportation at all. He was a broker who contracted carriers to carry loads and by the time she was done using her charm on him, he felt sorry for us and offered to take us to run errands tomorrow when he returns to Steinhatchee....now that's what I call neighborly.
Tomorrow is the big test...wish us luck...did I tell you again, how much I love this place?