Dead engine, running 8 hours off course, and 20% of the way there

Engine troubles

They say, a catamaran always has a full set of engine spares. Why? By default, we have a second engine, while most monohulls don’t. Often trawlers have a “get-home” engine, but not typically monohull sailboats. So, when we were traveling South to catch the trade winds, in extremely hot tropical sun and No Wind, our STB engine sounded an alarm, and shut down. What was the alarm? Overheating; it was over 212 F versus a typical 180 F.

Don, Josh and I got down to troubleshooting after it cooled enough to touch. The cause? A broken alternator belt, and potentially a bad thermostat, but hark! There was a pile of coolant under the engine. So, while we had a spare thermostat, ultimately, we realized the gaskets were worn and needed replacement. We had one, but not the gasket O ring. Not a problem, says Capt’n Nina. It’s arts and crafts time. With good patterning and fine motor skills, I fashioned one out of high temp gasket material we keep for these situations and voila, no more leak! We topped off the engine coolant levels and reboxed the new thermostat for a different day. Engine belt replacement on Enjoy takes 4 hands though, significant strength and talent, so Don and I have figured out a way to replaced it together.

Thunder and lightning, very very frightening

Calamaties always come in threes, so that’s two. What’s the third? A thunder and lightening storm we ran away from. It took us 8 hours but we avoided all but a bit of rain as you can see from the chart plotter track. And yes, there was a lovely waterspout as well but luckily 50 miles away. We brought 12 5 Gallon tanks of extra diesel fuel, so we took the opportunity to put the in the tanks after the fuel consumed by the thunderstorm evasive tactics!

All told, we’ve gone 783 out of 4,000 Nautical Miles, for an average of 130.5 NM per day. We’ve got 80% of the journey left to go!

Good living

Of course, there was a successful run with the Parasailor I purchased used from a guy in Grenada and had shipped to Florida, fresh sourdough bread, home made yogurt, and red footed boobies to round out the past few days. Don oiled the unrefridgerated eggs with coconut oil to starve them from air/moisture, and my unrefridgerated carrots needed severe pruning and refridgeration time.

I’m still upset about losing Don’s brand new Mexican flag feather lure, but at least we kept the jethead to make a new one. Unfortunately, while they say dolphins are more likely to strike a fishing lure, as winning the Lottery, I fear that I may have been the cause of a dolphin’s unnecessary pain should that be the case. I’ll never know, but remain haunted.

2 thoughts on “Dead engine, running 8 hours off course, and 20% of the way there

  1. We are so proud of you for our bits of cruising lore somewhat influencing some of yourcruising adventures over the many years ww have known you

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