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Monday, March 18, 2013

3-18-13, Engine Trouble!

Relaxing at Holiday Harbor - a great stop!

This morning I was awake at 4:20 and couldn’t go back to sleep. I got up about 5:00 and took care of the porta-pottie and checked the weather on the computer. The radar didn’t look too bad, but the forecast was for scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon and I didn’t want have to cross Santa Rosa Sound or Pensacola Bay in a storm. I made the decision to leave at daylight and get back to the protected, narrow section of the ICW at Perdido Key before any afternoon storms. We pulled out of the Boat Marina as soon as it was light enough to see. The winds were mild and a strong current was running West with us, and we made 7 mph for the first hour or so. The further West we went, the better the weather looked, so about lunchtime we decided to stop on the National Seashore beach for a break. I found a good spot on the chart where there were pavilions and a bathhouse. I nosed the tug up against the sandy beach and shut off the engine. I went to the bow and hooked the anchor up to set in on shore when the boat drifted back off the beach. When Glenda tried to restart the motor to pull us back to the beach, the motor wouldn’t start. I climbed back into the cab and checked to make sure the shifter was in neutral and the kill switch was plugged in. No use – the engine wouldn’t start. We were now drifting parallel to the shore about 50 feet from the beach, so I set out the anchor to stop us. I checked what I could on the engine without locating what the problem was. The emergency starting rope allowed me to get it cranked again, but now the gauges weren’t working. We made it to Holiday Harbor Marina without any further problems, and I left the engine running until we were tied up in our slip for the night.

After supper at the Sunset Grill (fantastic grilled shrimp) Glenda and Abby took a walk while I looked at the engine again. After checking the fuses for the 3rd time, I saw what looked like a small black mark on the base of one of the filaments. I had checked these twice already and they looked fine. The fuse didn’t look blown, but my spare did not have that black mark, so I swapped them and the gauges lit up and the engine cranked like new!

The owner of the Marina gave me another spare fuse to have in case it blew again. After the supper, getting the motor problem solved, and taking a hot shower, I feel like a new man!
View to the West from Holiday Harbor's Pier.

Knot-So-Fast at Holiday Harbor


Glenda says:

Tom was up before dawn this morning ready to go.  He insisted that the weather was calling for thunderstorms in the evening so we had to be back to Perdido before too late.  So despite the fact that he had promised to be more leisurely on this trip we were once again going to spend another long day tugging along rather than stopping to see any sites.  I did not complain.  I was very good.  He took Daisy for her morning walk, we let Abby sleep and headed back west.  The weather was nicer today than it was on Sunday but the wind was kicking up pretty good.  I did suggest while were passing National Seashore that we take a few minutes to look around.  Tom agreed and we headed to the shore.  We almost got anchored, when Tom said “turn the engine back on for just a minute”, but the engine would not come on.  No one panicked and 20 minutes later the hero of our story had hand cranked the engine with the starter rope.  Of course we never made it to shore and of course now we have to get to our permanent lodging before we can shut off the engine again since we have not figured out what is wrong.  So another long day on the water but we did get to see more dolphin.  When we got to Holiday Harbor Marina all was well.  The staff was wonderful, the Sunset Grille was tasty and fun, showers were hot and clean and we got a brief glimpse of the Blue Angels practicing.  Abby is already saying she wants to stay another night. 

Abby says:
Apparently the Heron can't read.

Today was another awesome day on the boat! On this trip we mostly travel in bays, so there’s not much to see, but this morning I got to sleep to 7:30. I know this doesn’t seem like sleeping in, but when you’re on a boat this is a long time! Anyway, I slept well and “long”. This morning I woke up to Papa saying there were dolphins. I got up, and sure enough there were dolphins. We watched them until they weren’t playing anymore. Later I took a nap with Daisy, and woke up to Papa telling me to get my flip-flops, and his too. When I asked “why”, G.G. said because we were stopping at a beach. I got excited, and stood up. Papa steered the boat right up on the shore. He hurried to the bow of the boat to throw the anchor off the boat. We drifted away fast, so G.G. had to nose the boat back on the shore, but the boat wouldn’t crank. We were there a good 15 minutes. I know that God knows best, and I kind of figured that the best for us would be that we made it to the marina on time. I was about positive that the motor would soon crank, and I was right. Soon we were back on our way. At the marina, we ate at their restaurant. We sat outside, and a great blue heron was looking at me maybe 5 feet away!!!!!!! (Papa said. I’m not exaggerating.) After dinner G.G., Daisy, and I all took a walk. We had fun. Can’t wait ‘till tomorrowJ

Daisy says:

Today I didn’t do much. Well I ate more than I normally do. Then we took a long walk and I wanted to go farther, but we had to turn around. It was a little cold today, now I’m warm in the boatJ  

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