Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Year's Eve Cruise 2021

HISC New Year's Eve Cruise 2021

As this is the last cruise for our sailing club in 2021, I really did not want to miss it. The weather cooperated we did a clean up of the boat  and we loaded the boat after it has sat for the last 5 months not doing much except go moldy. As the boat sits on the Dock facing East / West, the Port side of the boat is on the North side, away from the dock. Just like Trees  in a forest, the North side of anything left close to water will grow green, quickly! Despite our attempts to clean the boat every few weeks, that's all it takes for the damp atmosphere to encourage green growth on every surface that does not face the Sun. We spent a good effort scrubbing the boat down, focusing on the Port Side. Grrrrr!


With the boat fully loaded by end of day Wednesday, we planned for an early rise to get down to the boat before high tide at 6:30am. An early night for the 4am alarm and we quickly put the last few things together - clothing, Peggy's Travel Guitar, and our tech stuff - Computer, Tablets, Phones plus a thermos of Coffee.

We love this coffee pot, our daily brew is made (drip funnel) in this pot every day. It really does keep the coffee hot all morning and warm enough to drink for the rest of the afternoon.

The plan was to get down to the boat, leave the dock at high tide and then have a hot cup of the best coffee (that's almost any coffee while on the boat) but it didn't quite work out that way.

Despite leaving the house nearly 30 minutes later than planned, we were ready to pull away from the dock by 6:15am - All instruments installed (we don't leave them at the helm when we're away from the boat), all lockers unlocked for quick emergency access and all lines set to dry on the dock while we're away for the weekend. Engine running, last line cast off, FBFL (flash light) in hand to help guide our way down the dark canal, our EarTec headsets saved us having to shout directions as we quietly motored, barely making a ripple as we headed for the deeper waters of the New River at the end of the canal.

As we approached the bend before the 11th Avenue Swing Bridge, still in darkness, we called the bridge on #16 requesting an opening, the Tender was on the ball and started the opening. All this time I was on the Bow guiding Peggy as we made the turns down the still river. Not quite dawn, I had the FBFL shining ahead when Peggy noted that the engine temperature was rising beyond it's normal 148ºF 

The bridge had started it's opening, I dashed below realizing that I had not opened the raw water intake thru hull valve, my screw up!  Quickly opening the valve and expecting the temperature to start to drop as river water was pumped through the heat exchanger and the cooling cycle would do it's work.

It didn't! The engine temperature gauge was still heading up. It was above 180ºF now. I was pretty sure we could get through the bridge before the engine started to complain, but we didn't. We did get through the bridge, but the engine high temp alarm was sounding, it's not really loud, just sounds that way! Way Loud! I was at the bow and prepped the anchor to drop. Peggy steered us out of the channel center so that we could anchor and I dropped about 50' of chain, we were still moving and I had a challenge to keep control of the chain as the anchor dug into the soft bottom, but we did OK, Peggy shut down the engine.

Step 1: Check the raw water valve just to make sure I had opened the correct valve, it was open. I loosened the hose clamps that secure the hose to the thru hull valve. Closed the valve, removed the hose to the filter, opened the valve and confirmed that the water way was clear from outside the boat.

Step 2: Check the impeller - it could have seized or separated from the pump shaft. Quickly got my tools out and removed the face place from the front of the Oberdorfer Pump. The Pump was dry but the impeller looked ok. Squirted some water in the impeller area and closed up the pump, Peggy restarted the engine. I expected that if the water was flowing, the engine would almost immediately start to cool down. It didn't! 

Step 3: Change out the impeller, I always keep a couple of spare impellers aboard. Removed the plate again, this time the body of the pump was full of water. I still tried to remove the impeller and replace it but could not get the impeller off of the pump shaft --- - Note to self! Carry a spare Impeller Shaft with the spare impellers.  Thinking that as the pump was full of water, it had actually started to pump. So I replaced the old impeller and it's shaft into the pump housing, closed up the plate and asked Peggy to restart the engine. She did, it did, and cooling water was pumping out of the exhaust just as it should.

By this time it was gone 7am and we had to get through the bridges before 7:30am when they shut in the down position until 9am (rush hour road traffic). We approached 7th Avenue Bridge, called the Tender and he opened without any delay for us. Now the 'S' turn through Sailboat Bend  on the approach to the FEC Railroad bridge, we were expecting it to close at 7:10am and heard them on the radio announce that the bridge was moving (couldn't make it out to clearly) but we really wanted to get past that bridge so that we could get past Andrews and 3rd Avenue bridges before the shut down for the rush hour. I called the FEC Bridge asking if they could hold open for just a minute longer so that we could clear that bridge. I had misheard the bridge Tender, she had reported that the bridge was going up, not going down! Phew! As we approached the bridge with one vessel ahead of us, it began to go up and were able to clear Andrews and 3rd Avenue bridges. You bet I wished them all a Happy New Year!

Once past 3rd avenue bridge, Peggy went below and powered up the Auto Pilot. Oh Happy Day! It works like a charm! I was able to steer all the way from just before Tarpon Bend to Las Olas Blvd Bridge using the Auto Pilot. Just had to press the buttons to add or subtract 10º of heading and the boat quickly changed to the new bearing. I was impressed! With a 10º change in bearing, the boat would respond almost immediately. It was less noticeable when I changed by just 1º of 2º but it responded correctly and quickly all the same.

Once past Las Olas Blvd Bridge, we followed another sailboat under power up  to Sunrise Blvd Bridge which opens on the Hour and Half Hour. We made it easily and I used the auto pilot to steer appropriate course changes to avoid boat traffic coming the other way.

Peggy took the helm as soon as we passed Sunrise Blvd Bridge and went forwards to prepare the anchor. Sunrise Bay was pretty crowded, there were 7 big boats already in the Bay and ourselves and the boat ahead of us made it a crowd of 9. Mostly larger Catamarans. So we snuck into the North West Corner of the lake well clear of the other boats, but a bit too close to the homes at the edge of the Bay.

Time for breakfast: Cereal and Coffee, we had a cup of coffee and a couple of slices of Toast before we home this morning. Peggy was pooped, I was not far behind not having slept too well Wednesday Night. Nap time. I awoke to some boat noises and peeked out of the cabin to find that a couple of the bigger boats that had been anchored near the middle of the Bay had gone! Great! Let's haul anchor and move so that we have more room when our buddy boats raft up with us Friday. It only took a few minutes for us to start the engine, done our headsets, haul the anchor and move just a couple of hundred yards to the better anchor spot. Now we can relax.

Of course, we didn't, relax that is.  Ok, so Peggy hit the nap sack but I started to prep the boat for continuing to scrub it down and get rid of the remaining green stuff.  I turned the Dinghy over and added some air, it had been upside down on the dock for how many months? Once inflated, I raised it with our Utility block and tackle and put the dink over the side. Then I cleared the decks ready for some scrubbing.

It took an hour, by which time we were both ready for lunch - Left over Chicken wings from Wednesday's lunch and some Potato Salad washed down with a hot cup of coffee. Yes, it was still plenty hot.

After lunch, I spent another couple of hours scrubbing the Port side of the cabin top, it came up pretty good and that was enough work for the day.


Ok, I rarely sit idle on the boat. The Radar data connection to the Chart Plotter was showing signs of wear (it really was bent in too tight a radius), that got fixed with some Rescue Tape. The cabinet in the bathroom was not properly attached since the last time I removed it. I took the chance to check on the fuel tank and it's drip cloth lead detector. All's well. Lastly, I had started on the install of the new Nav Station goose neck lamp, so I completed it's installation leaving just the electrical hook up for another day.

The new lamp should not only illuminate the chart table, but also the inside when the table top is raised, something the old lamp could not do.





That was it for the day. Time for a Rum & Ginger, a glass of wine for Peggy and watch the other boats come and go, there's always something that happens that deserves the remark: Glad I didn't do that!

Before dark, Tom & Norma arrived on Ohana anchoring off our Port Side - hope they realized how pretty Eximius looked, at least forwards of the Cockpit.  Jeff & Judy on Affection arrived before dark too, they anchored off our Starboard Stern quarter.

We had a simple dinner of Pasta and Source. Peggy played her guitar despite having had a glass of wine. We both had showers. Desert was a Klondike Bar and another glass of Rum & Ginger.

To close out the day, I wrote this blog article.

Today's "Gotado List" includes:-
  • Install an Engine Area Lighting fixture - can't see squat when it's dark outside.
  • Install a Cockpit Light - it would have helped when we were setting up the instruments in the dark this morning.
  • Apply new Shoud Turnbuckle Cover top end Tapes - the old tape has long gone.
  • Get a decent head lamp, I could not see the keys when trying to unlock the boat lockers (3) in the dark. Yep, we haven't made a dock departure on a long while --- if ever!
  • Get a new service kit for the bathroom toilet  --- we used most of the spares last time we were out, how long ago??
  • Get a new Camera mounting - the old one is so corroded that it will not tighten enough to hold the action camera in place. 
  • Relocate the Mini Inverter - I had to remove it from it's home in the aft berth as it was too close to the newly installed EV1 sensor for the new Auto Pilot.
  • Replace the Starboard Bow Nav Light. - The port light is fine, the Stbd one is not. Might be just a new LED lamp that needs replacing, I have spares.

Ok, it's 9pm, that's it. Hope to get some great pics tomorrow as the other club members arrive and we prepare to celebrate the end of 2021 and the oooooh can't wait to make 2022 a better year.

More tomorrow!

Paul & Peggy aboard Eximius.

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