Well I guess that all good things come to an end, and so goes. It with Captain Ed, and Mika the Wonder Dogs epic sailing adventure.
Absolutely nothing worked out on this trip, I started off nice and early in the season I believe the third weekend of September, planning on a nice relaxing sail down the coast, to where ever we felt like going. We would only do five or six hour days, so Mika could go ashore for his walks.
That very first day the engine broke down with dirty fuel issues and we were not only towed in once but after changing the racor filter and bleeding the system so we could try again we were towed in a second time by Tow Boat US. This time they brought us back up the river to Amesbury where I drained the tanks and filtered them with a pump filter system that I had built.
On October 4th I tried again, this time making my way all of the way to Thatchers Island when the engine kicked out again.
Remembering that I was on a sailboat I kept sailing as I replaced the filter again. As a matter of fact I was sailing so well that I had to reef the sails to slow down enough to hit the right tide at the Cape Cod Canal.
I changed the filter one more time as I reached the Canal and not only made it through the Canal but all of the way up Buzzards Bay where the engine kicked out just before my destination of Padanaram where I had planned to visit with Steve and Carol Bliven.
Again Tow Boat US brought me into Padanaram where I met Steve Bliven who let me use his mooring. While in Padanaram Steve took me to do errands ( buy dog food and racor filters).
I also ate a few nights with the Blivens as we as took showers, while in the mean time I emptied the tanks again, adding new fuel and filtering the old.
Leaving Padanaram the engine kicked out right away, but I was sailing so I changed the filters and continued my way, eventually making it to Point Judith RI with no future problems and now thinking that I was through with my fuel problem. However making my way down the coast towards Fishers Island I broke down again, this time it was not the fuel but the linkage to the transmission that was the problem. I kept sailing and had TowBoat US meet me at Watch Hill Point RI. They towed me to Noank Ct where we worked on the transmission problem, as well as empty the fuel tanks again, everything going through filters.
So be fore you think I am shoveling sand into the ocean I should explain what is happening.
The tank is rectangular with baffles in it and no matter how many times I change the filters when I hit a rough sea sludge is worked up from the part of the baffled tank that I cannot get to, leaving me quite baffled. I run and rerun the fuel trough the filters until the fuel samples that I took looked real good.
Although I was tempted to come home right from Noank, I decided to continue down the coast to Port Jefferson. I hit rough seas again and ended up sailing into New London CT with no engine to back me up. It was a rough night in New London with the wind coming straight up the harbor and me on a mooring that I did not trust.
The next day with a storm coming I decided that I would make my way back home, however when I stuck my nose out of the protection of Fishers Island I was looking at five ft seas and knew that was not going to work for me. Also the Coast Guard was patrolling the area making Shute I did not make the wrong choice and go out into it.
I sailed back to Noank and they let me stay on the dock for free for two nights.
By the way when I broke down in Newburyport they charged me twenty five bucks to use their mooring for a hour.
After that storm passed I headed back out and across Long Island Sound to Port Jefferson changing one filter so I was happy. But another storm is on the way.
I hung on to a mooring just near the entrance to Port Jefferson, but with the wind howling I threw out two more anchors. Putting down two anchors is a fairly easy task, however taking them back up is a job for someone a little younger.
I raised the anchors and left Port Jefferson on Saturday October 25 on the way to the East River.
I ended up sailing back to Port Jefferson, and up to one of there moorings, not able to start my engine again.
I decided that it was just about time to get some professional help and called around for a mechanic, they were all busy, again thinking to haul the boat there, I would give cleaning the tanks one last shot.
I emptied the tank, and with one of those little wire grabbers I scrubbed the bottom dry with paper towels. I refilled the tank running everything through the filters then emptied it again and again scrubbed out the bottom with paper towels. Then I realized that I was not reaching the back of the tank. So on board I have these little squeeze hand pumps you get with kerosene stoves. I took them apart and stuck to out side of my filter system in behind the baffle forcing the contamination out the bottom to the suck side of my pump. I ran the pump like this a good long while a drained the tanks again scrubbing out the contamination again with paper towels. I ran out of filters and had to order a few from Napa so I had to wait the weekend in Port Jefferson for the parts that would come on the following Tuesday. When the filters came I went that same procedure again and again clogging four filters in the process.
On this past Wednesday I left Port Jefferson confident in my fuel to make an attempt on the East River New York City,
I sailed all of the way down to Little Neck Bay under rough seas at points with more filter or engine failure. And on Thursday I got up before the sun and made my nerve wrecking way down the East River, so fast by the way I did not realize that I was sucked out into the ocean.
I was tempted to keep moving to Barnegart Bay but I was shot there is another storm coming, a bad one, and I need fuel, so I headed into Atlantic Highlands.
As I am looking at the weather I realize that this was my shot and I missed it there is abad storm coming, it will clear out by next Tuesday. On Wednesday the wind will be coming up the coast on the nose and another storm behind it.
Now I am a clutter for punishment and could speculate that good weather would eventually come, but Mika is miserable, the days have been to long for the both of us, we are no longer sailing out of winter, it is all around us. I decided to pull the boat for the season.
We left Atlantic Highlands and went up the coast to Lawrence Harbor New Jersey, Mika and I are safe on a dock at Lockwoods Marina waiting out this storm with a heater plugged into shore.
I will be spending the next few days organizing my belongings to make my way home. Maybe we will continue this adventure in my land yacht.
Captain Ed and Mika The Wonder Dog.