So Sal has a months long service leave and I have taken about 6 weeks off too, today we have headed out on the yacht, not sure where we are going, not sure for how long, let the journey begin!
It was a bit of a dramatic day in the end, Sal & I loaded up the tinny with supplies for a month and headed out to the boat club, we could see a decent strom coming, but realised we had time to launch the tinny, get to Lumiel, unload all the provisions and organise stuff before the storm hit.
This proved to be correct and we sat out an hour or so of rain with some decent lightning & thunder passing just to the south of us. Once it cleared we dropped the mooring and headed north, there was basically no wind so it was to be an afternoon of motoring. Given that we only got underway about 11:30 I decided just to run up to Elizabeth Bay for our first night, a run of about 25nm into the anchorage.
Everything went perfectly well until we got past Cape Wilberforce, and were rounding Point William in the narrow channel between it and the un-named island. The ebb tide was running pretty hard by now as it was about half tide and we were pushing about 2-3k of tide, suddenly the port engine changed exhaust note, I looked over the side and there was no raw cooling water coming out of the exhaust.
I quickly shut down the engine before it overheated and we had to push on thru the rest of the channel on just one engine, but while it was slower, it was not an issue, we just made our way slowly into the anchorage and dropped the pick.
Once the engine cooled down I went to see if I could work out what had happened, I found the raw water discharge hose blown off the fitting on the head of the heat exchanger! Inside the manifold I could see pieces of rubber from the raw water impeller.
I realised I had to remove the head to clean all the rubber out properly, it must have back pressured the pump and that caused the hose to eventually blow off. I did all of that and refitted the hex head, its not hard, all easily accessible at the top of the engine.
The next step was to replace the raw water pump impeller, that is a shit of job, I had to take the alternator off first and its all tucked away low on the outside of the engine and difficult to see and access, but to my amazement when I finally got to the impeller, having removed the cover on the pump, it was in perfect condition!
We got the old impeller replaced when we had the engine out of the boat last November, so I was a bit surprised it should have failed, what actually appears to have happened is that at some time in the past the impeller failed, and someone has just replaced it without removing the hex head and finding all the little bits of the old impeller!
Anyway, much better news than it might have been, and I just put the cover back on the pump and put everything back together, just have to put the alternator back on tomorrow morning.
Now I am just sitting in the dark, having a cup of tea, while a few dolphins swim around the boat – i cant see them but I can hear them exhaling when they surface!