Monday May 27, 2019
Where is Tim? The case of the tooth and 300!
Happy Memorial Day. In remembrance of all those who sacrificed their life so I may be free. Thank you!
At 2200 UT (0800 New Caledonia time), SV Intrepid reports 22.06 S, 165.22 E, heading 290T at 3.0 kts. Wind, SW at 5 kt. Swell, SW at 0.5 m. Barometer is 1022 and cloud cover 50%.
Somehow we managed to sail about 90 nm, with 1282 nm to go! Total distance from Noumea to Royal Papua Yacht Club is 1372 nm. We are on the same heading (290T – 300T) for a total of 1260 nm! Sheesh.
We departed our maintenance wall Sunday about 9am local time. Before departure we filled up the water tanks, washed the top side, and made sure everything of importance was tied on. The weather forecast was for very calm winds, and it was 100% correct. Unlike our arrival, winds were about 3 knots, so motoring we went. I kept checking the coupling, but was dumbfounded by a “knocking” sound. We saw our friends on SV Usquebae heading into port as we were departing. Francis and Chris having just arrived from New Caledonia. We exited Passe de Dumbier by noon. Just prior I thought I heard someone call “Intrepid” on the VHF radio, but filed it into my hallucination file. If the Port Captain did want to speak to me, too later now!
Once outside the reef system, we proceeded west to get some distance with the reef. The wind was, and still is, non existent. And then came the swell. Not big, but enough to rock the boat gunnel to gunnel. I Hate that motion! Since the wind was directly behind us, and I could not steer east (or risk hitting the reef), nor did I want to steer SW, we are going NW, we decided to take down the main and just run with our jib. For a short moment, we saw 4 kts, oh boy, hold on! Then that died. So we elected to turn on the engine again. We want to steer a course of 300T (basically west!). This is basically the same course we steered from New Zealand to New Caledonia. I curse 300! always running!! Again with the knocking sound, but we were going along (at 1600 rpm) at 4.1 kts. Then, our speed dropped inexplicitly to 2 kts. Still do not know why??
As I was making myself nauseous with my head in the engine compartment, I decided I needed to loosen the packing gland a bit. So into my “Channel lock” tool bag I dove looking for the perfect tool. What else I found was even more pleasing.
So, about 1 year ago, one of my “capped” tooth (molar) fell out. Of course I kept it thinking I would just glue it back in some day. Then I lost my tooth. Dang! To my surprise, there it was in the bottom of the bag with all the pliers. In my would, I guess it made perfect sense, you pull teeth with pliers, so why not use the same to replace. Well, maybe I will wait on that a bit!
What else? While checking the engine this morning, I did find the original prop shaft coupling “key.” I guess I will service the system again (and do an engine alignment) in Papua New Guenea. I have a feeling the “knock” is a bad alignment issue. Oh, my Monitor Wind Vane is still not working correctly. So yesterday we rigged up a self steer system that significantly lowered our work load. I will troubleshoot that unit again today. Otherwise, the gooseneck repair seems to be working (fingers crossed) and all is a go for crossing the Coral Sea.
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