Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19, 2013 - Kiket Island

Finally, we get to go out on our boat again.  Even if just for an overnighter.  Saturday morning Kevin had a little league game, which was cancelled at the last minute due to the heavy overnight rains turning the ballfields in Burlington into a marsh.  Cindy and Kathy were doing the Bayview Women's Run.  Cindy is an amazing runner and she finished 8th overall (3rd overall for women) in the10k run.  Cindy is 10 and she was the only person under the age of 16 even doing the 10k run.  Had there been a category for 16 and under she would have had a first place ribbon.  There were more than 60 runners.

So, after the Saturday morning commitments were over we headed out on the boat.  This is our first time out since all the projects began.  We motored over to Kiket Island which is our favorite close-in anchorage.  It's only about 40 minutes away but feels like we are far removed from civilization.  Very few houses are visible, and there are almost never any other boats anchored here.  We usually have this place to ourselves.  We dropped the anchor and then began to clean up the boat and start putting our things back on.  The boat had been pretty much emptied because of all of the projects.  So now it was time to clean out the drawers and cabinets (dust went EVERYWHERE!) and sort through our stuff and put them back where they belong.

We decided to go sailing because there was a nice little breeze.  So, I put the Walker Bay down in the water, put the rudder and the center board in and started off to get the mast and sail.  I turned around to see the Walker Bay floating away!  The knot holding the line to the Walker Bay had come loose.  Darn-it!  Well, I guess we have to put the other boat in the water so I can go get the Walker Bay, which is drifting away quickly in the current and wind.  So, I go to tighten the drain plug on the big dinghy but I can't get it in all the way.  Oh well, it will be a quick trip to get the dinghy and I can just turn on the bilge pump if water does come in.

Trying to install the drain plug.  It gets stuck about 1/2 way in.
The rowboat is just a white dot in the background.

So I lower the dinghy without getting the drain plug all the way in.  I hop in and tip the motor down and squeeze the fuel bulb.  It is soft and never does get hard.  I can hear the sound of rushing air with every squeeze.  This is NOT good.  So, I climb over the seats to have a look.  After a minute or two I find the problem; the fuel line has a split in it right where it clamps to the fuel/water-separator fuel filter I installed a few years ago.
Searching for the rushing air sound.  A-ha.  There's a
split in the fuel line.  The Walker Bay is almost to shore now.

By now water is starting to come into the boat and flood the floor.  So, I decide to lift the boat back up so I can get the drain plug fully seated and work on the fuel line.  We lift the boat up a few feet above the water and swing it over the swimstep.  Kathy has to hold the dinghy in place while I work on it.  Her hands were changing colors from the strain of hanging onto it.  Sorry Kathy, and THANKYOU!

I get the bad section of fuel line cut off and reinstalled into the fuel filter.  By now the starting battery is weak and will barely turn over the motor.  So, I go get the battery charger and start recharing the battery.  The Walker Bay is now on shore probably 3/4 or a mile away, or more.  After a few minutes on the charger I try again and get the motor running.  It sounds just fine.  I leave it running for about 10 minutes to make sure.  No problems so I jump in and head to shore to retrieve our other boat.

I get it dislodged from the bottom (the centerboard was hung up on a rock) and tow it slowly back to the mother ship.  I take a little break and then Kevin and I head out for a dinghy ride, since the motor is now working just fine.  Kevin takes the helm and does some donuts.  Kevin loves to spin the dinghy in tight circles, and we call that doing donuts.

View of the big boat from the dinghy.  
We cruise over to the old sunken sailboat that has been there for years now.  The mast is now gone.  It's starting to fall apart as the sea beats it down.  We get close and slow down and the motor dies.  Oh no!  I take the wheel and try starting it.  No luck.  After a few minutes of trying to get the motor started I can see it's not going to run.  It doesn't even sputter.  It's got fuel.  Maybe it has water in the fuel?  I don't know.  What I do know is that we are drifting quickly away from our big boat.  We start trying to row but it's a big boat and we barely make any progress in 5 minutes of rowing; the wind and current are more than we can overcome.  I try starting it again and it fires up.  Wow.  We take off and head straight for the boat.  I'm going to cover as much water as I can before this dies again.  But it doesn't die, we get all the way back.  What luck!

We tie the boat up and decide it's best not to head out in that again.  By now it's too late to go sailing as we need to think about dinner.  So, I put the sailboat back up on the swim step and start the BBQ for some yummy BBQ honey chicken.  We let the kids watch a few movies and then it's off to bed.

The kids each take a bunk.  The bunks are new to the boat and the kids seem to like them, except we are going to have to work some sort of system to trade off who gets the upper bunk.  Both kids want the upper bunk, of course.  Kathy took the nice new queen bed, and I retired to the watch berth in the pilothouse.  The forecast is for the winds to kick up a little overnight, so I usually sleep top side to keep an eye on the situation.  We had no problems overnight despite a definite rise in wind velocity around 2:00AM.

In the morning we hang out, do some cleaning, and I decide to test the outboard motor again.  I just do high speed circles around the boat, and slow to an idle several times.  All seems fine.  The I do it again and this time when I slow to an idle the motor dies again.  I can't get it restarted.  Fortunately I'm close to the boat and only have to row for a few minutes.  I put the battery charger back on and leave it there for several hours.

Kevin hanging around in the salon Sunday morning.

Cindy finds her own way to hang out.
By now the sun is out, the winds are light, and it's quite warm up on the boat deck.  So we decide to have lunch top side.  Oh, it's nice to be on the water again!

Lunch in the sun, on the boat.  We've been missing these fun times!

This is what happens after eating too much, in the warm sun.
After a nice nap in the sun, our day is about over.  I head back to the outboard motor and it still won't start.  So, I hoist the thing back up to the boat deck and strap it down.  I'm going to have to have a look at this situation in the next few days.  We can't really boat without a reliable dinghy, and this outboard has been perfect for almost 4 years now.  Not so much as a hiccup, until now.

Time to head home.  The conditions were not conducive to testing out our new stabilizers much.  Although I did get to run through a fishing boat's wake a few times.  Once without the stabilizers and once with.  There was a very noticeable difference with virtually no side to side rolling with them on.  I can't to get in some rough water and really test them!  The trip generated a few more items on my to-do list.  But I also managed to check a few items off the list while we were out.  So, I guess I broke even...

What a perfect day to be back out on the water.

Kathy at the wheel bringing us home safely.

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