Monday rolled around and the boat yard managed to find a local turbo shop that would turn around the turbo in ~7 business days, and an injector company that would to the injectors in ~10. The rebuild of the injectors was less than 1/4 of the price of new, so it made sense to just do it all. As expected, we found the port engine’s injectors to be almost as dead, but fortunately the turbo was just fine. So everything was sent off, and we sat on our hands.
With the dates for the rebuilds pretty solid, David’s parents had been itching to come out and visit for a while, so we told them the whole situation, and they decided to book a flight for July 1st, to stay in the area for two weeks, and they could spend a bunch of it with us, and a bunch with other relatives, however it worked out. But we took those plane flights to the boat yard and used that as leverage — “you gave those dates, David’s parents are coming, we need to be out of here by the 1st.”
The weather at this time of year in Virginia is quite hot and muggy. Luckily, we were now in the water, so able to turn on the AC to find relief. However, we started rationing fresh water again, because the water at the ship yard was NOT terribly potable, so we were back to taking showers in the brackish water in the ship yard’s facilities. I also made arrangements with a mobile pump out service to empty our black-water tanks since there were no pump out facilities at the ship yard. Despite repeated appointments, they never actually showed up, so by the second week, we were also using the facilities on land for that too as our holding tanks both bumped over 80% full!
I decided to pull out the pole, but unfortunately it was so humid out that I spent the entire time slipping down the pole. As facebook is reminding us, around this time last year we were already north of Long Island Sound, heading towards Maine, where we spent at least a month in the fog before summer truly began. We’re experiencing the weather a little differently as we’re stuck in Virginia and the weeks tick by.
At least the sunsets here are exceptional. We decided to take some of this time in the evening to do the work to finally break in the dingy engine, so we did a couple of sunset runs for 30 mins to put some variable speeds on the boat. One night we were joined by Alex, our friend who is working on his sailboat a stones throw from where we are moored. He took the shot above of Highwind from the bow of his boat!
Since we had two more weekends of waiting for repairs, we decided to make some plans, so we organized to spend a weekend with Jan and Jim, David’s Aunt and Uncle. We’d seen them on our way north and south, but since it was still Covid-times, we only met with them briefly. This time, Jan drove out to pick us up and we hung out with them for the weekend – it was great fun to spend some quality time together. On Saturday evening we went to an outdoor dueling piano show with a picnic. We had a good time hanging out, but unfortunately the show ran into technical difficulties and had to be cancelled before it began! We ended up getting tickets to the show at its normal location for the following evening, which was very fun.
For the second weekend, we decided to rent a car and head to Washington DC. It had been many years since either of us had been there and we hoped that by now things would be more open for visiting. As it turned out, many museums and attractions were either still closed or required advanced time-specific tickets that we did not plan far enough in advance. On Saturday morning, we managed to get tickets for a hop on-hop off tour that visited the major sites, which was actually quite good.
In the afternoon, I convinced David to visit some of DC’s amazing street art, since we couldn’t get into any of the Smithsonian or other museums. We rented scooters and made our way to the DC Alley Museum on Blagden Alley, where there was a collection all together!
Since we like to collect stars, we had made a reservation at the Rooster and Owl for dinner and enjoyed a lovely meal! We dressed up for the first time in forever!! (And I regretted my shoe choice for the 1 mile walk back to the hotel).
Amazingly, all of the parts arrived at the shipyard on schedule and the rebuild of the engines could begin. We were all set up to leave by Thursday afternoon. As we set off, an unpredicted thunderstorm seemed to roll in over the north Chesapeake with 180 degree visible lightening in front of us. The wind picked up and soon we were being tossed around in random 6 ft chop.
We hadn’t done a great job of tying everything down, due to the frantic nature of leaving, and the predicted very calm conditions. Everything that wasn’t tied down got tossed everywhere. One of the Kayaks broke loose a mount from the deck and we almost lost it, managing to tie it down on top of the dinghy for now. The TV was apparently poorly secured to the wall panel by the previous owners and hit the floor, breaking it.
With the conditions having completely deteriorated, David noticed the starboard engine temperature starting to drop. It looked like potentially a sensor issue, but we slowed down off plane, and he went down to the engine bay to check for coolant or some other obvious failure. While he found no coolant or oil, he did find a large unexpected supply of seawater in there, and it appeared to be coming from the shaft seal area.
All of these things together led us to make the decision to turn around and head back to Deltaville so the boat yard could fix it. It was just after 5pm, but we managed to get hold of someone at Regatta Point and reserved a spot we could pull into (which turned out to be in a complete downpour for the 5 mins while I was tying the lines).
In the morning, the technicians were back on the boat bright and early. The theory was that the new shaft seals were still breaking in for the first hour of our trip, but we wanted to try to find any other issues that might be causing water, as well as duplicate the temperature issue to diagnose it with an IR camera. We went to fire up and sea trial and found that the starboard engine wouldn’t even try to start. Some diagnosing found that the boatyard had neglected to tighten down the bolts to either engine start battery after installing secondary bilge pumps (a small side project David had them do), and in the 6 ft seas the previous day, they’d shaken loose and could no longer start the motors.
They fixed that issue, and we went out for a quick sea trial, at which point we found that there was some water leaking in from a few rotten hoses in the aft lazarette area, but nothing else was coming from the shaft seals anymore. Also the engine still didn’t get up to temp, verified with a camera. So they called a bunch of stores in the area and managed to find one with an actual factory thermostat in stock, and swapped it out to find the expected defective one — stuck wide open! We swapped out the rotten lines and went out for one last sea trial. This time, everything seemed fine — no unexpected water in the bilges, no leaking, and the engine got up to temp. David had the day off work, so we managed to still head up to Solomons and make it there by evening, finally escaping Deltaville, and meeting up with David’s parents as they flew in.
Total time in Deltaville: 7 weeks.