Starblazer - 16/05/2016 - Bermuda
We did eventually reach Bermuda in the very early hours of Saturday after a very frustrating passage.It was frustrating for numerous reasons: the winds were too light to sail by for about three days; the water pump generously shared the engine cooling water with the oil (again); the replacement water pump didn't want to share its water with the cooling system; the water maker decided to stop pumping water through the membranes in less than 10 minutes.For the last 42 hours we motored at 2000 revs and, though the water pump wasn't putting much water through the system, the temperature readings at various points in the system remained acceptable.Yards from the Customs dock the overheat alarm went off!The engine overheated when the revs were very low.Surprisingly the Customs and Immigration. read more...
Starblazer - 12/05/2016 – The revenge of the engine water pumps.
We must have seriously annoyed the Norse God, Volvo!No sooner had I written that the engine was running well, it decided to cause us further grief. During Tuesday afternoon John decided to check the fresh water cooling reservoir and the oil levels, he’d meant to do it on Monday but forgot.The water reservoir was almost full, thankfully.The pipework is push fit pieces that go in various different directions and they do tend to leak, according to the Volvo engineer in Cape Town. The oil level was a different matter, the dip stick showed too much oil (about twice as much as there should be!) with the tell-tale grey emulsion evident, a sign that water had got into the oil.It was too late to start dismantling the water pump and draining the oil, that was yesterday’s job.We first encountered. read more...
Starblazer - 10/05/2016 – BVI and onwards towards Bermuda
Thursday and Friday in Nanny Cay passed in a blur of activity: safety check, washing, cleaning the log impeller, haircut for me (the best one in over two years!), shopping, farewell dinner, skippers’ briefing, ‘Happy Hours’ and a final BBQ.The start was at midday on Saturday with nearly 40 boats on the start line though the Florida bound group had left earlier as they were taking a different route out of the Virgin Islands.We were within the first 6 or 7 boats to cross the line, brilliant for us!Shortly after the start the huge Advanced 80 came powering past us at probably more than twice our speed, and we were doing well.That’s the last we saw of them.The wind freshened as we reached the western end of Great Thatch Island and needed to gybe.We copied several boats ahead of us and tacked. read more...
Starblazer - Nanny Cay - BVI
There should be a blog or two around. Starblazer or WorldCruising Club. Try ARC USA, they may have moved our posts from World ARC.Finally arrived in North Sound Virgin Gorda and entered and anchored under sail. As usual the engine was overheating and being kept for emergencies.Now in Nanny Cay which is our ARC USA departure port on the 7th.Spent part of the last week and most of today chasing through the seawater cooling system.Impeller-good, impeller turns-good, heat exchanger blocked by impeller parts?-good, oil cooler blocked by impeller parts?-good, syphon stop blocked-good, pipework-good. WTH??Give in and replace the water seal in the spare seawater pump. Fitted spare and works well now with lots of cooling water. I can only picture that on the other. read more...
Starblazer - 01/05/2016 - Famous Last Words!
Sorry, this is a lot longer than intended.We did not pass Guadaloupe within 10 or 11 hours as previously guessed!It took us nearly 12 hours to reach the northern tip of Dominica, about 35 miles from our position at 0200.The first hour we averaged 6.9 knots, the second hour a little less, then the wind started to disappear.Our speed dropped until we were drifting at 1.8 knots.I steered while John laboured away in the engine room, coming up for a large glass of cold water at regular intervals.We eventually ran the engine for a few hours to charge the batteries before the overheat alarm went off.Problem still not solved!Our intended track was to turn north between Guadaloupe and Montserrat which would then give us a better angle on the wind for Sint Maarten.Following this route would have. read more...