Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Beast

The Wester-Beast wasn’t happy. The RPM surge had returned during the long run from Charleston, out in big water and out of sight of land. Some quick mental gymnastics and, given that we knew there was something wonky with the vent, I went out on deck and opened up the filler port. The Beast was better, still not purring, but much better. And thus we limped onto the anchorage.

Today we planned to go back outside and make the jump to Jacksonville. When we got up the wind was blowing noticeably harder than was forecast, and the new forecast had wave heights of 3 to 5 feet. This was not good news since 5 foot waves could easily have water on the deck where, to keep the Beast happy, we had an open hole into the fuel tank. Going outside was clearly a poor choice.

We worked on the vent system this morning and while doing so I found a couple of valves at the fuel tank that appeared wrong; where it looked to me that one should be open and the other closed, both were open. We put things back together and prodded the Beast awake. It seemed to run okay but there was no way to tell if it would keep running okay – the RPM surge has been an intermittent kind of thing for several days. I wanted a good long run on the engine before heading off shore again.

Stay put and wait for another perfect outside day where we could manage with an unhappy Beast, or back on the ICW and give the Beast a good workout, see where we stood? Back on the ICW it was.

It wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had. Twice today Kintala plowed into the mud. Twice the Beast pulled her free and / or shoved her through; pulling much more RPM than I have ever asked of it before. This on top of running flawlessly all day.

Who would have thought that?

I’m still not sure I can trust the thing, but today it earned nothing but praise. One more day of the ICW should see us safely to St. Augustine where we plan to spend a few days and meet up with some long-time internet friends. After that, please, no more ICW.


Unknown said...

If you are interested in history? St. Augustine has a beautiful spanish fort. One of the oldest buildings in north america.

S/V Veranda said...

I second the forts recommendation. Standing on the ramparts there in 1977 looking at the cruising boats in the river decided my fate for me.

The old town is awesome too. A1A Brewery, The Milltop Tavern, Pizza Alley....just to many good spots to list

Deb said...

John we just went there and watched the cannon firing. It was incredible my loud!

Deb said...

We're meeting Paul and Deb of the pubs tonight. We went on a walkabout this afternoon and I can see a week won't be enough.