Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mud on the anchor

Kintala splashed without incident. The Beast fired right up with shift and throttle still working smooth as silk. The Engine Guru suggested we go out into the river and run for a bit to polish in the new dripless seal, so I ghosted back out of the haul out pit, swung the bow to port, and eased between the pilings marking the yard's basin out into the Manatee.

We were making nearly 4 knots at 1800 rpm, the Beast rumbling smoothly along. Amazing what a new prop, shaft, cutlass bearing, and a properly aligned engine will do; though I resisted the temptation to run over the nearest crap pot just because I could. (Not really, those things still look like tiny little mines to me, tuned to sense fiberglass, and just waiting to go off whenever we get near one.)

Just a few hundred yards out into the river the engine temperature started to spike. Disappointing but not completely unexpected. We had drained part of the cooling system getting the lines to the water heater out of the way for access. Like every older boat I have tangled with, bleeding that part of the cooling loop on Kintala isn't easy. With the first thought being to not hurt the Beast we shut it down to cool off and tossed the anchor off the bow. It was like stepping through some kind of time portal.

Wow, this is why we came this way. It seemed like forever since we rode quietly to anchor, the boat nodding gently, swung into the wind. The temptation was to spend the rest of the day right where we were, maybe even the night as well.

But there were other needs pressing on the day so, after a while, we stirred ourselves back into “get it going again” mode. As expected, the coolant level was fine. It doesn't take much air to lock up the system. (Something I still don't quite understand. The boat's water system pump doesn't have any problem pushing the bubbles out of the way, and I have never heard of anyone air locking the cooling system on a car, truck, tractor, or motorcycle.) Kintala has a valve that will bypass the water heater. With that open and the engine temp falling back to 160, we cranked the Beast awake and putted back to the marina with the temp seeming to settle somewhere near normal. I managed a near perfect landing back in the slip, something that rarely happens when pilings are involved.

Tied to once again, the main item pressing on the day came to the fore: catching a plane that evening that would take us to St. Louis, kids, and grand kids. Which was about the only thing that could get me to pull up the anchor and head back in.

Though there is a couple of more weeks of work left once we return, both in the yard and on Kintala herself, we are on the verge of getting back to the cruising life. Soon having mud on the anchor will be the norm once again.

It will be good to be home.


Mike Boyd said...

Congratulations on getting the ship in shape. Heading to the Bahamas sounds wonderful to me.

TJ said...

The ship is indeed in shape, thank's to Deb's summer long efforts and those of the experts here at Sneed Island. I'm looking forward to putting Kintala through her paces.