This Could Get Interesting. I Hope Not…

Agadir It’s Sunday afternoon and we are sailing along on a broad reach, about 440 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay

order Pregabalin online I still think that we will arrive in Deltaville, our destination, on Wednesday, probably in the afternoon.

There’s not a lot to report about the weather with pretty good conditions for much of the rest of the trip.

Yesterday evening the wind began it’s shift from the East to the Southwest as the prevailing winds off the US East Coast began to kick in.  This meant that we had wind directly behind us for many hours and light until things finally filled in and allowed us to turn off the engine and begin sailing again.

We ran the engine most of the night and while I generally look into the engine compartment, under the galley sink, about once an hour, I didn’t notice that the engine coolant overflow, a white translucent reservoir that captures excess coolant from the engine when it expands with the heat of the engine, was overflowing.

Normally there is a subtle ebb and flow of coolant in and out of the reservoir as the engine heats up and cools after being shut down.   However, late last night I noticed that the reservoir had filled to overflowing and was spilling into the bilge.

This is not a good thing as it suggests that there is some sort of leak between the heat exchanger that circulates fresh water mixed with antifreeze within the engine and the seawater that circulates around the heat exchanger.
There should not ever be any mixing between the internal cooling system and the sea water (raw water) flow.   Clearly, something has happened to allow seawater to get into the internal cooling area and is forcing the coolant into the overflow.

And it appears to be happening at a fairly consistent rate of about a cup or so every 4 hours.   That doesn’t sound like a lot but it means that when the salt water gets into the engine it is diluting the antifreeze which might allow the hottest parts of the engine to make the water boil.  If that happens, it could cause problems with some portions of the engine not getting enough coolant or the engine cooling system might boil over.

I have estimated that for us to finish the trip we will have to run the engine at least another 24 hours so that suggests that the antifreeze will become dangerously diluted.  The good news is that I have about 1.5 gallons of new antifreeze but in order to make sure that what’s in the now diluted system, I will have to find a way to drain out some of the antifreeze and replace it with new fluid.

This isn’t a terribly complicated process except that it will have to be done on a hot engine, which isn’t great.

All and all, this is manageable but will take constant monitoring to be sure that things don’t get out of hand.

The good news is that we have mostly favorable winds and if needed, we can just go slower and avoid running the engine if the wind falls light.  However, some adverse winds will come up in the Gulf Stream early on Wednesday morning, say around 04:00, and we really have to be past that point by then, so going slow if the wind drops isn’t very practical.

I believe that we can manage things but it could become interesting.  Let’s hope not.

It’s funny, in a not so funny way, how making passage seems to be just a series of “issues” that have to be resolved.  I suppose that’s just like life except you can’t call a repair guy when you are 500 miles from land.

Such is life on the high seas.  Wish us luck

4 responses to “This Could Get Interesting. I Hope Not…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *