Nov 1-14, 2010 - Cruising Log for S/V Freedom - a Gemini 105 - Jim and Deb Faughn

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 Nov 4 - I know you are waiting for an engine update but that comes later in the post. Time to catch you up on what we had been up to. While in Beaufort, I fixed a problem with the fuel system. I had to pull the fuel pickup tubes out of the fuel tanks and believe it or not, clean the screen that is in the silver part of the fitting. When I got done, the fuel flowed much easier and that fixed my problem. Little did I know I would have much bigger problems in just a couple of days.  
 We also rented a car and went on lots of errands filling the trunk. We were provisioned for excellent adventures. I normally get out my bike and just ride but I spoiled myself on this stop. Besides buying everything under the sun, I also filled propane tanks and picked up a few parts at West Marine and a hardware store.

Then, as you already know, the engine said I'm tired and I'm giving you notice that I'm about to quit.

This was us getting our first tow. Let's just say the fuel economy for our boat was very good but the expense was going to really get me down.

So on the left, this is what the Ex-old faithful looked like. We had about 4,300 hours on the engine when things went bad. For the last 50 hours I found I had used a quart of oil which was very unusual. Also, the temperature was running 165 instead of the normal 155-160 based on the thermostat. I knew something was up but thought I would tear it down when we got to Florida.

You can see below the head is off and ready to pull. The number one cylinder I told you about is the one on the left hand side. Then below right you can see the main sheet hooked up to the straps so I could lift the engine out as soon as the mechanic came. I had both the topping lift and the main halyard wrapped around the end of the boom so nothing broke.

You can see to the right the mess that was left over. Why the oil? Two reasons. Some is when you pull the head you have oil left over and it dumps some. However, when the engine started coming apart at the shop he also found the main seal in front was leaking some, the rear seal was leaking and the raw water pump was starting to leak a little oil. Well, well, well. There were more problems than we had imagined. (I'll have to take a picture of the compartment now.)

You've been waiting for the real pictures of the piston and you can see them below. I would say it broke. A broken piston becomes a big problem because of the metal in the engine. If it was just one large chunk then maybe that would be ok. If it is a bunch of chunks then that means the entire engine has to be taken apart and very, very, very carefully cleaned to get every bit of the metal out. Now you are talking about time and I am not at a house with a shop. 300 miles further down the coast and I would have put my dinghy engine on the back and headed for Ft. Myers and Garry and I would have rebuilt it when he got back from his winter cruising. Well, Bill would probably come down too. Let's just say I have several mechanic type friends who would have helped. Problem is I'm not close enough that I wanted to do that. So, that is where the long block option came in play and in the end that option will be cheaper than paying a mechanic to rebuild the engine. Plus I have almost all new parts. It became a no decision. Plus, I'm ready for another 4,000 or so hours.

Check out the metal chunks and looking in the oil pan you can see some specks of smaller pieces too.

Ok, now for my really great news. No, Deb isn't off flirting with all the guys at the restaurant. Instead these two guys are why I now have 20 free days of dockage. Oh, you forgot about the expense of dockage while the engine was getting done didn't you. Bill is the guy on the right and I met him after I talked to Garry about the engine. It ended up Garry sold Bill his boat a couple of years ago before he bought another boat. I introduced myself to Bill and the next morning he told me that he owned his slip and with that ownership he receives 10 days of dockage he can give away. He gave me those 10 days. Nice isn't it. Then yesterday we were going to borrow Bill's car just to get off the boat. Bill said I have someone you need to meet. He brought over Regan to our boat and guess what? I knew you were ahead of me. Regan gave us 10 days too. They both said that they knew some more people who hadn't gave away their time this year and they could probably help me out some more. Now that is great news. So what did I do? I treated everyone to dinner at a restaurant of their choice. We ate and had several glasses of wine and it was the least I could do. All I really can say is - THANKS!

 Nov 12 - I spent almost all last week writing. I was scheduled to go to Amelia Island on Sunday and be part of a video shoot for an on-line Captian's class that will be available in 3-6 months. I had about 1/3 of the curriculum to teach and I had to write the script for it too. Before I left I caught this picture with the fog rolling in. It was definitely cool watching it.

I arrived Sunday at 6 when I was scheduled to arrive and walked in just in time for dinner and it happened to be Dick's, my host's, birthday. Great meal and good fun. Monday through Wednesday it was all work. Monday they were shooting the other Jim in the morning before lunch which you see pictures of below. Then in the afternoon and all day Tuesday I was in front of the camera. We had so much to shoot, we even worked Tuesday night shooting continuously from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm before getting done. When you aren't working on a "sound stage" then you have problems with noises and it seems that every time we started there was a reason to "CUT." We caught back up however and on Wednesday we went out on a 54 foot Viking to get shots on the water. All in all a cool although exhausting experience. I saw some of the video and I didn't break the camera. Actually, I think it is going to be a great on-line program. Something you might be interested in.


 So, more news. Last week I found a house that had been foreclosed and after looking at the pictures, Deb and I decided to put an offer on it sight unseen. Say What! Yes, sight unseen. It had problems and they were Chinese Drywall. That means the entire interior has to be taken out down to the studs. Then replace all electrical fixtures and outlets, plumbing, then put the new drywall back in and install all of the cabinets again. Sounds like a project doesn't it. Just up my alley. the house was priced very low and I put in a bid on Thursday. It had to stay on the market for 72 hours and that happened to extend over the weekend. So, Monday we found out that we were in the running. Ended up 5 of us are trying to buy this property. We were asked to put in our "highest and final" offer. I did that on Monday just in time while having lunch at the video shoot. Now we are waiting for the results. I am hoping but who knows what will happen. If we get it, it will be a dream since it is on the water. It will also be a HUGE project that I expect I will be doing by myself and will take 4 or so months. With that said, whatever happens now happens. Not much else we can do and I did put in my highest and final offer. If someone else wanted it more, then they will get it.

We will probably know sometime next week. It's in the banks hands now.

  Now for the rest of the story. We found out yesterday after I got back that our engine HAS BEEN SHIPPED. Did you get that? Great news. So far no tracking number but it should be here Monday sometime. That means the parts should go on the engine on Tuesday and it will get painted. Probably dropping it in Wednesday morning and then I will put on all the controls and align the engine. Probably starting the engine on Thursday with the mechanic so we validate the warranty. Then I'll run it several times and take it out to put it under a load for a while and make sure all is good. I can't wait! We may get out of here by Saturday morning only a week and day away. That will bring fun and excitement back to the website.

Since I know you have read about our friends Garry and Shirline, I am going to provide you some cruising fun with an email they sent us. Trust me on this one, you want to read it. I received this email yesterday.

 After staying in Miami a week waiting on the weather we said hell with it and crossed the gulf stream in a 10 or 15 knot wind and 8 foot seas. It was bumpy, but we left at 7:00 and going to be in Bimini by 2:00 so we thought we could tough that out. Everything was going good. Motor was going, sails were up and all of a sudden a coast guard cutter pulls up beside of us. We talked on the radio, gave them all of our info and he says he wants to board me for a courtesy inspection. Now we were leaving America, not returning so he should not be checking us at all, but we were the only ones out there and he had to do something. Anyway, I called back on the radio and told the captain that I thought that would be dangerous in these seas. He said he was coming over anyway. In hindsight that was probably like telling a police not to look in the trunk. So he dropped an inflatable over the side with a big crane and 6 people on board. They road up to our boat in 8 foot seas and jumped on board. Then they looked around and checked everything and gave me a lecture about not having my life jackets within easy reach. Said everything looked ok and called the inflatable back over. 2 of the 6 had remained in the inflatable and I never slowed down at all. So all this was done while we were moving along under sail. When the inflatable came back over all 4 of the coast guard boys jumped at the same time into the front of the inflatable boat. That was too much for the inflatable and it took a nose dive under the water big time.. I mean deep under the water. When it popped back up it was completely full of water and these boys were soaked and wet. So of course I leaned out the door and hollered "you got any lifejackets on board"? I thought it was quite funny. I don't think they agreed. There was stuff floating all over the ocean, the big cutter was sounding the man overboard alarm and we never slowed down. It was all I could do to keep from calling the cutter on the radio and telling them, I told you that was dangerous.

From Miami we sailed straight to Nassau with no stops. Once out of the gulf stream the waves calmed down and we had a great sail. We are now sitting in Nassau harbor having our sundowners.

The adventure continues......

garry and shirlene
m/s Zipadedoda

From Jim - I told you that you would enjoy reading it! I'll keep you up on their trip to the Dominican Republic.

 Nov 15 - Nothing new here. I painted propane tanks and cleaned up the hulls so the boat is looking good. Now I need to wash the boat and that will pretty much have us ready to go. Engine is supposed to arrive either today, Monday, or tomorrow. They will transfer accessories, put on all new hoses, vibration dampner plate between engine and trans, the reconditioned heat exchanger, my new water pump both sea water and the circulating pump I just replaced in the Potomac plus all the wiring changed over. It should be ready on Thursday morning and delivered out here to the boat where we can pick it back up and slip it into the engine compartment. I'll then spend a half of day hooking everything back up and getting it ready to run. We may run it on Thursday afternoon but most likely on Friday morning. I'm sure I'll have a number of test runs in the slip before taking it out on a "sea trial" just to put it under a varying load for about a half hour or so. Then we will probably be out of here on Saturday or Sunday at the latest.

I watch the boats going by all day long and it is amazing how I feel. I should be heading south with them. Honestly, it makes me wonder about buying a house but now is the right time because of the pricing of homes. Speaking of houses, the only thing I've heard is there are three of us are being considered by the bank and the bank has to choose one. We will see how patient I actually am. Deb and I are resolved to accept either decision. We would really like the house and I would enjoy the work. However, if we don't get it then that's just the way it is. I made as high of an offer as I wanted to and could make so there is no looking back and second guessing. For those thinking of dropping out early and going cruising, these are just decisions you will face when you decide to get back to being more land based. I will tell you there are some nice pool homes that are cheaper than the home we made the offer on. Problem is the pool homes aren't on the water and I would really like to have our boat docked at our house. We will keep you informed.

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