Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Charleston to Fernandina Beach, Fl: Adventures in Breaking Down Offshore

Charleston harbor

Charleston bridge

Sunset in Charleston

Moon rising

Super bright moon, clear night

Made it to Florida

Shirts off bitches! Woo!

Sunset in the anchorage

People always say that the definition of cruising is fixing your boat in exotic locations. Well, we are definitely fixing our boat but not sure about the location.  We made it to Florida! Woo, but not with out some little hiccups.

We headed out of the Charleston harbor yesterday morning. We made it about an hour out of the channel before we started to have issues. I mentioned the other day about a shaft/coupling issue and Matt spent all Sunday fixing it...so we thought. His handy skills only go so far and once parts need to be replaced, we can only try to deal with the symptoms until we get somewhere where we can order parts.

Our shaft separated from our coupling on our passage to Charleston the other day from Southport. We assumed that all of the over revving in reverse while we were aground caused the shaft to seperate. Matt drilled a 1/4" hole in the shaft and put a grade 8 hex bolt through the coupling and shaft to keep it in place. Then, about an outside of Charleston the bolt sheared. We previously only had set screws keeping the shaft in and, after recommendation from our mechanic in Annapolis, we decided that a through bolt would be stronger. 

Well, something was still up because it slid outta place again about 8 miles outside of Charleston. Matt had just gone down for his first off watch and immediately came back on deck, turned off the engine, and went to work. I tried to keep forward progress sailing in 4 knots of breeze (which is impossible). He replaced the grade 8 bolt with a stainless 1/4"-20 and we were back on our way. He went down and I took the first watch. About an hour later it happened again; Matt fixed it. The stainless bolt sheared again about 7 times through out our 32 hour passage. 

Not once during this experience did I feel in danger. We kept sailing forward when appropriate, Matt handled the technical issues, and we were accompanied by pods of dolphins literally the entire way. 

We are currently anchored at Fernandina Beach, Fl at ICW mile marker 716. Gonna dive on the prop tomorrow and make sure everything looks ok. Should be in St. Augustine on Thursday. 

If anyone is interested in a more techical post, let me know, and I will get Matt to write something. If not, sorry for the boring, 'woe is me' post.  

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