Sunday, March 3rd
Schedules are for people who get stuff done. Boaters, well we just let time and tide tell us what can be done. I know I have mentioned it before, but today I am going to highlight the case for not having a schedule while boating.
The weather slowed my Dad and I down and made a stop in Cagliari, IT a prudent choice. From there, things have been a bit frustrating. I was prepared to take the boat to Gibraltar with Jinhee next week, and all was looking good. Over the past few months I have planned and completed a lot of updates to Home Free to make sure the boat was ready to cross an ocean. One of the things that never occurred to me was to check the muffler. It is covered in insulation (not an excuse, but still) and hard to see frankly. As you might guess, this oversight is now going to force a change of plans.
Home Free is driven by a big tractor engine. Made by John Deere and modified by Lugger for marine use, it is designed to run continuously … like forever. Apparently it does a good job of it too, crossing an ocean will require about 20 days of continuous use. I will let you know how that goes another time. Home Free also has a very pretty and big stack that allows an exhaust pipe to vent the exhaust from the engine outside. It goes through a muffler. More emphatically, it requires a muffler.
When I was cleaning up last week before heading to Miami, I noted some insulation had fallen off the exhaust pipe. I looked around, cleaned up the mess and asked a couple of questions to people smarter than me.
By sheer luck the Nordhavn dealer in the UK caught wind of my boat and inquiries and asked me if my muffler had been changed at 10 years. Nope. In the end (late yesterday) it is very clear that my muffler is shot and needs to be replaced immediately.
That scrubs a crossing of the Atlantic this spring as the parts will take weeks to get here and the work may take a week after that. In general, that rates as a bad week.
So a new plan has been concocted. The boat will return East to get the service work done, and then perhaps some time will be spent in Croatia and perhaps the boat will rest in Corfu while I return home for a bit. We will try that ocean crossing thing again in the fall/winter.
I would like to write a bunch more, but there is much work to be done so the boat can move back East . . .