Saturday, March 23, 2019
The weather has conspired to prevent Home Free from reaching Bari Italy on schedule. There it is again, throw away the schedule when you are on a boat!
There is a lot of information missing from the last month, but the end result is that Jinhee and I spent a lot more time in Cagliari than we expected. We had to fly a mechanic in to help diagnose a potentially serious engine problem. That was resolved, and at the same time the new muffler for the boat was ordered and is on it’s way to Bari, Italy.
We left Cagliari last Saturday around 3pm and ran straight until we arrived just south of Brindisi, and the weather window closed. After spending a few hours being beaten up by North winds at the convergence of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea, we decided to pull into Brindisi for a night and let the winds pass. That was on Wednesday … still waiting.
One of the difficulties is that the lack of a proper exhaust system means that there is a risk of burning wiring and plastic housing for wiring, possibly even the stack itself if the engine is run too hard. In good weather, running at about 1500 rpm moves the boat at about 6 knots depending on sea conditions, currents, etc. When we crossed into the Adriatic, the winds and waves from the North were really slowing us down and the waves were climbing. When I started seeing speed over ground (SOG) values in the 3 knot range, it became clear that safe progress was going to be difficult.
Since I can’t increase my RPMs for fear of melting ‘stuff’ in the stack, the last 65 nm could have taken 20-24 hours. Instead, I turned on the wing engine to run both engines simultaneously and got the speed back up in the 5 knot range after turning toward Brindisi (if we were sailing, we would have been on a reach). With climbing waves, darkness and exhaustion from four straight days on the water this seemed to be the prudent choice. The storm didn’t get any worse, but beyond a small reprieve yesterday, it hasn’t really been better either.
This morning Jinhee took a flight from Brindisi to Rome where she will catch her flight home, and I once again delayed my departure from Brindisi due to high winds and waves. Tomorrow I will try again.
The new muffler will be installed in Bari over the next week or so, depending on how busy the Nordhavn service personnel are (they are coming from the UK to work on another N47, so I am sneaking into their schedule).
Now that the decision has been made to not cross the Atlantic this spring, I will be looking for a place to park the boat for the next six months, either in Corfu, or Eastern Italy, or Croatia itself. Given the broad array of family activities through the summer in Canada, ease of travel will be important.
I did finally get a short bike ride in today, and that image above is from the ride. The area is quite scenic, even the marina is scenic, but that said, I am looking forward to getting to Bari and getting settled for a while.