The Package

September 8, 2019

Last week I had Christmas in September.   Jinhee arrived at the Warsaw airport with a duffel bag full of goodies.   This would be a great time to have a picture of the luggage I made her drag through two airports, but that would be evidence that I am a horrible person.   Can’t have that.

I am not sure how much I posted about my blower failing in the engine room, so this may be a repeat.   Some of the readers like to hear about the projects on board, so if you’re bored with this stuff, better move ahead a few paragraphs.

When we were heading south through Croatia, I noted that the engine room was pretty hot.  Hotter than usual, and we also had overheating of the stabilizers for the last two days.   After some analysis, I discovered that one of the blowers that pulls hot air out of the engine room had failed.   When we arrived in Tivat, I began looking for a replacement.  Now one of the interesting bits about boats, is that they are not all the same like cars.  As well, the manufacturers (mostly) don’t care if you can’t find spares afterwords.   They sold you the boat and have moved on.   So this blower (the specific model) is no longer manufactured and the company that built it is no longer a stand alone company.

This makes things really exciting.  I knew that Jinhee was returning in two weeks and that I would see her in Poland, so I had to find a replacement quickly and get it to Jinhee before she got on that plane.   Nordhavn has an excellent owner’s group on line and the Nordhavn Owner’s Group provided me with a LOT of really good insights about resolving the issue.  Mostly they said “Hey, nice option at build time, but you need something a lot better”.    I ignored that advice; the clock is ticking and I am not going to try to outsmart the boat designer.   Luckily the European Nordhavn dealer found a very close product by the same manufacturer on Ebay.   After some stress about delivery times (it had to go from the midwest US to Toronto), the blower made it.

I am still in the process of installing it (it’s not an exact match, so I have to modify a bracket) but I have the entire setup prepped and tested.  Yay.   The funny thing is that what other owners told me revolves around three key ideas:

  1. Diesel engines love cold air.   The engine room gets really hot and the engine should not be in a room over 130C. (My engine room is NOT that hot, probably more like 100C)
  2. The two blowers on this model are like trying to empty the water out of a swimming pool with two straws (the imagery is worth typing that out)
  3. There are blowers and axial fans.   Axial fans move more air and are often powered with DC so can be reversed.

Most of that is meaningless to readers, but in the context of the discussion, they helped me with my plan for future upgrades to the boat.   Essentially, I should put in axial fans that move a LOT more air if I am going to be cruising around in really hot climates.

Need to change flanges from the old (light grey) to the new (dark grey)
Taking a selfie while going into the dark recesses of the engine room. It’s good to be fit!

Hopefully tomorrow I am able to do the metalwork to alter the bracket for the blower and get it installed.

Over the past two years I have not had much need to make changes to electrical connections, but that Nordhavn Owners Group (NOG) highlighted crimping tools a few months ago.   Now I have never used a crimping tool before, but a number of owners reiterated just how much they use them, the value of ‘knowing’ that your electrical connections are good and so forth.   So I bought one.  It was promptly removed from my carry-on bag at the airport in July and it is NOT worth the $5/day storage fee for three months.

Did I say Christmas in September?  jinhee brought me a replacement (checked luggage, tools are no problem). I used my new crimping tool to make the electrical connections for the blower and now I wonder how in the world did I ever live without this tool?!   I won’t bore with details if this tool is a mystery, but it’s like the cook discovering a blender or a barber discovering electric shears.   I am always learning.

Electrical connections are now much easier!

But the best part was new bits for my bike.   My friend Juan Farias who owns Bike Pro Service sent me a care package, including new pedals, brake pads, tires, tubes, and boy am I happy.   Not only did he deliver these directly to Jinhee at the office, he threw in some other bits because he saw a picture of the rust on my bike from the salt air.

My pedals click on every rotation (because I am soooo strong 😂) because they are simply worn out.  Now, I normally listen to music so I don’t hear the clicking but it has gotten so bad that I can’t turn the music up loud enough to cover it.   Time for new pedals.  I already have enough mental problems, or so I am told.

Today’s ride, 100km, ~2100′ of climbing (that’s a really hard day) four and a half hours on the bike and not a single click from my pedals.  It was like a weight was lifted off of my brain.   Thank you Juan!!


Some photos from the ride . . .

I just rode up from there.   And that isn’t even close to the top.
This is way below the photo above but very pretty
HAHAHA and you thought you were done climbing.  Fool! (Best said with a Mr. T voice)
Looking (down) to the North between Kotor and Budva

Finally, and this will all get clearer in a new post later in the week, I have now arranged to leave Montenegro on Saturday morning.   The trip west to Spain will begin after I get some fuel on Saturday morning and I will be on my way to flatter cycling territory and closer to the loading spot to ship Home Free to Florida.



3 thoughts on “The Package

  1. Sending her home as a passenger on another ship makes sense even as it deprives you of some great stories. Let me know where you park her.

  2. Don – I enjoy your updates on your time on your Nordhavn – I continue to wish you only the best. I am saddened to hear you have decided to cross the Atlantic on a freighter only because you will not have the experience of doing a trans-atlantic yourself.

    Lots has changed in my life since we last spoke as well. Please keep me in mind for other adventures…


    1. Thanks Thomas, we will keep in touch I am sure.

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