Thursday, June 26, 2014

Racing Our Home, One Last Time

Last night, we raced Fortuitous one last time. Endeavor was still out being repaired, so the crew joined us for the fun. The first time we did this, Mom and Dad were aboard to help. Unfortunately, it was incredibly hot, and there was not a lot of wind, so even though it was fun, it was also kind of miserable. This time we had a great race, but did not technically finish in time. Oh well, it was fun anyway. We got to fly the chute again, and that is always a rush!

Of course, there is always adventure when we take FORTUITOUS out, and this night was no different. It was getting dark, and time to head back to the docks, we had an after party to get to! I fired up the engine, and the sails were coming down. It was not long, and my control panel started beeping at me. The engine temp. light was on. I went into the engine room, and saw smoke coming off the muffler. Time to shut down the main engine. It is really a good thing we have a sail drive on this boat, as it has saved us more than once. I had thought my biggest worry getting in tonight, was making sure not to run aground, as we would be coming back at low tide, a tenuous time for us, given our deep draft. Add to that an overheated engine. Weeeee!

Now I had to get us in on our sail drive. This little engine was never meant to drive the boat. It is a glorified generator, and now we needed it to guide our 55,000 lb vessel, with all of our crew (and of course everything we own) aboard into dock. And it was now night. Dark. With a brewing storm in the distance, though its lightning was actually helpful in my sighting the channel markers. I will say it was better than seeing a drifting boat in the flashes.

Fowler and Steve headed into the engine room, while I guided us into the channel. Thank goodness for all the people aboard. It was now totally dark, and everybody was shouting at me, helping to keep us on course, and away from the shoaling and shallow areas. Every once in a while, someone would say, "are we moving at all?" and my heart would drop, I was so paranoid of running aground at low tide. Fortunately, we were just moving very, very slowly (heavy boat, tiny motor). It took a long time, but we got her in and touched right up to the dock. In the meantime, it was determined that something had stopped up our intake on the main engine. This is fixable, we know from experience, and should not be a great expense, possibly even just a minor pain. Also, we had plenty of food and drink aboard, so as I guided FORTUITOUS in, we were able to have our own after party. Fun!

I know some people were worried about returning so late, but there was nothing we could do about that, and we all got in safe and happy, with yet another story to tell!

I am sure it was a birthday Fowler won't soon forget!

Looking up from our bow, the main out and the gennaker. Thank you, Eunice for getting this beautiful shot!

Crew on the bow (Lto R): Janele, Matt, Chris, Thia

Crew: Anne, Janele, Matt, Chris

Crew in the cockpit: Emily, Fowler, Beth, Captain Steve, Eunice (sorry, I didn't get Eunice very well).

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