My family left to return to England on Sunday March 28th, we had enjoyed 10 days of sailing, exploring beautiful islands, snorkling, great meals eaten beneath the stars, lots of wine, lots of laughs and a lifetime of memories shared. So when they left for the airport, it was very quiet and the boat seemed somewhat empty. We spent the afternoon putting the boat back together as we had done a lot of re-arranging of our stuff in order to accommodate 5 extra people. So when the boat was back in bristol fashion, John lifted the floor to check the engine, something he does on a very regular basis. He had expressed some concerns about the water level and wanted to see what was happening. He had suspected that the water was leaking into the oil and that fear was confirmed. So after a restless night, he went in early that morning to talk with a mechanic at Jolly Harbour boat yard.
Carl is a very interesting man - he is a very friendly, knowledgable and easy going gentleman from Grenada. He has worked on and around boats for almost fifty years, so when John approached him with his problem, he said he was very familiar with our engine which made John feel confident that we were in good hands. In fact Carl used to work with the company, Commodore, who made our engine many years ago. So over the next few days, John worked alongside Dennis, one of Carl's employees, and together they dismantled the engine piece by piece until it was ready to be removed for further inspection. In order for this to happen, John cut a large hole in the cabin top and within 40 minutes the engine was lifted out safetly by using chain block and a forklift, a few tense moments as it was being raised out of the engine room, and then taken to the workshop. Carl and Dennis examined the engine for the rest of the afternoon and found the problem, it was the wet sleeves, the seal was damaged and had allowed the water to seep into the oil - something John has suspected was the problem all along. The head gasket which had caused problems last season was fine. So now the parts needed for repair have been ordered from a manufacturer in the UK and so we must sit and wait for them to come in. It is an inconvenience and an unexpected expense, but we are very relieved that the problem is being addressed here while we can get the help we need. It would be impossible to deal with this while sailing home, and its going to be a relief knowing that the motor is is in great shape for the upcoming season.So we are very grateful that this has happened now.
Meanwhile, we are finding ways of passing the time. Kristy and I are going to begin helping at a local primary school. We begin on Monday morning working one-on-one with a couple of children who, in the Principal's words are "lost at sea". We are looking forward to this new wxperience. The boatyard is not too far from the beach so we can go there whenever we want to. I am also going to spend some time with Grace, a lovely Antiguan lady who has a tiny restaurant called Grace before Meals" she is going to allow me to work alongside her in the restaurant as she teaches me how to cook local dishs - carribean -style.
So all we can do is wait. We are in a good spot and are in safe hands. I consider it a blessing that ths has happened now and not while we are at sea!
will keep you updated
THE MOTOR BEING LIFTED OUT
THE FORKLIFT BEING POSITIONED ONER THE NEW HOLE IN THE CABINTOP
Posted by Amoeba Sailing Tours on Fri, April 01, 2011 at 03:36 PM