Monday, 15 July 2013

Day 16- July 15

We spent the morning motoring still, as our plan was to motor the remainder of the way to Hawaii. It was a rough night last night with large swells and high winds. We are 425 nautical miles away now. Early is afternoon, the engine started to sound a little off and lugged down. We decided to shut it down to check on it. Rick was checking it, and we turned it on again. It sounded really bad, so we turned it off again. On the third try to turn it on, the engine would not start this time. 

As we looked over everything. We realized, after checking out all of the options, that the diesel fuel was actually on empty. With the constant motion and rocking of the boat, we overestimated our remaining fuel and there were errors in reading this. We immediately put up the sails and noticed that the helm was not allowing us to turn any direction. 

We now realized another problem: the autopilot had lost hydraulic fluid and power. After we got the sails all up, we filled the hydraulic fluid to work the helm and steer the boat in the right direction. We now had to access these problems and fix them one by one. Luckily we brought 2 - 5 gallon cans of diesel fuel on board before we left. There are 4 fuel tanks; 2 on the port side and 2 on the starboard side as well. We have been on a starboard tack, so we shut off the port side tanks completely since they were totally empty. We added the 10 gallons of fuel to the starboard tanks. We will be keeping the motor off for the remainder of our way, as we will need it to get into the harbor in Hawaii and drop anchor. 

 We have had to shut off the power to any electric source, except for the autopilot. So we will not be plugging in our iPads, radios, cameras, or anything else we have been using it for. We don't want to set anything else off and we will need to reserve the battery. The genset has it's own fuel tank so it keeps itself replenished. With the boats motion, air had gotten into the diesel, and when that happens it will not start. We got the fuel running to the filter, and did a few other things. We did this 3 times and were able to start the engine finally. We ran it for about a minute and revved the engine up. We turned it off, as again it will remain off. The oil is also down more than we thought, with at least a half of it is gone. 

 We now have the autopilot running and we are sailing at about 5.5 knots, maybe a little faster. We now have no way to estimate how long it will take as it all depends on the winds and waves. We hope no later than a Sunday arrival, which would make 21 days total. 

 We are so grateful for Rick and his skills as a mechanic and how steady he is. The waters are rough now and there are white caps all around us. The winds are about 15 knots with 8-10 feet swells. Brian is sick again after all the commotion and movement on board today and last night. 

 In better news, Tim caught a beautiful mahi mahi, or dorado today, about 20 lbs. It didn't take as much effort to pull him in as the others prior. He had a beautiful blue fin and a yellow head, but lost his color after he was killed. We will be eating that tonight for dinner. We have had an albatross following us for a few days now, and today we randomly spotted 1 lone seagull. Yesterday we woke up to half a dozen, hand sized squid on deck. Today there were half a dozen flying fish on deck.

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