Apparently, the lift had arrived early (around 11am), long before the “early afternoon” scheduled launch, ready to haul Orion back to the water. It was also before the line cutter had been installed. When Mike, the lift operator, learned we were still waiting for the line cutter to be installed, he got the mechanics there within minutes to complete the simple installation. Then he loaded her in the bands and headed down the long fairway to the water. Once at the water’s edge, the final paint was applied under the keel. While they did this, Dave ran up to find out where we would be spending the weekend (since we had to have an engine mechanic look at the engine one last time on Monday). Cathy grabbed the camera and got a closer look at the line cutter, since it would be the last opportunity for a long time.
But, when we pressed the button, it wouldn’t turn over. After trying a couple more times, Cathy suggested we bleed the engine. That did the trick, but we were puzzled why we needed to do it at all. We had no trouble moving out the slip, stopping first for a pump-out, where the engine started without incident, and then into our slip for the weekend. Maybe air had entered the line during some maintenance on the hard? Only time would tell.
The boatyard’s final in-water task on Orion was to align the engine. This had to wait until Monday morning, since the engine had to sit for 24 hours before-hand. On Monday, the mechanic was on board by 7:30 and done within a half-hour. By that time, Cathy was on her way back from dropping off the rental car and Dave was negotiating the final billing. By 9:30, we were on our way out of the harbor toward (eventually) Annapolis. It took longer than we expected when we arrived back to the boat a couple weeks earlier, but we were happy with the work we’d gotten done while in Deltaville.
To Annapolis for the Boat Show
Now, what would we do.
With access to a car for 2 more days, on Saturday we took advantage of the time to pick up more spare parts (injectors) at Bayshore, shop for new batteries and various other stops before meeting Steve and Krista from Bay Dreamer for dinner who were up from Hampton for the show.
Coming Full Circle
On Sunday night, all four boats came together on Broad Creek. We enjoyed a dinner at George and Gail’s house and planned the itinerary. The forecasted light winds meant there would be little to no sailing. However, there were still beautiful areas to see. We decided to spend Monday night on the Wye River, Tuesday at St. Michael’s and then come back to the western shore for a night in the Rhode River. It had been years since we had visited these places, so we were looking forward to it.
After an impromptu dinner aboard Marianna that evening, we bid goodbye to George and Gail who would head home the next morning. It had been a picture perfect trip and we were sorry to see them go.
While in Annapolis, Fred had been having recurring problems with his outboard engines, which had caused him to spend a lot of time working on them – to no avail. While in St. Michaels, the engine once again got him into shore, but wouldn’t start on the return. Our dinghy wasn’t problem-free either. When we launched it in the Wye River, we discovered it – once again – wouldn’t stay running once in gear. Although Dave had done some maintenance at Deltaville – fixing the broken cover latch, greasing the moving parts – we weren’t in a position to do anything about the aging gas in the engine. It became obvious that this was the problem. So, once again he had to run the gas out of the engine while in neutral, clean out the gas tank and re-fill it with fresh fuel. This did the trick and it seems to be reliable since. Having had this problem repeatedly with old fuel, it’s becoming more important to use it up rather than have it sit in the engine for any period of time.
Now, if we could just get that outboard working reliably.
Dave had been monitoring the health of the batteries since we were back underway and was not happy with the 2 back-up batteries that we used to supplement our house bank when we were equalizing the main back. The voltage was dropping despite their having been fully charged and not being used. So, he took advantage of the access to the car and a nearby Sam’s Club to replace them with 2 6-volt golf cart batteries, which he installed while we were on the dock in Broad Creek.
The new engine temperature gauge is a big hit, since we can now monitor the engine more closely and have begun to establish a baseline for its normal running temperature at different rpm’s.
We’re finding that we have to bleed the engine with more regularity after a run on any length, so we’re concerned about the cause of this problem. Dave is working through a number of possible causes, but this will likely take us back to Deltaville for another look by John.
Since our travels this winter are likely to take us further into the Bahamas, we are working our way through a list of things we need to have to get ready. At the boat show, we purchased a new guide (Matthew Wilson’s Bahamas Cruising Guide), and shortly after, we bought the Explorer charts for the Far Bahamas and the Exumas, using coupons we acquired at the Boat Show.
But the biggest change of all is Orion’s new headsail, which Bruce delivered as we anchored off Quiet Waters park on the South River. It looks sharp, but we’ve had no winds to use it yet. Soon, though.
Returning the car to Emporia gave us a chance to see our children and grandchildren one more time before heading out for a while. Although, keeping up with them is still a bit of challenge. If you’re in any doubt, just ask Dave.