Sunday, September 11, 2011

Saturday - Success !!

It was a long night and a hard day but Mahalo Nui is safely docked in front of Second Chance.  It was a very happy reunion of two ships that have traveled many miles together.  Many people all over the marina came out to watch her return to the dock and a boisterous cheer went up as the dock lines were attached.

The long night began when J went out to check on her at 3 am and she was still taking on water.  The patch was still in place but leaking.  J was alone and managed to start the industrial pump and get enough water out of her until the pump quit working.  I woke J back up at 6 am to get the day going.  We went out to Mahalo Nui and she had taken on a good bit of water again and after a minor repair we pumped her almost dry.  Ruben and his helper, Luis, were on the scene adding additional floatation.  The plan was to get maximum floatation and take advantage of the high tide in the afternoon and get her out.  Gerado, Jerr, and I went into Playa Del Carmen to purchase truck tire tubes to secure under the boat and over inflate to provide additional floatation.  J, Eric, Ruben, Luis, Gerado, and a few others spent the day on the boat working toward the plan.  We had a 55 gallon barrel tied to the main halyard to help keep her heeled over but the angle coming off the mast and the constant bouncing in the waves eventually sliced through the halyard and the barrel dropped.  Another barrel was attached to the secondary mid mast halyard to keep her heeled.

At about 4:30pm, she started to move and was towed about 25 feet before one of the floatation barrels came off and jammed under the keel making for a quick stop to the progress. Ruben removed the barrel and she was gently guided around rocks in the shallow water.

Eventually it was a straight run to deep water but the waves and wind had their way with her and she stopped at another rock.  She was stuck again but not for long and proceeded into deeper water.

She was guided to the entrance of Puerto Aventuras by Gerado and his guys towing her.

  Fortunately the seas were much calmer, the wind light, northwesterly and, while not without drama, she was guided to the waiting spot in front of Second Chance.  Dock lines were attached and J stepped on land.

We had a pump ready and a plan to get the on board bilge pumps working.  I worked quickly and got the pumps running and she was empty within minutes.  The aft bilge pump failed and the forward automatic bilge pump switch failed after about an hour.  She was pumping about 20 gallons out every 30 seconds.

Eric, who is founder and CEO of Life 2.0, happened to have an extra bilge pump switch on hand.  I installed it, checked its operation and went to bed.

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