Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday - Testing

J and I got started on the steering issue bright and early and with a true "Rube Goldberg" were able to get the boat steering by the main wheel again.  These repairs were completely temporary and I told J that I was sure it would hold for at least 70 miles.  Its about 65 to our destination of Isla Mujeres.  Jerr was, of course, the one to put the finishing touches on the process as it required a small person to get into the hole where the connections are made.  Once that was done, we decided she needed a sea trial.
Leaving the dock for the first time since the incident

J and I took the boat out without incident but about 1/4 mile off shore, one of the alarms starting going off.  It was like Key West all over again with the overheat temperature light and buzzer going off.  We immediately shut down the engine and because of the proximity to the reef, J unfurled the foresail to keep us steering while I checked out the engine.  The engine was hot but engines are supposed to be hot.  We didn't have the instruments on-board to actually verify if it was overheating so we erred on the side of safety and didn't restart the engine.  J turned us around to head back to Puerto Aventuras under sail.  Just before we got to the approach channel, we started the engine and brought in the sail.  We motored in and docked just as the alarm began sounding again.
Returning to dock

Bob, a local at Puerto Aventuras, lent us his digital infrared thermometer so we could actually check the engine to determine if it was actually overheating or it was a bad sensor or another wiring issue.  We ran the engine under load, pretty hard for 30 minutes checking different spots and while the temp warning light was on, the engine wasn't actually overheating.  We checked everything over again and the decision was made to attempt our first leg to Isla Mujeres tomorrow.  With any luck, we would be spending tomorrow night at El Cid in Puerto Morelos.
We decided since it was probably our last night in Puerto Aventuras we should celebrate with Paparazzi's Pizza and one of the new DVD's that Brenda brought us.

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