I may have pushed it too far. I was busy photographing the tidy village life ashore in Aneityum when Marce said, “That about covers it.” I was of two minds. I’d gone over and over in my mind the sequence of events leading up to our automatic engine shutdown. Of course it was at the worst possible moment of the night before. Then again they never quit at a convenient time, do they? Marce calls this muffler talk, but I have a plan. That plan always involves busted knuckles and oil. In Mexico they have a saying that mixing blood and oil is good luck. I’m not so sure about that but I was betting on an overheating problem so the first order of business when we get back to Escape Velocity is to bump the key just to reassure myself that nothing had seized up. It’s great to have two engines.
She was purring away before I could take my hand away from the key. Nothing obviously wrong on further inspection. Oil and coolant levels were good with no evidence of water where it shouldn’t be but lots of evidence of smoke and soot in our cabin. In El Salvador I had installed a raw-water impeller quick-inspection cover called a Speedseal on both engines. Aha, one impeller vane was cracked and about to break off. A problem easily rectified. It may be a contributor but there must be more going on to overheat that badly. There’s nothing for it but to start her up and watch. She started right up and ran perfectly but a lot of water was running down each side of the engine. I shut it down and followed the exhaust, closely inspecting every inch all the way to the impossibly tiny space far in the stern where the anti-siphon exhaust loop should be. No loop. The hose isn’t even connected to the exhaust thru-hull fitting. Just a lot of sunshine where a fat hose should be. Closer inspection revealed a piece of broken hose barb from the exhaust thru-hull fitting still clamped inside the exhaust hose. Nobody carries a spare exhaust thru-hull fitting. At least I don’t.
However, within the first week of owning Escape Velocity I replaced all of the exhaust hoses and while at the chandlery I saw a piece of heavy fiberglass tube the perfect size to fit our new exhaust hose and I thought that in a pinch I might fashion an exhaust hose join someday. Someday has arrived. Hose clamped to the tube, it now fit through the smaller hole in the hull with lots of 5200 and a hose clamp on the outside.
Now who do we know and where are they? It’s a bad time to only have 2g edge cell service. Then again, it’s never a good time for 2g.