Monday, August 9, 2010

A Delayed Departure

I arrived onboard Shatoosh yesterday late and was excited to get going this morning. The boat was ready to go and all I had to do was start the engine and check it out. As soon as the green beast fired up it was clear something was not right. She sounded frail, as though she was not firing all three cylinders. As I throttled her back to neutral she started to die, so I reaved her back up, so she could catch her breath. I gave her time to settle in and then got her in gear, but there was not much life. After several calls to different experts and waiting for their return calls, I start checking everything in the trouble shooting manual. Finally got through to Mike, my old mechanic and he says it is bad fuel and to change the fuel filters. This is my Hood River fuel and I recall the boy saying," we haven't hardly sold any diesel this summer". I replied," please don't tell me that", as the tank is about full. An omen, perhaps. Now with about 7 gallons left and having 3 weeks to sit, this might be omen's moment. I call Toni, Mike's old employee and in a flash she is at the marina, changing the filters for me. Not wanting to be without any spares, I head to Portland, in my blue zeus, to pick up some at West Marine.

I finally depart at 1700 hrs and have the end of the flooding tide to contend with. The engine is purring along and we pick up speed as we head down river and I hit  7 k at the tide change and let it carry me to the Columbia River. Toni lives aboard her sailboat in St. Helens and her mother is visiting from England. They were spending the night across the river at Sand Island. That darn ole wind picked up at the Columbia River and after checking out the waves at the Sand Island Dock I decide to hunker in at the City docks where I can get out of the wind and waves a bit. I give Toni an update on the engine and will wait til morning to depart after filling up. If there is any problem in the morning my mechanic is just across the river.

I'm always fortunate to have things go wrong while tied to a dock. I have only had to be towed once. Whew, I'm counting my blessings.