DREAM AWAY Update 09-16-2014


This update has been a long time in coming, and let me start off with a big apology for not keeping up these last few months. I am way behind on the DREAM AWAY updates. The last one I sent out was for March of 2014. I have been keeping notes, so I fully intend to fill in the blanks so to speak, and get the information on the web page in the next couple of months.

I am also way behind on the Maintenance Logs, but I do have the Maintenance log for April and May up on the web page. I have also been keeping a record of all of the projects I have been doing on DREAM AWAY, so I am planning to get all of the Maintenance Logs updated and up on the DREAM AWAY web page in the next couple of months.

The real news can be seen in the Passages Planned link on our web page. We are finally going to get underway and leave Delcambre, Louisiana. It is a bittersweet parting, as we have enjoyed our time here in Louisiana. We have become part of the community here, and we most certainly will come back at sometime in the future.

The pencil plan to which I had referred in the Passages Planned changed. I am writing this paragraph on September 24th, so I did not get this update out on September 16th as planned.

The plan started out, but we had a problem. On the morning of the 19th, Jeff and Janice and Connie and Wayne showed up on DREAM AWAY. We got all of the gear stowed, and got underway. This was the first time for our two cats, Jillian and Jordan, to be away from the dock on DREAM AWAY, so they were very nervous, especially Jillian. When I went below to attempt to comfort her, I could definitely smell diesel fumes in the main cabin. A couple of minutes later the overtemp alarm went off on the engine.

When I opened the engine room doors on the starboard side, diesel fumes and steam came pouring out. I instantly decided we had to anchor. With the help of Wayne and Jeff, we got my new Spade anchor down and set in no time, in 12 feet of water. That was the good news. The bad news was that we were not even a mile from our marina, and here we were anchored in the middle of the Delcambre Canal.

We obviously had some kind of major problem, and we needed to get it resolved quickly so we could continue with our sea trial. I had to let the engine room and the engine cool down before I started to troubleshoot the problem. I found a loose hose on the anti-syphon valve, so I tightened that. We started the engine, and found that was not the problem. We continued troubleshhoting the problem, and finally discovered the waterlift muffler had split on the top.

We had found the problem, now how to deal with it? We called a couple of local marine suppliers but none of them had any in stock. Touchard Marine, in Delcambre, did not have one of the mufflers in stock, but said they could get one shipped in by Tuesday, September 23rd. We told them we would get back to them one way or the other, but we wanted to see if there was another source that could get it to us quicker. We called West Marine in Lafayette, and in Kemah, and neither had any in stock. They could get one on Special Order, but it would have to go to the Kemah warehouse first, then be shipped to us in Delcambre. They also said they could not give us a timeframe for delivery. We called Clark at Touchard Marine and asked him to order the muffler.

We seemed to have that problem under control, but now we had to get back to the dock at the North Pier Marina. We pulled the anchor chain up until we were just over the anchor. We started the main engine with the engine room vented into the garage, and the cockpit hatch over the garage open. The anchor came up and we slowly motored back to our slip. We got the engine turned off, and DREAM AWAY secured. When we got all settled, we talked about our change of plan. It was decided we would forego the planned sea trial and just leave Delcambre as scheduled. We decided to use the first day of our departure, which is to be a 50+ mile trip up the GIWW to Morgan City, as our sea trial.

All the crew spent the night of the 19th on DREAM AWAY so we could get the feel of all six of us being on the boat and interacting with each other. We had a great dinner that Janice had planned, and it was augmented by some steak and chicken that we grilled. We had a good night, and the next morning Connie made a great breakfast which we all enjoyed.

When breakfast and the clean up were completed, we all gathered together and I talked about the safety items on board DREAM AWAY. I went down the items listed in the Safety section of the DREAM AWAY web page. We also talked about how and when to make log book entries, and the general policies I like to follow during an offshore passage. Many questions were brought up, and when the meeting adjourned, I think everyone had a good feeling about the upcoming passage.

After the meeting, Jeff and Janice went back to their home in New Iberia. Kitty and I and Connie and Wayne pretty much hung out on DREAM AWAY, not really doing much of anything for the remainder of the day.

So, now the loading is completed, and everything is on DREAM AWAY. Maintenance projects have been completed, and the new waterlift muffler has arrived and the installation was successful. We plan to leave Delcambre tomorrow morning, Thursday the 25th, to head to Morgan City, and spend the night there. On Friday the 26th, weather permitting, we plan to sail out the Atchafalaya River to the Gulf of Mexico, and sail on to the west coast of Florida. Remember, you can track us on the Where Is DREAM AWAY link on the web page.

I will try and keep you all updated as we travel down the west coast of Florida, and then make our jump from Key West to the Rio Dulce of Guatemala.



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WEB page http://www.dreamaway.net