Biddle Pool Ma

Trip Start May 05, 2010
Trip End Oct 01, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We left Salem Mass, in moderate fog. Fog is part of cruising in New England and it has taken a bit of getting used to over the past few years. It seems to me that fog can be forecast only to a moderate degree. The forecast might say visibility 1-3M or visibility less than a mile. As long as we are talking 1 mile or more, its not much of a problem. The First Forty has a 30 mile radar. We see big ships easily. The problem is small vessels and ones running without radar themselves.

When the visibility gets bad, visibility can get down to 100’ or maybe 50”. Such fog never seems to be predictable so you just have to cope. It’s a tedious time. Sue and I both work it. I read the radar. I try to identify every buoy we see on the chart. Anything not a buoy is considered a boat. Next, I see if it appears to be stable or moving. If moving, are we at risk. If we are at risk, do we alter course or speed? An hour in this kind of fog feels like half a day. She handles the wheel and the chart plotter carefully reading off buoys so I can find them. On occasion we have been passed by boats we never see….only their wakes. It can be scary.

Today we start easy, but before long visibility is down to 100’ as we pass Glauster, Mass; a place where there are many, many fishing boats. We work this hard for about 2 hours before the fog begins to lift as we pass the twin lighthouses at Cape Ann. We begin to relax again and enjoy the ride. By late afternoon we pull into an interesting place called Biddlepool. Its so, so New England and really a pretty anchorage. Not long after we got the hook down, we heard a local church play music on their bells. We enjoyed a BBQ and made plans to stop at two of our planned stops: Isle of Shoals and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The next morning, we start our normal routine. I start the generator. We do this to replenish our batteries and we do this most every morning. Today, a bad start. The generator starts, but begins to blow blue/white smoke….a lot. Any consistent spoke from a diesel is a bad thing. I shut it down and restart…..bad smoke. I change the primary fuel filter and try again…..still smokes. I make a phone call to my service tech in Florida. This could be bad, “I would not run it”. Ok, we are headed in. A boat that anchors out must have a generator. We can charge our bats using the engine, but that is not a long term solution. I start making some other calls and find a yard in Portland, Maine that can address the issue. So our plans change. No stops in New Hampshire. We press on to Maine. We cant make it the entire way but we find a good stop about 20 miles short of Portland.

We get to the anchorage about 1800 and get the hook down. I had wanted to do more research on the issue. At the suggestion of my friends, I check one of the posts by “Lugger Bob” on the Nordhavn site. He tells the story that white smoke is a fuel shortage. I was baffled because I had just changed the primary fuel filter and just changed the secondary last week. I got to bed about 10.

About 0400 I wake up and have an idea. Perhaps the primary filter which I just changed had let impurities go by and had clogged the secondary filter. Could this have happened, since I changed it last week? That seems unlikely, but yes….possible.

At 0630, I cant sleep any more. I’m up and in the engine room putting on a new secondary filter. It took about 5 minutes as always stock a few. Sue staggers up and wonders what I am doing. “I have to try this, it’s unlikely….. a Hail Mary”….lets try it. I hit the pre-heat button….then the starter….it starts. Without saying a thing, I race aft to look closely….no smoke! At 0645, I stand on the aft deck and cheer! We had solved our own problem….no trip to the yard. We had missed two stops, but so what….no 1-2k yard bill.

Relaxed, we head for Portland in dense fog. Again, it was intense but in about 3 hours the fog lifts and we round the corner to see Portland harbor. This was going to be good.
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Alan B. on

Great job with that generator and filters. Things like that can drive you crazy and it is those flashes of clarity that often solves the problems. You always have to listen to the inner you....

gknopp on

Over the past 4 1/2 years, I have paid a lot of people thousands of dollars to
do something I should have figured out. These days, I think real hard before I
pull the rip cord. Thanks for the comment.

Nancy Mac Innes on

You put a new meaning to adventure, Sounds fantastic and your stamina is unbelievable. I can picture the area and always loved it but I am not as adventurous now a days. You have earned your rake of Captain with your new knowledge and experiences my hat is off to you both. Nancy
P.S. get ahold of your condo watcher.

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