Coos Bay, you were wonderful!

Particularly at 4:00 AM, shooting down the entrance range into a harbor you have never visited. There’s a nice mixed use marina in Charleston, in the south part of the harbor, with a nice long dock. We were going to let Walt Drechsler sleep, but he was watching us on AIS, and met us at the dock to help tie up.

After some rest, Walt D, Paul, and Martin took off to deal with rental car issues, and we found out that the propane solenoid wasn’t working. Ken and Hans did some rewiring so that we could fix things under way from inside the boat, Ken and I went off to stock up on bread and cereal, and by about noon, we pulled off the dock, paid our obeisance to the dinosaurs of ages past at the fuel dock and departed Coos Bay a little after noon in pea-soup fog. Made us incredibly thankful for AIS and radar, as we had about a half-mile visibility. By the time we got out to Douglass’s “Express Route” — about 6-8 miles offshore—things cleared off to decent visiblilty. Nice south-westerly breeze and a calm sea.

Time for supper, but what do without a stove? Well you crawl under the sink in the aft head and find the wire to the solenoid so you can energize it. Unfortunately, there was power to that wire.

One of the things you have to be aware about this English sailboats is that in many ways they are engineered with great care. Every wire behind the main panel is labeled, there’s a chart for every circuit, and on and on. Beautiful. And then they use untinned wire that is just too small. What probably happened is that when we took on water in the propane locker a few days ago, salt water infiltrated the wire and corroded the untinned copper. So a quick jury rig to get the stove running became a big deal. So put on the life jacket, harness yourself to the jack lines, and yours truly gets to laz-dive on open water:

on the rail again
(that t-shirt is from Avalon Rafts in Long Beach where we had the raft and man-overboard module services. It’s tempting to print “I went to Avalon Rafts and spent $2000, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.” on the front, but it’s a nice t-shirt.)


We ended up running a new wire into the aft head and jury-rigging a connection to another circuit. And lasagne for supper. By the way, thanks to Mike and Sandy for leaving spare electrical stuff on board—wire, connectors, even a professional crimper—with which to fix things.

After a pretty nice night of motoring (at 1245 on May 3, we are just south of Bay City, OR), and a good nap, we found that the fridge had quit working. The freezer was still frozen, but to Seattle temperatures, not Alberta temperatures. fridge.JPG

Whaddaya know? The compressor is quite warm to the touch, but no water is pumping through the heat exhanger. Actually, the sea-water pump, which serves the same purpose as the fan blowing across the coils in a home fridge, isn’t running at all. It’s time for bilge diving! woo hoo! It looks like the pressure switch on the pump has died (or maybe the pump has died, who knows). That black thing in front of the hole is the pump, by the way. What do you do? It’s only six hours to the nearest place where you can buy one of these things, and it’s in the direction of California.

Our heroes, Mike and Sandy Olsen come through again. Setting on a shelf next to the engine room is a brand-new replacement for the pump. Wire it into the refrigerator circuit, and it spins. Connect it to the water system, and it pumps water. Mount it down in that hole in the middle of the picture, and the refrigerator and freezer start cooling again. The freezer is almost back down to 0º F (from almost 0º C), and the fridge is getting cool as well. Mike and Sandy, I owe you a sail to Princess Louisa for all the spares on board!

Now it’s time to let some of that cold escape and fix lunch. I think it will be hot pastrami sandwiches  so that I can test my two working galley appliances!


3 thoughts on “Coos Bay, you were wonderful!

  1. Guess that, if things didn’t keep breaking down and there wasn’t anything to fix, it wouldn’t be any fun for you guys. I’m almost afraid to think about sailing anywhere without having at least 5 spares of EVERYTHING in a laz somewhere. Time to start saving up my pennies to buy all that stuff . . . Hope you might encounter gentle seas and tailwinds SOMEWHERE along the line!


  2. British electrics strike again! The vacuum cleaner was the only thing Lucas made that didn’t suck, after all. But apparently, everything on a Moody is correctly sized on average: undersized wiring, oversized lines.

    And congratulations on a successful laz dive. You’re one step away from my championship dive of completely entering the laz on Sagres while under way.


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