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Overheated in Great Harbour Cay

Wish it was the “spent-too-much-time-at-the-beach-and-didn’t-drink-enough-water” kind of overheated, but it’s the dreaded other kind. The “holy-crap-the-engine-is-definitely-overheating” kind.

Last I checked, engine overheating is not good. Ever. But we are slowly working our way through it.

When re-anchoring the other day, we noticed that the engine was getting a little hotter than normal. So we began investigating.

Jereme took apart and inspected our entire cooling system from start to finish — the thru-hull water intake; the raw water strainer (which was packed full of seaweed and we hoped that was the cause, but unfortunately it wasn’t); the raw water impeller pump; the thermostat; the coolant levels; and the entrance to the heat exchanger for any obstructions.

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After checking all of the cooling system components and making sure they were all in proper working condition, we tested the engine again and it seemed to get a bit hotter than normal, but still didn’t cross into the “totally overheated” zone. So, we decided to go ahead and try to leave for Eleuthera by sailing around the tip of Great Harbour Cay to stage ourselves on the East side of the island in order to make the sail over to Spanish Wells.  Spanish Wells looks to have quite a few more “regular” services, including the marine kind, so we would have preferred to be in a location like that with our engine issues.

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^^our route so far and where we would like to head.^^

We pulled anchor on Easter Sunday after checking multiple weather sources and confirming that conditions looked a-okay. After sailing north along the west side of the island and getting close to Great Stirrup Cay, we quickly realized that conditions were turning a bit too hairy for our liking (it was more like 8-foot waves than the forecasted 1-2 foot ones, and more like 20-25 knot winds rather than the 10-15 showing on all the charts).  Neither of us were in the mood for unnecessary “sporty sailing” so we turned around and headed back to Great Harbour Cay.

We still hadn’t used the engine much that day, but turned it on when we got close to the marina (we decided to give ourselves an Easter gift/break for one night).  On the short trip in to the marina while straight up motoring, the engine got hot again. And this time, it pretty much made it in to the dreaded “red zone.” :(((

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^^Our temp usually does not go above 180, but got into the 240 range.^^

After a bit more investigation, Jereme has now decided that it could possibly just be a faulty temperature gauge or the sending unit for the gauge.

We were able to borrow an infrared heat gun from another cruiser in the marina and proceeded to spot check the gauge readings. Turns out, it is WAY off! The heat gun was measuring 170 degrees on the hottest parts of the engine we could measure, but reading upwards of 240 on the panel.

We used our handy dandy Boat Owner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual by Nigel Calder to test the gauge and it seemed to work fine. We also tested the wire and that checked out too. All that’s left now is the temperature sending unit (threaded into the engine)…and we think that’s the culprit! However…we don’t really want to try and remove the unit while stuck in a location without any marine services available. If we happen to break something in the process, we have no way to fix it and would be in deep you-know-what.

Luckily, we have a secondary temperature alarm that should go off when we actually overheat. That alarm seems to be in proper working condition and hasn’t actually gone off the past few times the engine overheated.

Usually, half the battle is just “diagnosing” the issue/root cause of the problem, and now it seems like we pretty much know that the engine is not actually overheating. Which is a huge relief!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

Kelley - Sailing ChanceApril 23, 2014 - 2:16 am

Sadly we are WELL versed in all the mechanic and boat maintenance shops in Spanish Wells. Let us know any questions!

Tuesday Tell-Tales.

Okay, I have been MAJORLY slacking in the blog department. I cannot even remember the last “Tuesday Tell-Tales” I posted. Sometimes lounging around and reading for pleasure on my Kindle is just way more fun than blogging. You guys know what I’m talking about. 

Time to get my butt in gear and get some blog action happening!!!  So, here goes nothing.

Our current wifi situation is a little lackluster to say the least. (Which is partially to blame for my lack-of-blogging.) We thought we were so smart and ordered a fancy dancy Huawei Mobile Wifi device (basically a hotspot that you can stick a SIM card into and use with all your devices) before we left Boot Key Harbor in Marathon. Turns out, we purchased one that is only compatible with the Bahama Batelco 2G network…and not their (much desired) 3G network. Oh, and we realized this after buying FOUR data cards from Batelco the other day. Ugh! 2G is seriously worse than dial up and if we would have gotten a mobile hotspot device for their 3G GSM network then we’d be rocking and rolling. First person who comes to visit us in the Bahamas will definitely be receiving an Amazon order shipped direct to them with a new 3G GSM compatible MiFi before they come visit. ;))

Aside from our wifi issues, have I mentioned that I’m starting to feel like we spend almost as much time in the dinghy as we do on the boat.  Any other cruisers with me on that?

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Okay, I might be totally exaggerating the time we spend in our dink, but we do spend a hefty chunk of time trying to get from the sailboat to land (and back)…mostly for Oliver, but also for ourselves…like to make sure our water tank is full and we have ample diesel and gas aboard.  Just doing those regular maintenance tasks sucks up a TON of time, believe it or not.

One day last week, I’m pretty sure all we did was fill up three of our 5-gallon water jugs (via dinghy of course) and hit the marina to try and scrounge up some fast wifi (which btw – the marina folks caught on to us and freaking changed the wifi password while we were hanging out at one of their picnic tables with our spread of iPads, iPhones, and my Macbook — who would do such a thing?!!). By the time we got back to the boat it was already 5pm. And by the time you take a solar shower and make dinner, the day is over. Crazy, right?

Speaking of dinner, I have been busting out some pretty stellar sailboat meals. Go me! …A few awesome fish recipes (from the Snapper we caught), flatbreads another night, red curry chicken and rice, peanut butter cookies one day, pancakes the next. I mean hello, pretty decent wouldn’t you say? ;))

Oh, and then there was the day last week where we decided to pull anchor and re-anchor closer to the marina (to shorten our dinghy ride), and then we subsequently decided to pull anchor at our brand new spot bc it felt a little too shallow at low tide, and wound up mosey-ing on back over to our old anchorage and re-re-anchoring. Not really how I’d chose to spend the day…dropping and pulling anchor multiple times. But hey, that’s cruising life. Gotta take the good with the bad!

And then there’s days that start out like this… 30 knot wind and crazy thunderstorms.

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But end like this!!!…

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And it’s all worth it when the latter happens. :)))

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

AmyApril 22, 2014 - 3:51 am

Lovely! I do not blame you one bit for wanting some laze around and read a book time. I have two weeks left of school + work left before two months off! (Well off from school, still working) and literally cannot wait to read a book for pleasure!

mikeApril 22, 2014 - 1:38 pm

when you wake up to 30 knot winds and thunderstorms… does that mean you must have a fruity rum drink for breakfast?

Bimini to Berry’s!

An overnight sail from Bimini to the Berry Islands found us face to face with the best fishing to date yet the worst anchorage (possibly of all time). Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Berry-Islands-Great-Harbour-Cay-Caribbean-LAHOWIND-Young-Couple-Endeavour-Sailboat-eIMG_2034

Yep, our two-day sail from Bimini to Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands was a mixed bag!

Mostly “high’s” as our sail was downright FABULOUS on day 2 — we didn’t have to motor at all and cruised at 5.5 knots the entire time. We literally only turned on our engine as we were pulling in to anchor here in Great Harbour Cay (outside of Bullock’s Harbor).

Plus, you couldn’t really ask for much clearer or more beautiful water as we sailed our way over to the Berry’s. I mean really, how gorgeous is this?!

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^^the water is seriously the color of blue gatorade…and so crystal clear you want to drink it!^^

We also caught 3 pretty hefty Mutton Snapper along the way. Our best catch yet!

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After catching a ^^barracuda^^ first on Day 1, we were definitely thrilled to pull in a snapper!

And then another.

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And then another. Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Berry-Islands-Great-Harbour-Cay-Caribbean-LAHOWIND-Young-Couple-Endeavour-Sailboat-eIMG_1920 Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Berry-Islands-Great-Harbour-Cay-Caribbean-LAHOWIND-Young-Couple-Endeavour-Sailboat-eIMG_2015 You get the picture. ;))

And they are super delicious I might add!!!

Jereme did an awesome job filleting our catch of they day. (In case you are wondering, we bust out a regular old cutting board and fillet up our catches right on deck — it’s the best spot we have for the job and can easily been cleaned up with a bucket of salt water.) And after two awesome snapper dinners, we still have tons of frozen fish just waiting to be eaten.

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The real “low point” of the trip was anchoring (or really “the anchorage” and not the actual act of anchoring) on night 1.

After beating into the wind and motor-sailing the entire first day with our friends Matt and Jessica from MJ Sailing, we then dropped anchor in the middle of the Great Bahama Banks around 7pm in about 20-25 feet of water. Although it’s only 20 or so feet of water, you still feel like you are in the middle of the ocean, which is all kinds of crazy in my opinion. We anchored our two boats close together and turned on a bunch of lights so we would be visible to any passing boats.

The weather conditions where we dropped anchor turned out to be (and what I hope will remain) the worst and rolly-est (is that a word?) anchorage ever! Pretty decent sized waves and strong winds. At the time, I wasn’t sure if this was “typical” anchoring or not, so both Jer and I went with it. Hello, I even managed to cook up fish tacos and yellow rice that night trying to make the best of the situation! Not really sure how, but I did. The so-called anchorage basically felt like a non-stop roller coaster ride the entire night. Thank god we have a boat with heavy displacement (20,000 lbs.). I can’t imagine if our boat was any lighter, we would have been flying through the air that night.

Jer and I both made it through the night by sleeping (and yes, we actually managed to sleep somehow) on the settees in our main cabin (knowing that the v-berth/bed would have been even worse to try and sleep in). At one point, I even moved a pile of blankets and pillows to the floor in the main cabin and slept next to Oliver in his dog bed. The lower to the floor the better, apparently. Oliver didn’t really care for the spot we picked to anchor and got sick in his dog bed once during the night and proceeded to cozy up next to me on the floor.  He even managed to boot me from my makeshift floor bed, lol. I was happy that he at least he found a cozy spot to sleep and let him have my bed.

Speaking of Oliver, he beat his personal potty-holding record on this trip, and held it for 33 hours (previous was 25-hours)! :(((( We tried and tried and tried to get him to go on the boat during the trip, but he refused. By the time we got to the Berry’s, he practially swam to shore he was so excited.

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When we sailed into Great Harbour Cay, we dropped anchor just outside of Bullock’s Harbour…a tiny community with a small school, two small grocery type stores, and about 2 restaurants. You can land your dinghy at the concrete docks right by the church (visible from the anchorage).

We’ve spent the past week catching up on regular, every day tasks, like our gigantic bag of dirty laundry that desperately needed washing.

Oh, and investigating a slight overheating issue with the engine.  We’re still trying to get to the bottom of that one after taking apart, checking, and putting back together the entire cooling system (which btw looks great so it must be something else).

…More on our time here in Great Harbour Cay, coming soon!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

Marilyn GossApril 21, 2014 - 2:10 pm

You don’t know me, but my husband & I boat on Lake Texoma (which we enjoy), but I really enjoy hearing about your ventures & seeing your beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Breezy // WAVETOTHEWINDApril 21, 2014 - 2:20 pm

Hey, looks like you guys are having a blast! I am no Diesel buff, but we had a minor overheat caused by seaweed in our raw water intake valve. You may have a grate/filter thing covering it on the hull which would rule that out, but I thought I would mention it just in case!

LAHOWINDApril 21, 2014 - 2:34 pm

Thanks Breezy! We thought the same thing actually after checking the raw water strainer and seeing a TON of seaweed. But unfortunately, it’s still happening, so we don’t think that was the main issue. :( Trying to get to the bottom of it today. -Kim

HeatherApril 21, 2014 - 8:15 pm

Situations like this would freak me right out. I’m in awe of your adventures! I have to go back and read from the beginning now :)

Bob BoyerApril 21, 2014 - 8:33 pm

We’ve been following your blog and I love your pics! What kind of camera and lens are you using? Do you do any adjustments after taking the pic, like increasing the saturation?

LAHOWINDApril 21, 2014 - 10:18 pm

Hi Bob! Thanks so much!!! Most of the photos on the blogsite are taken with my “big” camera…a Canon 7D body and a 24-70 f/2.8L lens. And yes, I do post-process all of my photos in Photoshop, making some saturation, cropping, etc. adjustments. :) -Kim

Jennifer - Luna SeaApril 23, 2014 - 12:54 am

Gorgeous pics as always. Still following, so please keep up the sharing!

Jennifer

Buh-bye bimini!

It was fun while it lasted, but we are definitely ready to take advantage of today’s good looking weather window.  So, we are headed east! To the Berry Islands! After a solid 7 days in Bimini, we cannot wait to see more of the gorgeous Bahamas!!!

We will be sailing across the Great Bahama Banks and anchoring out for one night, and then sailing the rest of the way on Tuesday. We’re not sure exactly where we will enter the Berry’s until we see how the weather is acting, how the sailing is going, if we feel like we need to hit up a marina or just find another good anchorage, etc. etc.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the tail end of our awesome week-long stay in Bimini…

How amazing are the sunsets over our little anchorage?

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There definitely doesn’t appear to be a shortage of conch around here. ;)) We haven’t tried fresh conch salad just yet, but did grab some conch fritters the other day!

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^^see what I mean?! piles and piles of old conch shells just litter the island.^^

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We picked up lunch on Saturday from this great roadside bbq joint… although we somehow keep missing out on everyone’s bbq ribs. They go like hotcakes around here! Luckily, we did not miss out on the coconut rolls from Charlie’s bakery (basically just some guy’s home bakery — I literally stood in his living room while Charlie’s wife packaged up my fresh-from-the-oven coconut rolls. And man were they awesome!!!)
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And you can’t beat a view like this while enjoying lunch, can you?

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We strolled around Baileytown over the weekend and, you know, just stumbled upon a few pet goats. ;))

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Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Bimini-LAHOWIND-Caribbean-Couple-Dog-Sailboat-eIMG_1675 And we were lucky enough to have some great company here in Bimini…our friends Matt + Jessica from MJ Sailing!

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^^how adorable are they?!^^

And if island life wasn’t good enough by itself, we managed to throw on some “fancy” clothes and partake in a little casino action at Resorts World Bimini. I surprised myself by flat ironing my hair for the first time since we left Naples, actually wearing makeup, and throwing on something other than dry fit clothing!

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Let’s just say “casino night” was basically a quick 2-minute dinghy ride to lose a few hundred dollars and down about four too many free margaritas. ;))  It was also a great night to fall out of the dinghy and submerge an iPhone. Not a good night for Jer.

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We had such a fabulous time in Bimini! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Bahamas have to offer!

xoxo.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

Aunt BrenApril 14, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I see Uncle Mikey’s teachings have served you well….you don’t need his 3 card poker help anymore….you are all grown up now. LOL!

BarbieApril 14, 2014 - 7:46 pm

These pictures are fabulous.

AnnApril 15, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Hey Kim thanks so much for all the great info about import requirements for our four legged friends. I have a dachshund Daisy and hope to bring her along on our travels to the caribbean and beyond. You didn’t mention anything about the customs check in at Bimini with Oliver. I seriously stress over which islands will let Daisy in. She doesn’t like to be left on the boat alone!

Enjoy! and please keep the info coming,

Ann and Daisy in Canada

Mark RoopeApril 16, 2014 - 8:42 am

For the last four years we have been liveaboards and cruising around the med. It is a wonderful places to cruise and a living breathing history. Having said that I see your photographs and know that one day soon we will make the crossing and be there.
Thank you for the blogs and the photographs..
The trouble is with this world that there are so many wonderful places to see and go and we can never fit them all in..

LAHOWINDApril 16, 2014 - 9:37 pm

Hi Ann! You’re totally right…I completely forgot to mention how customs went. I am planning to do a whole post about our crossing, but haven’t had a chance just yet. In Bimini, they didn’t even ask about pets, and it was not on any of the forms we filled out. However, Jereme went ahead and provided that info to customs/immigration when he checked in for us and provided a copy of our Bahamian dog permit to get stamped. That way we won’t have to worry about Oliver on any of the islands here. There were no questions asked and no issues with the permit we received back in January-ish. Hope that helps! -Kim

We’re still in Bimini…

Loving life and patiently waiting for the next good weather window so we can make a move over to the Berry Islands or possibly straight to the Exumas. It was pretty windy the other day making the beach on the west side of the island look like this…

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Meanwhile here in Bimini, we just relocated ourselves from Brown’s Marina at the south end of North Bimini to an anchorage at the north end of the island where our friends >>MJ Sailing<< have been anchored since we arrived in the Bahamas.  Right now, it’s just the two of our boats here at the quiet anchorage next to Bimini Bay Resort.

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^^last photos at Brown’s Marina.^^

We never planned on staying at Brown’s for more than a day or two, so after 4 nights, it was definitely time to get a move on…and save some moola at an, ahem, free anchorage.

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Over the past day or two, we’ve been spending our time working on small, miscellaneous tasks we’ve been meaning to complete…like grooming the dog (poor Oliver got a very novice hair cut yesterday!) and installing the new canvas snake cover for our solar panel wires that we had made in Marathon. And hanging with lots of other cruisers we’ve met here in Bimini.

We’ve also continued to explore Alicetown by foot and plan to check out Baileytown too over the next 3 days. There are SO many interesting things to see here, like The Dolphin House.

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We had been told by a few folks here that The Dolphin House is a must-see! So on Wednesday, we strolled up Queen’s Highway until we saw the little hand-painted sign on the side of the road and made our way up the narrow road to find the most interesting and ultra creative hand-built house here on the island.

We were greeted by Ashley Saunders himself, a native of Alicetown, local author, artist, and historian on the island, who offered to give us a tour of the home he built.

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The Dolphin House is the result of one man’s love of the sea and his passion to create something truly special. And one experience I am so glad we didn’t miss out on!

In 1993, Saunders began construction of a house unlike any other using items found on the beach and scrapped materials to decorate every inch of the concrete structure. He literally walks the beach every morning in search of new treasures to add to his masterpiece. And this work of art is constantly evolving — he is currently adding a rooftop deck to the already two-story home. The interior and exterior walls are completely covered in mosaics composed of colorful tiles, shells, bottles, sea glass, coins, and lots of other found objects. Saunders’ chaotic mosaics act as homages to his island’s history and his love of sea life, particularly dolphins.

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The history is much richer in Bimini than what meets the eye.  In addition to constructing this very unique home, Saunders has worked diligently to preserve the islands history, and has built a museum as part of the house to showcase Bimini artifacts. We relished every second of our tour with Ashley Saunders.

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^^view from the top of the dolphin house.^^

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^^Ernest Hemingway quotes littered the ceiling tiles.^^

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We also had a very delicious conch fritter lunch at CJ’s Deli on the beach and may or may not have picked up a few slices of guava cake and a cheese danish at Taste of Heaven Bakery in Alicetown.;)

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^^looks can be deceiving.^^

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^^super delicious conch fritters!^^

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^^strolling around Alicetown.^^

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Bahamas + Caribbean.

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DavidApril 11, 2014 - 11:43 am

I have been following you guys for the last few weeks only, loving your creative writing and fantastic pictures (not the iPhone ones)- Really got a shock today when I discovered that Dolphin House has a registration plate from here in my current home state (Alberta). We truly live in a disposable world sometimes…..

Take Care, keep up the great writing on your adventure!
David

ColbyApril 11, 2014 - 2:29 pm

How cool was The Dolphin House?!?! Loved that. One of my favorite things to do when going to the islands is to venture into their native areas and see the really cool, original places. It’s so very interesting. And so different from living in the states. And CJ’s deli…those small hole-in-the-wall places alweays have the BEST food! Love seeing your updates. :)

Kristi ManganApril 11, 2014 - 8:45 pm

Very cool! The Dolphin House looks like such a treasure! Love your pictures! Keep ‘em coming!

LeighApril 12, 2014 - 3:38 am

Postcards are exactly what these look like!!! Unreal!