Day one started absolutely gorgeous.
Evidently this is the reward for being patient and getting the things done yesterday that needed to be done:
- Complete bus heater installation
- Replace port side Racor fuel filter
- Replace both engine fuel filters
- Open the starboard tank, yet again and clean out
- Change the starboard tank vent line
By 18:00 hours all was done. The fuel tank opening was necessitated by once again having some water in the starboard tank. Which led to only the second engine shutdown and the first one in over two years?
Opening the inspection port, which I hate doing, was necessitated by my not having moved the fuel vent previously after cleaning the tank. Just plain lazy on my part, and I paid the price by now having to do double the work.
The tank turned out to be in not bad shape, only about 1 quart of water, along with about a pint of black sludge. When I was done, I put about 30 gallons back in the tank so it would not sit totally empty and start rusting, again.
On removing the hose for the fuel vent from the fitting, there were some drops of greenish liquid on both the fitting and the hose. Since I’ve been suing green tinted fuel, I thought it was that, but I figured I better taste it to find out.
It was sea water, sweet and salty. Almost refreshing.
Yep, the smoking gun was revealed. That helped me feel better and justified moving of the vent once and for all.
So today, Wednesday, Plan A, its 190 nm to Norway, that will take 30 hours, 10 hours per day for three days, putting me into Kristiansand, Norway Friday evening.
Wanting to take advantage of the light winds I got up early, cast off and was underway before 07:00.
The day has only gotten nicer. The winds are even less than earlier, now down to 6 knots, with flat seas, or at least as flat as we ever see. Dauntless is motoring at its most efficient engine rpms of 1500 getting 6.1 knots.
This means a little better than 4 nm/gal (6.1nm*hr-1/1.5gal* hr-1)
We both could not be happier.
Also, I am reminded how much I love being on the water when I am not being tossed around like in a washing machine.
Plan A: motor 12 hours today, anchor for 12, then do it twice more, so on the last day, Friday, head WNW from the northern tip of Denmark to Norway; is being modified into Plan B. The forecast calls for light winds today, then tomorrow continued light from the east, but getting stronger Thursday and Friday.
And while the forecast winds for Friday are going to be stronger, 15 to 20 knots, with seas building to 4 feet, since it is from the east and I would be going just north of west, it would be following sea and the KK loves following seas.
But I think I will hedge my bets. I’d rather not take the chance on Friday’s winds. If they are off even by just 40° it will make the trip much more miserable.
Mid-afternoon, I am coming upon the marker just to the east of Anholt island and it seems everyone has the same thought. I have seen a lot of ships today, far more than I saw while in the English Channel.
And now we all seem to be chased to the same spot. the problem is these behemoths are so much bigger, like a fly compared to an eagle and they are usually going twice my speed.
It’s going to be a long night.