Black Diamond and Fortune’s Favour will be buddy boating down the Hudson this week and then offshore to the Bahamas. We have arrived today late evening by train from Toronto to Catskills. Today is Nov. 11th 2013, Monday evening. Five of the eight crew members are now here, the remaining three we will meet in Manhattan just prior to our departure offshore on Friday. Each of the vessels will have 4 crew members. This is the ideal number of crew members for 2 shifts of 2, we generally change shifts every 4-6 hours. Any less would be more difficult and more crew members would just be crowded and more difficult to provision and prepare meals for.
New Equipment Upgrades
Tomorrow, we will be installing some new upgrades for Black Diamond, I purchased a new Engel Fridge Freezer. http://engel-usa.com This is the most amazing portable fridge/freezer. It is a single piston compressor, with only one moving part, which should last for ever. The most amazing part is its draw, 3.5 to as little as .7 amps per hour. Once the unit is at temperature, it will draw less than 1 amp per hour from the battery bank. We removed our navigation seat, as we hardly ever used it, and will use this space for this freezer unit. This will keep all our meet frozen and any fish we may catch.
We also purchased a new drogue from Sea Brake and Australian company. This is an amazing product http://www.seabrake.com, that will slow the boat down at sea if needed, to prevent pitch poling, also can be use on one of the aft quarter cleats in heavy weather to prevent the boat from rolling. Other uses include creating some drag, during sea tows and you can also rig it off the boom at anchor to prevent pitching in rough seas. We will be pre rigging this so it is ready for deployment if needed.
Other jobs on the list include going up the mast, We checked the rig, tightened the standing rigging. We installed two radar reflectors, including a larger round kind. The full enclosure was installed and the jib sail. We did not have time to install the main, but figured, we’ll do that along the way down the Hudson.
One of the largest projects was provisioning, and loading all the food on board. Below is a basic list of what we will eat while at sea.
Provisions & Meal Plan for the Delivery.
Our first order of business was provisioning. Black Diamond carries 400 liters or just under 100 gallons of water, in addition to this we are carrying 500 bottles of water. This will not all be needed for this delivery, but will come in handy once in the Bahamas. We also brought many cases of juices and soda pops. In the Bahamas you will pay 10 cents a litre or 40 cents a gallon just for de-salendated water. To fill our tanks with water is $40. De-salendated water still contains large quantities of salt that can be tasted. So we prefer to drink bottled water.
• Fruits and Veggies, Milk and Cereals, 24 Eggs plus 1 liter of pre-cracked eggs in a carton – great for when at sea.
• 2 Loafs of Bread, we also make bread on board, Pre-cooked Bacon.
• Egg Salad, Tuna pre-made and Cold Cuts for Sandwiches
• Chilli and Stew was made before we went offshore and stored in zip lock bags.
• Lasanga and Pizza
• Sausages, Pork Chops and Steaks
• Various Salad Materials
Leaving Hop-a-nose Marina Catskills – Engine Trouble.
Left Wednesday afternoon with the tide. Then after only a few minutes on the water, Black Diamond’s engine idle drops and shuts down. Every time we started it, she will only run for less than 30 seconds. So Ems helmed down the Hudson under sail and we were also helped by the tide. Wind was only 2 knots or non-existent. But we floated along with the tide doing, 2-4 knots.
The whole time I was on the phone with Peter from Navy Point Sackets Harbour. We checked the fuel filters, racor filter etc. it looks as if the fuel pump just died.
We arranged with Peterson’s Boat Yard a Yanmar service yard, they will have all the parts tomorrow for us. I have been there before. Great guys. Peterson’s in the town of Nyack. If you need any work done on your boat this is the place to go. Only problem is it is 50 miles down the river.
It was getting late and now the tide changed against us, so we decided to anchor for a while. We found a safe place out of the channel, sailed in and dropped anchor. We were planning on getting up at 1am and floating down the river with the tide and sails once again. However, the wind was blowing on the nose at 17 knots. It would be too dangerous to tack down the narrow river, with freighters and barge traffic all night, especially considering we don’t have a working motor in case of an emergency. So we rolled back into bed and asked Paul of Fortune’s Favour for a tow in the morning. Good thing I bought a brand new bridal, came in very handy. Nice Bridal with 160 feet of rode, was really designed for the drogue, but works as a tow bridal also!
Paul towed us for about 50 miles to Peterson’s boat yard in Nyack. Thanks Paul! Your a trooper! Archie cooked some stew and Ems made Chilli for our meals at sea, all this while on our way down the river. We arrived at about 7PM. Black Diamond Anchored as our engines are not working and Fortune’s Favour tied up at the dock inside the little harbour. We dinghied to land and then walked into the town of Nyack. We went for dinner at Ed’s favourite restaurant in Nyack, Casa De Sol a Mexican place. They have the best table side guacamole dip, which is made right at your table. Ed was in a very good mood and decided to treat the whole crew. Then we enjoyed an amazing Jam Session by local bands. There was about 5-6 bands taking the stage every 20 minutes. By the end of the night there were about 10 musicians sharing the stage and jamming classic rock tunes together. Everything from Guitars, Electric, Acoustic, Bass, Drums, Bongo, Sax, Keyboards and more.
Inspection and Repairs to Black Diamond.
Keith the head mechanic and authorized Yanmar service provider from Peterson’s came out to the mooring ball and boarded Black Diamond. He was well prepared and had everything required to get the job done. You can tell he knew what he was doing, as he systematically, checked the fuel polisher, fuel filters, fuel lines, and fuel tank. The culprit was the fuel tank filter, clogged with some algae that formed in the tank. This had never happened to us in the 5-6 years we had Black Diamond since new. We always store the boat with a full tank, and added the proper additives. But I guess leaving the boat in Catskills with 1/2 a fuel tank since Early September to mid November, in hot humid then colder temperatures, may have caused some condensation that eventually grew into algae.
Keith quickly changed all the filters, cleaned them up, and bleed the engine and injectors. He then offered to pump the fuel out, vacume the fuel tank, and polish the fuel and return it to the tank. This would take an additional 2 hours, but well worth it for the piece of mind. We decided to take him up on the offer.
The over all bill came just short of $900. To be fair, the service bill was about $350, but I decided to purchase the new fuel pump as a spare even though it was not needed today. I also purchased a total of 4 racnor fuel filters and a couple of regular fuel filters for the engine. Before I left Toronto, I had purchased filters from Bristol, but they gave me the wrong kind, even though I gave them the model numbers of my boat.
Black Diamond stuck in the muck.
Ken Bruce our last crew member for Black Diamond arrived by cab to Peterson’s in Nyack. He helped us put up the main, we all had a shower at the marina and by about 4pm we were to be on our way. But wait, not so fast. The boat is sitting on the mud floor just near the entrance to the Peterson’s harbour. Our keel is almost 7 feet draft now, as the boat is loaded pretty heavily. We are down at least 3 inches on waterline, from our normal 6′ 6″, I estimate about 6′ 9″. I knew this harbour gets pretty shallow at low tide, and I was worried about going in there and being stuck at low tide. The staff told me I should be ok at the mouth of the harbour. We had to go in to have our fuel tank vacuumed. Just as we thought we would not be going anywhere until about 10Pm that evening when the tide comes back up, Keith our super mechanic pulls up with the yards work boat, powered by two 225 horse power outboards, a total of 450 horse power. He pulled along side, with soft pads, and cleated on side to side, like the tugs boats do. Within a few minutes we were out of the muck. Thanks again Keith and Peterson’s for everything.
Liberty Landing Marina – Final Stop!
We motored down the Hudson, taking in all the scenic sites. The new Museum on the Air Craft Carrier – Intrepid, The George Washington Bridge, Chrysler and Empire state buildings. The new Freedom Tower at Ground Zero all the while dodging the crazy water taxis, ferries and barges in the dark. Check out the AIS screen capture to see how crazy it can get in New York Harbour. Fortune’s Favour went ahead and picked up their final crew members in Manhattan and we were to meet at the Liberty Landing Marina on the New Jersey Side. This Marina is often the last jump off point for those going offshore. They have a 24 hour a day self service gas dock. Just put in your credit card and pump, 24 hours a day! Love it! Some last minute preps and a safety briefing from the Captain and we are off!
Some older links from our previous voyage of this part of the Hudson River.