Egret's water maker gives up the ghost as the boat makes it halfway to Brazil
Day 24: Halfway there
07° 47.36N 22° 03.75W
Course: 233 degrees
Distance travelled: 2126.7 nm from Gibraltar
Average speed: 5.2 knots,
Conditions: 4-6′ variable swells, apparent wind 4.7 knots
Scott and Mary Flanders left Gibraltar on 16 September, and we’ll be following their journey every step of the way, thanks to this unique online “blog”. For the first instalment of their diary, click here
We are fighting a strong head current plus the little wind there has been is on the bow. We lifted the paravane arms this morning to reduce windage when it was blowing a little more than reported. In the past 24 hours Egret reached a milestone of having traveled 2000nm from Gibraltar. During this 24 hours Egret will reach another half way from La Gomera, Canary Islands to our landfall in Bahia de Salvadore, Brazil. To treat ourselves we have increased RPM’s to 1450. Because of conservation and our additional deck fuel we could run at any speed we wished. We did not need the deck fuel at all or even close, but this is Egret’s first really long push. Being safety conscious, we added deck fuel for insurance.
Until yesterday our mechanical issues were Steve’s stateroom fan shedding half a blade. Spare blade installed, Steve was back in business. Because of the high ambient temperatures and corresponding high engine room temps we have been running a second engine room 12V blower. Yesterday afternoon both quit. Knowing the life span of these 12V units, Egret carries spares. We have two new ones plus one we had new brushes installed in Turkey in a third. In Brazil we can hopefully stock up on brushes. One new blower is installed. Steve is going to try to take the brushes from both failed units and make one that will run hopefully another 200-300 hours.
We decided to make water and do laundry before we transferred the approximate 1000lbs of fuel from the bow bladder tank to the port internal tank. This would sink the generator exhaust again for a couple of days until the fuel load lightened (this is an anomaly of the Nordhavn 46 plus our extremely heavy provisioning load on the port side). I fired up the water maker and Mary started the first load of laundry. The water maker’s high-pressure hose was hammering – not usual – however I thought perhaps it was bleeding off air or something else. Other than the hammering all seemed well with excellent flow – 25gph – and water quality. Nervous, I kept checking the unit. Within less than an hour the high-pressure hose had blown. Egret has a single length of high-pressure hose in spares along with new compression sleeves so within a short time all was back together. We fired up the water maker again but soon shut it down. We have no more spare hose. So out came the troubleshooting section of the brochure. Hammering is either poor water flow or a broken valve spring. The water flow is 40lbs at the inlet filter and roaring out the discharge thru hull. Later today I will disassemble the pump head and will probably find a broken spring. NO SPARES. I was told: “this will run forever”, when I asked about spares. Flying parts into Brazil is probably next to impossible but it has to happen. We sent an email to the marina in Bahia asking if we can send small parts in care of M/Y Egret with no reply of yet. We’ll just send them anyway and fight it out later.
Egret has 90 gallons of water for 9 days. The heads are fresh water flush but have a dry flush feature for this purpose. Just lift the toggle instead of tapping it down. We now have buckets of seawater in both showers for flushing. Not a problem but no long cool showers for nine days.