We had a smooth delivery north from Annapolis to Newport at the start of July, breaking up the trip with stops on the Delaware Bay and Cape May.
We had big ambitions for the 2021 Annapolis Yacht Club New England cruise, especially rebounding off of the COVID lockdown nightmares of 2020. We enjoyed almost two weeks anchored off of Ida Lewis Yacht Club while waiting for our Annapolis friends to make their way up the coast to join us.
We briefly moved to a mooring to guard against the remnants of Tropical Storm Elsa.
As an early harbinger of mechanical gremlins soon to follow, our outboard motor refused to start until we hauled it back aboard the pushpit and rebuilt the carburetor to free a seized float bowl valve. But much bigger gremlins were just around the corner.
Just as our friends were beginning to arrive and excitement began to build for getting the cruise underway, the injection pump on our main engine sprung a fuel leak. We consulted a mechanic who advised us that Yanmar no longer sold new pumps, which would mean that the existing pump would need to be rebuilt – a process that could easily take 2-3 weeks. He felt that if the leak didn’t worsen we could soak up the leaked diesel and limp through the two-week cruise. We agreed, but alas, just as we were leaving for the first cruise destination after Newport, the leak dramatically worsened and we aborted our departure and picked up a mooring in Newport Harbor. The pump was pulled out and brought to a machine shop, which found that a critical part could only be sourced from Japan. So far we are two-weeks-and-counting stranded on the mooring without the main engine. We depend 100% on the generator for power, which broke down yesterday when the lift pump failed.
Thankfully, that part was easily sourced from NAPA auto parts and I was able to swap it out for a new one after work yesterday. So now at least the generator is back online, but we are down to the last 45 gallons or so of fresh water.
As it happens, the AYC cruise would be further hampered by a variety of COVID-related event cancellations so we didn’t miss out on quite as much as we might have feared. And in the meantime, we have made the absolute best of our weeks here in Newport.
Once the engine is back online we plan to visit some of the fun destinations we originally had in mind for the AYC cruise, but in the meantime we’ll continue to enjoy the good luck of having broken down badly in a fantastic destination.