After a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years at home with family and friends we got back to the boat Wednesday Jan 6th and spent 2 frantic days provisioning for our stay in the Bahamas.
The weather has been windy and rainy here so we weren’t sure when we could leave and get across the Gulf Stream, but it looked like Friday night might work, so we left Stuart along with Onward and headed south down the ICW to the next good inlet….West Palm Beach. It was dark when we got there and the Gulf Stream forecast for Friday night was for north winds and up to 14ft seas, so we anchored by the inlet to wait. Ed had been hearing some clicking during the day, but couldn’t locate the source. After turning off the engine it continued and we located the source. It was our bilge pump. We have a counter on the pump and it had run 75 times during the day. We have a drip less seal on our prop shaft and the bilge stays dry, normally. Checking the bilge there was a steady stream of water from the stern which tuned out to be the now not so drip less seal. There is a collar around the prop shaft that seals against a carbon ring at the end of some bellows. The collar had moved on the prop shaft and was no longer sealing against the carbon ring. Ed loosened the set screws, slid the collar back into place compressing the bellows and retightened the sets crews and the locking set screws above them. The seal was installed in sub freezing conditions several years ago and apparently the screws were not tight enough. (A week later and all is still drip less). We had some dinner and went to bed with the intent of checking the weather forecast in the morning.