Getting closer...

En route between Minerva Reef and New Zealand

32° 13' 0" S, 176° 37' 0" E

After logging a 24hr run of just above 50nm at 10am this morning and no wind in sight for the next 24hrs we decided it was time to fire up the engine (270nm to go to Opua at that point). We had been able to slowly sail at 2-3kn during the first part of last night but then spent the wee hours of the morning trying to stop the sails flom flopping while still making some progress in the right direction (best option: poled out and partly reefed genoa only: 1-2kn, no flopping). Before starting the engine we had to address a suspected problem with the engine's cooling circuit. We had noticed more water steam than usual coming out of the exhaust the last time we had motored a few days ago and we had found a few drops of coolant under the engine, indicating that the pressure relase valve in the heat exchanger cap had triggered. Checking the usual suspects (raw water intake strainer and impeller pump) did not show any issues and the raw water outflow rate seemed normal to us. Hence we suspected an issue with the heat exchanger and the freshwater cooling circuit. Since access to and disassembly of the same is a bit more involved (requires emptying the entire cockpit locker) we thought we'd wait if the wind sets in and allows us to sail on but then gave up this morning. So Namani's cockpit exploded into a maze of lines, sail bags and jerry cans and we dove into the locker and to the engine access panel (by now we have spend many hours down there over the past years but hadn't visited in while ;-). The trouble turned out to be a piece of the engine's scarificial zinc anode that had broken off and wedged itself into the heat exchanger raw water outflow. By itself that wouldn't have caused an issue (the anode sits very close to there anyway), but, surprisingly, stuff had started to grow around there, thus further reducing trhoughput. A little cleanup and a new anode later the engine was up and running again - this time without excessive steam output. Interestingly, the slow down in raw coling water trhoughput must have been to gradual that it outlfow still looked normal to us when we first noticed the steam a few days ago. We've been running under engine since 2pm this afternoon, passing under a windless stationary occluded front with a heavy fully overcast sky. We hope that we will break out of this during the second half of this night and then pick up some SE wind from a high that sits behind the front. All is well aboard, stay tuned... PS: thanks to Seabright for very helpful email consultation on the engine issue!

Add new comment