July 11th, 2011

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Seven Eleven and I’m in Sailors heaven

Monday, July 11th, 2011

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So, at last I was off at 8.45. After about 15 minutes on the way I checked the stuffing box because of the problems I had after I was afloat again. I had steadely tightened the nut on the packing gland in the days prior. But now it turned out that I had overdone it and the stuffing box and shaft were very hot. So,  I loosened it up some but that was not bringing the temperature down much. In hindsight I should have put new packing in the gland.  For the veteran followers on the “Lisa” list, you might remember the emergency I had for the North Coast of Sulawesi in 2006. When the rubber tubing of the stuffing box had broken open. I replaced the entire stuffing box with an American 25mm stuffing box. Last April I found the right size gland for the old 25 mm stuffing box, which fits the shaft much better. And I did not bother to replace the packing because it looked in good shape.

I do have extra packing with me and I decided to try and replace it at the pontoon of the Border Patrol/Capitania in Giurgiu but after trying to tie up at two different pontoons, that they could have had available but turned out to be occupied or cut off by mooring lines of a cruise ship, I told them that  was going back across the river to Rouse. So, I am now at the local Yacht Club. I managed to just fit in their visitors slip but have about an inch under the keel. The marina manager, Boiko (?), helped me get cleared in because it could have got a little dicey since my paperwork had become a bit convoluted with the game (?) the Zimnicea border patrol played with my patience.

I tried to replace the packing. But it turns out that is not an option in the water because I will have to remove the packing gland all together and pull the shaft. But I might just have struck another stroke of my, near legendary, luck because the crane you see in the background of the Rousse picture can lift me for Euro 50 an hour and it can step my mast….  Because the Danube level is unusual low I can clear the last two or three bridges before I enter the Black Sea. So, I’ll probably be here a couple days and then I can sail the last 500 k.m. of the Danube. That will be so much more peaceful than the engine. The floating crane where I was the last three days could also have stepped my mast, oh well, next time. There were a couple of spots today where I had but a few inches under the keel. I saw loaded barges, anchored ahead of these shallows, waiting for higher water. A dredge had cut off my vieuw of one channel marker and I went hard aground on the wrong side of the dredge. The boat started tilting on its side but somehow I got off with little pride lost, but probably a smidge off the new bottom paint.

Any one reading this that can council me on the proper temperature of the packing glands.  Is it normal for the water dripping from the packing, the shaft and the rubber stuffing box gland to be hot? I just do not think this is normal but I do not recollect how it was before.

Rousse looks like a very pleasant city. I will have more to show and tell tomorrow.