With a topped off tank we headed out and up San Juan Channel in choppy seas. Having installed a new alternator in Friday Harbor I was keeping a good eye on the instruments and had Sarah act as a back up. About two miles from Spieden I looked down and the engine temp gauge was nearly pegged! It couldn’t have been but a minute or so since I had last looked so it was startling to say the least.
Turning the engine off I lifted an access lid in the cockpit to check the sea water intake plumbing and out bellowed clouds of antifreeze leaden steam. How could this happen? We unfurled the head sail and I gave Sarah orders as to where to head while I went down below to try and sort things out. To her credit she didn’t panic and took the wheel, telling me not to worry, she would handle everything above. What a crew!
After taking the companionway apart to gain access to the engine, the problem became obvious. The engine hose to the thermostat had come off and emptied the engine of cooling water in seconds. What a mess. The hose end was distorted from the clamp so I cut off about an inch then worried the hose back on the fitting. To my surprise the fitting was barbless and only as long as one hose clamp. I put everything together as best I could and filled the engine with hot water. Keeping fingers crossed I had Sarah pick a course and turn on the autopilot while she started the engine. Sure enough the temperature came right down and stayed there.
We quickly rolled up the headsail and away we went, half an hour or more late,. The channel was still in good shape and we passed by Roach Harbor and turned north for the short run into Reid Harbor.
I’m sure that temperature gauge hasn’t had that much attention in it’s entire life, but all went well.