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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Heading North to Namibia

We left Cape Town on Monday afternoon. The boat was put away again and ready for sea, food cooked and in the fridge, everything stowed. A few miles north of Cape Town we checked in the bilge and were dismayed to see water still pouring in from the stern, as much as ever. We emptied the lazarette and checked the new stuffing box. It was doing it's job, no water was coming in above the bearing. We decided to continue on to Dassen Eiland. No turning back this time. We anchored at Dassen in the dark and resolved to work on the problem in the morning. It was a chilly fall morning when we got to work disassembling the steering to have complete access to the bearing box. We found that while the bearing has been sealed at the top there is a crack at the front edge of the box housing it. It was so rough with large swell rolling in that we had no problem seeing the leak because every wave submerged the stern and brought a fresh supply of salt water to the area. Peter chipped away the rotten glass and we used our JB Weld Waterweld epoxy putty to plug the crack until no more water was coming in. It wasn't a big enough hole for caulk. As there is apparently a bit of pressure on the area we could have then spent another day or two to glass over the freshly puttied crack but the waves were big and we decided to move on. We didn't want to spend too much time in a rough anchorage with the steering disconnected. There is now some water coming in but nothing the bilge pump can't keep up with. We're making good time on our way to Namibia and looking forward to a quiet anchorage and quality time in the lazarette with some fiberglass and epoxy. Of course, we'll also try to work on where the water is coming in from outside if we can get the stern out of the water enough.
Water in the bilge issues aside - really we're quite used to those by now - the trip is going well. We're enjoying our AIS for watching all the big ships transmitting their positions, we have a fine following wind and the seas aren't too bad. We're averaging over 7 knots and hoping we arrive in Namibia at a time that we won't have to pay overtime and holiday fees for clearing in! With the fall temperatures in Cape Town we're looking forward to crossing Tropic of Capricorn line into the tropics again.

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