Friday 8 August 2014
Journey: Annapolis Yacht Sales, Annapolis – Chesepeake Bay – Annapolis Yacht Sales – Kennersley Marina, Chester River
Time: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Engine Hrs.: 2.2 – 5.0
Vessel: Gurlz Gotta Eat, Beneteau Barracuda 9
added 10 gallons of fuel at end of evening
Connie and Bill drove up to Annapolis in the hopes we would be able to take possession of our new boat. Upon leaving the house, AND even upon arriving Annapolis Yacht Sales, we still didn’t know if we would be able to go home with it. Earlier in the morning I received a message from Cliff saying the tachometers were not reading the engines. Without proper readings the boat could not leave the dock. Knowing their Yamaha guy had left on vacation I had depleting hope we would take possession today. Not until we arrived in person did we learn that the tachometers had finally recognized the engines AND were working. YEA!
Going through the sea trial we moved up to the flybridge in order to captain from the upper helm. Once I felt satisfied about that I recommended switching back to the pilot house helm. Once at the helm station I pushed the switch station button and nothing happened. Gregg went above to ensure that the throttles had been properly placed in the neutral position. They were. We tried again – nothing. We turned the boat off and back on again which automatically switched the station to the pilot house. Once we returned to the dock, Gregg grabbed a new station switch, undid the panel behind the helm (which is in the head), found that station switch and discovered it had not been plugged in properly. This meant that it was as effective as if it still sat in the box.
I noticed the VHF had not been installed. I said that was fine, I had brought my own handheld VHF so we could wait until the 20 hour service to have that done. In fact I brought a lot of items which may have seemed redundant – the VHF, Garmin GPS, and handheld spotlight. Little did I know that by the end of the night we will have used ALL of the “redundant” items I had packed.
While at the sales office, a young fellow came in with a large, gorgeous vessel. He came over and said he worked for Beneteau and the vessel he just arrived in was Beneteau’s Monte Carlo, the first one in the US. He then asked if we would like a tour. Of course. It was STUNNING, to say the least. Absolutely gorgeous. It put SeaRay Sundancer’s to shame. If we had been in the market for this type of boat there is no doubt we would seriously consider the Monte Carlo. Maybe as our next boat.
With all that, we finally left Annapolis Yacht Sales at 6:00 pm – six hours later than I would have liked. But we didn’t even start the handover process until around 2:00 in the afternoon. Although dusk lurked I wasn’t worried since we only had to get across the Bay, under the bridge, and up the Chester River. Everything went smoothly finding the Chester River as dusk settled around us. We cruised along smoothly until all of a sudden the starboard engine died. I stopped, restarted the engine, but we had poor water pressure shooting out. We stopped the engines and lifted the starboard engine to check if perhaps we had picked something up which blocked the water intake. Nothing.
I tried to start it again but this time the starboard engine would not start. We, of course, are on the phone with Annapolis Yacht Sales to let them know what had happened. We then planned on limping our way to the marina on only the port engine. Within less than five minutes the port engine also quit and won’t restart.
We do a few quick checks:
• Squeeze the primer ball, even though Fred of Annapolis Yacht Sales said we will never need to bother with that – nothing
• Lori makes me show her our fuel gauge to prove that yes, indeed, we had fuel – it read full
• We start looking for ball-cocks to see if one might be closed that should be open – nothing
• While looking for blockage I accidently hit the fuel tank and it echoed. I say to Lori, “Does that sound like a full fuel tank to you? Because it certainly sounds empty to me.”
• With the fuel tank hatch open Lori again squeezes the primer ball and we hear only the sound of sucking air.
Great, we are definitely out of gas.
We called Fred back, who was also calling people to trouble shoot, to tell him what we discovered. He agreed with our assessment. He, of course, is apologizing profusely. He was amazed we weren’t outraged. Instead we were quite calm and taking things in stride. We told him the only thing we were upset about is that we didn’t have any beer on board. Earlier in the day, as I packed a cooler with water and tea Lori told me NOT to pack any beer – so I didn’t. She couldn’t believe I listened to her. I know she will never tell me to do that again.
Throughout this we are also keeping Zachary updated to our predicament.
By this time we had drifted more out of the middle of the channel and dropped anchor. We were just up-river, a hundred meters or less, of Green marker “23” which flashes every four seconds. A small house also sat to our port side. In this way I had two good points of reference to ensure our anchor remained set thus keeping us in place.
Once we realized we had run out of gas we asked Zachary if he could bring us ten gallons. So began the waiting game. By this time night had fully set in, but with a gorgeous, nearly full, moon. Exhausted, Lori made up the bed to lay down and rest. I went up to the bow to keep watch and enjoy the forced solitude. Ignoring the predicament, I quite enjoyed the quiet, beautiful night atmosphere. Two rays lazily circled around our boat. So peaceful.
Finally at around 10:00 pm Zachary arrived with the fuel. We added the ten gallons and began pumping the primer balls. Pumping, pumping, pumping. According to Zachary, “You’ll need to squeeze on that titty longer than you’ve ever squeezed a titty before.” Aaahhh, such a way with words.
Once we had fuel pumped back into the system the boat, of course, started. Funny how that works. I figured Zachary knew the Chester River as well as I know the Patuxent River so I asked if he would lead us to the marina. He took off like so fast that I could barely keep up with him. Ok, I could have kept up, but I didn’t feel comfortable going that fast when it was so very dark. I’m glad he did lead us to the marina, however, as it involved finding a private channel which is marked with skinny white pvc poles. I don’t think we would have made it otherwise, especially in the dark.
We arrived at the marina and started looking for the slip we had been assigned. We passed by a lighted area that I thought served as the marina’s tiki hut bar and commented to Lori about how happy I was to see a bar. We found the slip, but had difficulty getting positioned. Someone from the dock came over and pointed out an alternative slip we could utilize. Zach tied his boat up, went down to the new slip, and he, along with a couple of people from the bar area, assisted us with lines and our tie up.
I’m slightly stressed because I’m having to do my first real docking maneuvers IN THE DARK – I didn’t expect it to be dark when we arrived. Even so, I did fairly well. I got into the slip and didn’t hit anything, two very good things.
Once tied up Zach showed us where the bathroom and shower facilities were located. We returned to the lighted area which I thought served as the bar only to find out that it was only a set of table under a light with NOTHING else. Great. Zachary chatted a bit with us, and the people at the tables. At one point a woman’s phone rings and she says to her husband, “It’s our daughter, you talk to her.” The bickered back and forth as to who had to answer so Zachary answered. Typical.
One fellow, who had assisted with our tie up, asked why we thought this marina had a bar. I explained that passing by, seeing the tables and people sitting here, I thought it looked like a bar. Nope. Nothing. Fortunately the fellow had a cooler full of beer and offered us to help ourselves. I looked in and saw only Coors Light but there was no way I was going to complain and instead savored every calming drop. While talking we learned that NONE of the people there knew Zachary. What? I thought he was friends with all of them as he’s a local, had arranged for our slip, and had answered that person’s phone. Nope, they had no idea who he was, which made it that much more amazing and fun.
While enjoying the beers we told them of our day’s adventure. The marina’s self-proclaimed commodore could not believe we were in such a good mood. He said he would have been outraged. Our view was to shake it off and consider it another good story. After a few drinks we finally went to bed on our new boat.
In retrospect we were so VERY happy we had planned on going to the Chester River rather than heading for home. If we had headed towards home we would have been stranded somewhere in the Bay. Not only that we would have been further away from any assistance and would have been forced to call Sea Tow which would have taken a LOT longer to get to us. We were also happy we had decided to leave Sophie at home, otherwise we would have been overly worried about her also.