Friday, October 12, 2012

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing." Abraham Lincoln

We had a mechanical issue that kept us in St Johnsville an extra day. As we were leaving the dock yesterday the engine just sputtered and stopped. We were away from the dock but with out power and the wind was blowing us toward several boats moored in slips that you have to pass when you leave the marina. The engine would not start so I used the bow thruster to turn the boat 180 degrees and the wind blew us to the walkway between the docks...close call. Shirl was up on the deck with a boat hook just in case. When we drifted to the walkway she jumped to the dock and tied us while I positioned the boat with the bow thruster. I have not used the thruster much but was very happy to have it yesterday.
I studied the shop manual for our Yanmar, and started to diagnose the problem. I thought that maybe air had gotten into the system, (fuel lines) which will shut a diesel engine down very fast. I bled the lines...still would not start. I knew enough to shut off the water intake before cranking the engine. Too much water in the exhaust can cause it to get into the engine...not a good thing.
I asked the dockmaster if he knew anyone who was familiar with diesel engines. He called a friend of his who stopped by and tried to help, but said he would defer to Chris, who would come by at 3:00 p.m. Chris specializes in diesel engines but had not worked on a marine engine before. After trouble shooting he determined that the fuel pump was bad. Luckily I had another on board...left by the previous owner when I purchased the boat. We put the fuel pump on and bled the system. The engine started right away. Thank you Chris, and thank you Eric for having spares on board. I plan to buy another fuel pump to keep on board just in case. I learned a lot about diesel engines yesterday. I also learned how to clean up diesel fuel, and how bad it smelled in the boat for hours.
We stayed last night in St. Johnsville and left at 7:30 this a.m. Little Big Man ran well. I was a little nervous for the first hour, but relaxed after that. Today we transited 5 locks. We have some nice lock pictures today. It was rainy, windy, and cold this morning, and sunny, windy and cold this afternoon. We only have 37 miles and 10 locks to go. Tonight we are in Amsterdam, New York . The weather forecast is not good...a low of 25 degrees.

 This a.m. wet and cold...and still wonderful.
 Lock 15
 Another lock with a lot of work being done.
 This is where the water goes next to the lock. It produces a little bit of current.
 Lock entrance...gates light on.
 Shirl on the bow and I am on the stern. We have our system down!
 Nice picture of the exit gates.
 Serenity on the wall in Amsterdam.
 The design for this fence was taken from an Iroquois covenant belt. It symbolizes "people and nations linked as equals in collaborative partnerships for mutual benefit." Any Congressmen reading this?
Like many small towns on the Erie Canal, Amsterdam is not what it once was. Kirk Douglas lived here at one time. This seems like a nice quiet community. It did receive heavy damage from Hurricane Irene.


  1. Glad things worked out and you all are on the move again.
    Hope it warms up some for you guys.
    Rodger and Eilene

  2. It is warming up here. We are still watching!!!! Bz and Glo!!


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