Day 1 Ortega River Marina to Jacksonville Beach

Tuesday December 3

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Leaving in the St. Johns River, I had to have the bridge lifted.  You don’t want to break down here especially if the current is taking you and your mast toward the bridge before it’s lifted.

Tuesday morning – After I started the engine, untied and started to push off the dock, the engine died. Dumped fuel/water seperator and found water in fuel. Fortunately the engine has a bleeder valve that allows the electric fuel pump to fill the separator so air is not introduced into the diesel injectors which can be trouble. Cranked engine until the water was purged from the injectors and finally the engine started. Off to the races!

Until the engine ran too hot. Back to the dock at Orgega River Marina. The coolant leaked out of the engine due to a leaky hose connection. Tighteded clamp and added 2nd hose clamp and filled the cooling system and off I went.

I was considering going into the ocean at Mayport for a short sail to St. Augustine. As I put up the main sail in the St. John’s river nearing the ocean, the shift cable came loose from the transmission bracket and the engine would not shift correctly. Fortunately I was in a wide area of the river and there wasn’t much traffic. Diving into the engine hatch, I was able to shift the transmission manually. Then head upwind and drop the main sail. At this point all I had was forward gear (or shut down the engine, neutral sort of). I made my way to a marina at Jax Beach with a plan to stay overnight. After tying up, I was able to fix the loose clamp so I motored out of the marina and anchored nearby. It was COLD – temp was in the high 30’s. Maybe I should have stayed at the marina with shore power for heat!

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