24. Around the Point and up to Solomons Island

A short day covering 32 nm brought me to Solomons on Solomons Island. Arrived at a nice quiet marina across the basin from all the activity. Calvert Marina is a shoreline linear marina and must be a mile long. Much of it is old wooden fixed docks but they have 2 long floating concrete docks with new power and water and I’m on one of those for four days. There is a pool and on site restaurant at the far end – long walk- from me. Best of all it’s only $1.00 per foot per night. Upon arrival, I fueled up taking on 338 gal of diesel and got a pump out for the boat. Very good dockhands, deep water and a floating dock. They also have a loaner car (Mercedes Benz – old) for an hour at a time. What more can I ask.🤠

Navigation aid out in the Chesapeake Bay
arrow points to Last Resort’s slip
And more neighbors
Across the basin towards “the action”.
A view of Calvert Marina

And now the boring part

Also did some chores on the boat. Spent Friday morning doing some exterior cleaning from the salon roof line down to the waterline – on the starboard side. The dock is on the starboard hence that side is accessible from the dock. The transom got thoroughly washed and scrubbed with a 3m plastic pad and then with a magic eraser. When underway, diesel exhaust even though exiting underwater tends to ‘curl’ back up over the transom and it gets very dirty with exhaust smoke. Finally the swim platform itself turns a light beige from the over wash of tannic acid river water. I spray 6 sq ft sections at a time with “On and Off” (a mixture of muriatic and oxalic acit which doesn’t hurt the gelcoat), a light scrub to spread with a deck brush and then quickly hose it off. Turns it white as new!

In the engine room the thru hull fittings were exercised. Thru hull fitting are bronze fitting that allow the sea water to enter into the hoses in the boat to cool the engines, generator and the 4 air conditioner compressors. Those fittings have a valve (seacock) that is used to close off the thru hull.

If a hose were to break, you want to be able to close the thru hull quickly and easily before you sink.🙄. Salt water tends to corrode metal so it’s prudent to just open and close the seacocks periodically keeping them from seizing up. All were in good shape (I replaced all of them in April) but the starboard engine thru hull needed the exercise after only a few months. Will have to do this more often as it really takes no time.

Also needed to ass oil to both engines – about a gallon between them. This is also a relatively easy task given the cramped quarters of the engine room. The boat has an auto oil change system mounted on forward engine room wall.

It is an electric reversible motor pump with 5 hoses that run each to one of the two engines, the two transmissions and the generator. A sixth hose runs to either a full container of oil or to an empty one. Select a source and a destination and you can drain the old oil from an engine or trans to empty 5 gallon buckets; reverse the motor and you can add from a full oil container to an engine.

Last, the two sea strainers for the two engines and the one for the AC system were opened and the strainer baskets removed to the dock to be cleaned with a hose. The engine strainer baskets were pretty clean with just some shell pieces at the bottom of the basket. The AC strainer basket was in dire need of cleaning after just a weeks use since last cleaned. In addition to the scum and growth from bottom to top, there were a dozen or more jellyfish in the basket so the cleaning was certainly needed to help increase the flow of cooling water.

This is a sea strainer. The intake hose from the thru hull enters on the left towards the top. The raw water then fills the bowl and exits by going through the stainless steel basket in the center and out to the engine, AC pump or generator through the hose fitted to the top right. By running the pictured clear plastic cap on the top, the basket can be lifted out for cleaning. If the seacock hasn’t been closed, there will be a major fountain of water when that plastic cap is off.

To complete the visual of the cooling systems, once the cooling water has done its thing by transferring engine or compressor heat to the water, the engine and generator water, now hot, exits with the exhaust underwater and the AC compressor water, now hot, exits via additional thru hulls at and above the water line. There are also other exiting thru hulls for shower sumps, sinks, and the washing machine.

More info than you wanted to know!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤓🤓🤓

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6 thoughts on “24. Around the Point and up to Solomons Island”

    1. Hi Bob. Thanx for your feedback. If nothing else, it tells me someone has read my post. I like the same kind of info myself. There’s so much techno info for the boat that I get confused however🤪 but am learning. I figure things out best when I can see them and think thru the logic of them. Like if you fail to keep the strainer full of water when you pull out the basket, the water will drain down to the strainer from the compressor pump and voila’, an airlock which then needs to be purged or no cool air. Ask me how I know.


  1. “…before you sink”. Can you hear me screeching? I’m guessing there are alarms to tell you when to make a run for the engine room to close the seacocks? Also, a dozen jellyfish in the AC basket??? I need more information! Do you toss them overboard? Wearing gloves so you don’t get stung? Why did the AC basket get so yucky (technical boating term 😁) when the others were fine? Love your blog ♥️


    1. Connie, I’ll try to answer. Answered before but it was list when I tried to post. Horrid internet service here.
      Not sure if there is an audible alarm. There are 4 automatic bilge pumps with float switches that turn them on with about an inch of water. One is located in each of the bilge areas. When a pump activates, a red light, showing location, turns on the boat diagram on the Pilothouse console. Course you need to be there to see it. There is also a camera in the engine room which, on demand, displays up to the helm a good pic of everything going on.

      And yes, if there was a hose break or a loose clamp with water spraying down below, you would want to close that sea cock feeding that hose ASAP. Hence the need to keep them exercised and ez to open and close.

      Most important though is preventive maintenance. Before going out with the boat the engine room is inspected in the morning. Each time, every time. Oil levels are checked and adjusted if needed in the engines, trannys and generator if genny use is anticipated. The bilge under the walkway is checked for water. Belts and hoses are inspected visually and by feel for cracking etc. Hose clamps are visually noted for corrosion and if seen, the old clamp is removed and a new one installed. Lastly. The engines, trannys, genny, and air cond compressors are all completely painted white as is the floor beneath. They are kept clean and oil, coolant etc leaks would be quite visible. Black rubber flecks from an aging hose or wearing belt will accumulate below the hose onto the white floor and be observable. Have a good stock of replacement hoses, belts and clamps. Have only had to replace one clamp so far. Hoses etc replaced before sale of the boat. The engine room check takes a good 10 minutes before each travel day. It is done in the morning as the engine room gets very very hot when engines have been run and even the vent fans take hours to dissipate the heat. The ceiling is insulated to keep heat out of the salon. The master stateroom is just forward of the engine room and is protected from the heat by the insulated fuel tank which is 850 gal floor to ceiling, side to side tank. Diesel has a high flash point so it’s safe.

      Jellyfish etc issue. Yes to wearing gloves. The dirty basket is taken out and a clean one is put in. The dirty one is taken to the back deck or the dock where the crud is flushed/hosed out. The crud including any jelly fish are then hosed overboard back to wherever it came from. Pretty simple.

      Why does the ac basket get more crud than the engine baskets? In a word, Velocity. When the engines are not running, the engine water pumps are not drawing sea water up thru the hull. When the engines are running, the boat is pretty much always underway which means the water is flowing past the hull quite rapidly. The pump is pulling from moving water and the water is generally deeper (less crud per cu ft.) and so there is exponentially less crud and less ability to suck it in. AC, OTOH, usually runs at anchor or at the dock when the boat isn’t moving. Water is usually 10’ or less and very still. Lots of growth, silt minnows, jellyfish, plastic sandwich bags etc to be sucked in and little current to move it past. The pump works as advertised and pulls in the water and associated crap.
      Just remember, you asked!😂


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