The Pirate Ship with the schooner Lotus in hot pursuit
Sara B's summer had its ups and downs after her return from the grand lake tour. The water pump leak could no longer be ignored so the engineering staff took it apart and attempted to find another seal. Several were ordered and the local plumbing supply stock was surveyed. Alas, no luck this time. As summer moved on we sailed on and off the mooring and bay sailed a few times with no coolant and no motor. Eventually, the tech dept installed an electric water pump as a possibly stop gap solution. ( These pumps he tells me are used by hot rod and motorcycle racers as a sort of booster technology. We aren't sure they are designed to run for hours on end and of course they are dependent on a charged battery, too, so they might be considered less reliable than the mechanically driven pump). Then the starter didn't start.
Supplemental lube pump, electric water pump, what next?!
It went off to the North Star Electric shop in Macedon for surgery. We were engine-less again. Though the operator's manual blithely assured us that we could hand start our engine (“swing the starting handle briskly”) we were skeptics. A friend assured us diesels are quite capable of misfires and subsequent kick backs. Considering the torque that old brute generates we figured a broken wrist was a real possibility.
Chris eyed the Delco Remy on our Perkins standby engine in the shop. Same mounting bolt pattern. Slightly different pinion diameter. Hmmmm. He put it on and pushed the button. It made a dreadful noise as the flywheel teeth clashed a bit with the undersized starter pinion gear but it worked! Once again we were willing to chance the channel and Sara B had several splendid romps out in the lake. We even got the fisherman staysail up during one twelve mile day sail. Last week the old CAV starter was re-united with its engine. So with a wary eye on the temperature gauge Sara B is more or less fully functional again.
Next the dreaded sail covers!
In the interim we've sailed her onto the mooring a half dozen times ( and missed a few times too). That last minute anticipation and anxiety as to when to drop the headsails, start the swing up into the wind and if it's done right, that perfect gentle glide to a halt right by the mooring float is always a small miracle. Once there Sara B with her main still up sits nice and quiet, no fidgeting and tacking about like antsy Titania does on her mooring. We pick up the pennant and slip it over the bitt amazed that we pulled it off! For a few seconds we feel like real schoonermen. Then as we struggle to put the sail covers on it's back to reality.
In late August we decided Sara B was functional enough to participate in Fair Haven's first Pirate Fest. Of course, being black and having dead eyes there was no doubt as to Sara B's role in the activities. She was of course, the pirate ship. We hoisted the jolly roger flag and skirmished around with Lotus who had come up for the day from Sodus with a load of kids from a visiting Sea Scout troop. Luckily there wasn't a lot of wind so we sailed very slowly around exchanging water balloon barrages until we decided this was quite enough fun for now and 'struck' our colors. I heard a few comments later that the spectators on shore had no idea who the good guys and the bad guys were or what was supposed to be happening out there, but the dozens of boaters watching ( and participating) appeared to be having a GREAT time.
As of this writing plans are in the works for another fest next year and it's likely Sara B will make another appearance. Now the north winds begin to blow and the days dwindle. But we're afloat for a few more weeks-