Bringing MV Patriot Home to Texas (Part 2)

Day Six January 19, 2014.   We remained docked at Marker One Marina, Dunedin, FL for the day, waiting for a weather window to open for Gulf crossing.  Spent our time performing items on Gulf crossing checklist. We had an electrician come on board to connect autopilot to chart plotter allowing the NAV TO functions to work.  We noted that the forward and aft A/C units were not heating and displaying low pressure readings, indicating refrigerant may be low.  We greased the port rudder zerk fitting and discovered the zerk fitting for the starboard rudder was missing.  Installed rubber boots on both alternator electrical line connectors, as were noted missing on initial survey.  Filled bilge area with some water and detergent to clean bilge as we were underway.
Checked Gulf passage weather with NOAA and the reported indicated a ‘go period’.  One ceiling in the central gulf area presented 10 mph winds and 2 to 3 foot seas with a better ride at start and end – sounded great!


Day Seven January 20, 2014.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore.  We planned our course from Marker One Marina, Dunedin, FL. to C Quarters Marina at Carrabelle, FL.  Weather clear and cold, winds at 5 to 10.  We departed 0545.


Coming up along side first red buoy.

We departed from Marker One Marina and headed toward Anclote Key, FL and out into the Gulf of Mexico.

Gauges reading good. Running at 2400rpm, 18.9 gallons per hour, 5.8 miles per gallon.
Chart-plotter showing course from Anclote Key to Carrabelle, FL.

Captain Bob Shircliff and First Mate Wayne Smith. More on these two guys later.



Of course, just had to get my picture with Captain Bob.




A first look at the crew on-board.






Open waters Gulf of Mexico
Open waters Gulf of Mexico







DSC01157More pictures of the Gulf Crossing.



Approaching land at Dog Island, FL.
Approaching land at Dog Island, FL.


During our crossing: DSC00032DSC00033

0900 engine room check – temperatures and pressures all good.

1230 temperatures and pressures all within good range.

Autopilot was not holding heading in NAV TO, way-point or auto-mode.  We steered manually heading 305-310 M.  Today we took one hour shifts at the helm.

0115 engine room check – all measurements within range.

1600 check – engine room OK.

Our Gulf Crossing went without issues – until………..As we approached Dog Island the starboard engine lost power and was blowing black smoke.  We stopped to look for an obvious issue, fuel filter, etc.  not the case.  Suspicion – turbo. Called Dockside Marina for a service appointment in the morning.  Made it to C Quarters Marina carefully on port engine alone.

Ending log was 495 SM, 176 miles made good.

A welcomed sunset at Carrabelle, FL
A welcomed sunset at Carrabelle, FL


Day Eight January 21, 2014.  Docked in Carrabelle, FL while MV Patriot’s new owner (Dave) grieved over a blown turbo.  Eric from Dockside Marina came on-board in the morning.  It was very difficult/impossible to read the turbo part number due to previous owner’s layers of paint.  Eric worked diligently to cross reference and replace turbo core, hopefully cartridge only.

Ordered new turbo, unfortunately only the entire unit was available.  While at C Quarters, we also had several items checked/replaced.  shaft brushes, zerk fitting for starboard rudder, A/C refrigerant re-charge, and Harold (electrician) came on board to install and connect a new AIS unit we had ready for installation.

Carrabelle, FL - Moorings of Carrabelle Marina
Moorings of Carrabelle Marina, FL.


We kept busy washing the decks, cleaning the shore power cord and tightening the stuffing boxes.

Day Nine January 22, 2014.   With the new turbo in shipment via Fed Ex, Eric from Dockside began removing old turbo.  Jerry (HVAC technician) investigated the A/C unit situation attempting to recharge (R22) the units finding remaining problems with fore and aft units.

Harold installed the AIS unit only to find that we were missing a cable from the AIS to the Furuno chart-plotter – no cable readily available.  Captain Bob and Wayne installed a new AIS GPS antenna.  Spent afternoon pulling new cable wires for TV in salon, fore and aft cabins. Ended the day with a few cable issues to resolve (not certain how previous owner configured the existing wires).

Day Ten January 23, 2014. Continued work on TV Cable management.  What a mess.  Were able to trace and install new cables to salon, labeling known connections.  This is a project to be continued when a the existing Shakesphere over the air antenna is replaced with new satellite antenna.

Day Eleven January 24, 2014.  Eric arrived at 0830 to install new turbo – completed at 1030.  So what did we do?  We departed Carrabelle, FL at 1100.  Beginning log is 495 SM.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore.  Our course today was planned from Carrabelle, FL to Panama City Marina, FL.   Weather  was overcast, 42 degrees F., winds from the ENE at 12 to 15 mph. 

Smooth going after leaving Carrabelle, FL
Smooth going after leaving Carrabelle, FL


No issues at Apalachicola Channel.  Biggest issue here became shallow water east of the St. George Bridge between G47 and G45 – healed the advice of others, follow the tows.

Plotted course through St. George Sound, FL
Plotted course through St. George Sound, FL
St. George Sound Bridge


Our ending log was 585 SM – 90 miles made good.



Day Twelve January 25, 2014.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Our intended course was from Panama City Marina, FL. to Pensacola, FL., Santa Rosa Yacht Club.   Weather was 47 degrees F., winds at 15 mph.  We departed at 0725.  Temperature remained cold until sun peeked out at 1430.  We ran the 12K generator for AC power all morning to keep salon heated and provide power to space heaters on the bridge.

We filled fuel tanks – 464 gallons at $3.90 per gallon = $1806.60.   We figured our fuel consumption:  last fueling at 311 SM;  585-311=274 miles traveled.  464 gallons means 6 mpg.  Noting here that average speed across Gulf  was 16 mph burning over 30 gph.  We were planning to pump out, however, marina system was down for repairs.

We pumped out at Santa Rosa Yacht Club.  Ending log 685 SM, 100 miles made good.

Leaving Panama City – following the Ditch (ICW).


The Ditch



Chart-plotter look at the course.

Pensacola, FL.




Leaving Pensacola, FL.
Leaving Pensacola, FL.


Day Thirteen January 26, 2014.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Our course plans were to travel from Pensacola (Santa Rosa Yacht Club) to Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi, MS.   Weather was partly cloudy, 40 degrees F., winds at 10mph.  We departed Pensacola at 0635.

1300 engine room check found a water leak on port engine, unable to confirm origin.  At 1500 engine check, found water leak to be from raw water hose to shaft, rubbing on engine mount.  Emergency tape secured leak for now.

Cloudy all morning until about 1330 – the sun shines.

We entered Mobile Bay at 1020.  Through Mobile Bay without issue and back on the ICW.

Lulu's in Gulf Shores, AL
Lulu’s in Gulf Shores, AL
Tacky Jack's Gulf Shores, AL
Tacky Jack’s Gulf Shores, AL





Welcome to Biloxi, MS.


Arrived at Point Cadet Marina, Biloxi MS. at 1610 and fueled up.  Docked at slip at 1705.

Fuel on-board = 303 gallons at $3.64 per gallon $1,102.25.

Ending log 796 SM.  111 miles made good.  Three states in one day.

Docked at Biloxi, MS
Docked at Point Cadet Marina, Biloxi, MS


Day Fourteen January 27, 2014.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Course planned was from Point Cadet Marina, Biloxi, MS. to Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, LA.  Weather 56 degrees F., overcast, rain expected, winds NNE at 10-20 mph.

Departed Point Cadet Marina at 0630 in the rain.  Rain and fog until noon.  Slowed several times for safety.  During 1030 engine check found port engine raw water hose to shaft still leaking, more emergency tape as temporary fix until hose can be replaced next stop.

While passing through New Orleans area we transited new flood walls (BIG $$$) built after Hurricane Katrina.

Post Katrina Flood walls


Post Katrina Flood walls
Post Katrina Flood walls






Post Katrina Flood walls



























We arrived at Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans.  Ending log 879 SM, 83 miles made good.  Fourth state transited in 2 days.

Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, LA
Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, LA












Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, LA
Pontchartrain Landing, New Orleans, LA
Originally out of Mystic, CT, MV Patriot is on its way home to Texas. Currently lying in New Orleans at Pontchartrain Landing – and it was cold!!








And very icy!


Day Fifteen January 28, 2014.  We filed our float plan with our designated contact on shore. Weather unbelievable.  30 degrees F., winds N at 15 to 25 mph, precipitation 90%, 1 to 3 inches of snow and ice expected.  Decision made at 0445 was NOT to run today.

Captain Bob on deck clearing the ice.
First Mate Wayne on deck clearing ice.
We tried any process that would work – and attempted to keep warm doing it.


A bit cold in New Orleans - I-10 shut down
Indeed a bit cold in New Orleans – even I-10 shut down.
Pontchartrain Landing Marina, New Orleans, LA
Pontchartrain Landing Marina, New Orleans, LA



We spent the time in New Orleans on more repairs.  Rewired horn on bridge and all works fine now.  Attempted to find an aft cabin leak with no success.  At 1100 we drained water from plumbing and turned off water pump to avoid freezing and pipe rupture.  Towels were placed into engine room vents on windward side to decrease wind and help insulate engine room.

At 1210 reports were heard that Interstate 10 was completely shut down, including all of downtown New Orleans and the French Quarter.  At 1400, the storm was named Leon and the LA Governor declares a state of emergency.  Sleet and ice falling on MV Patriot.  At 1800 MV Patriot is covered in ice.

Day Sixteen January 29, 2014.  Weather 28 degrees F., cloudy, not expected to get above freezing until after 1200.  At 0766, reports came in that the railroad bridge just south of destination was shut down.  A train had derailed on the bridge at 1500 yesterday.  At 0830 reports were heard that the roads around New Orleans were so bad the repair crews could not get to the bridge for repairs.

At 1100, the Pontchartrain Landing shuttle took us to the Rouses grocery store for some need supplies.

At 1200, port and starboard engine were started to warm them up, the port started roughly.

At 1400 we noticed the temperature coming up, and all decks were now cleared of ice (by Captain Bob and First Mate Wayne).





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