Around The World Voyage : Commentary : Leg 4

May 20, 2002

Monday morning aboard Nordhavn. The day started with yet another failure of a Naiad cooling water pump. What a hateful piece of @#$% that pump is!! This one was installed in Barbados and thus only lasted about 130 hours. Its failure is announced by illumination of the red warning light on the Naiad panel. At this point, I want to clarify that this is not Naiad’s fault. Even though we refer to it as the “Naiad” pump, it is not their product nor do they even recommend it. Most Naiad installations are on wet exhaust boats and the cooling water is borrowed from the main engine’s raw water loop. We of course have a closed loop “keel cool” system on NORDHAVN and thus a separate pump is required for the Naiads. I am not going to announce the name of the pump, but I swear I will if another one fails on my leg. I am pissed. Now I know how our customers feel sometimes. I think I will call PAE and yell at someone. (To save the cost of using the Iridium phone, I instead just stood in front of the mirror and gave myself a good talking to. I really gave myself a piece of my mind and now I feel better.)

We have thought about using one of the long life air conditioning raw water pumps. They have a magnetic coupling and thus no seals and are said to be good for 20,000 hours. The problem is that they are centrifugal and can therefore lose their prime if air is ingested and since they are AC, one then becomes dependent on the inverter- actually not such a bad idea since our faithful Heart has worked without a glitch since leaving Dana Point.

Actually, the final answer is a keel cooler for the Naiad oil. We are developing an oil keel cooler at PAE. Unfortunately, the Mk I version failed to transfer enough heat. The Mk II version is in testing on two boats and looks promising. We installed our only spare, so I will ask Kevin Ryan to bring two pumps with him to Panama.

Sometime during the night, we passed into the discharge plume of the Rio Magdalena. This Amazon like river must have a huge flow, because we were about 30 miles offshore. The otherwise crystal clear sparkling water turned to a dull gray/brown (ugly) color. We passed by a huge floating log about 50 feet away. About 30 minutes ago, with a thud, we ran thru a scum line/debris field and passed instantly back into the beautiful clear Caribbean water.

 

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