Following the Red Line to San Diego

May 31, 2009 We were up early and ready to pull out of port by 0645. Even though we were going through the usual motions, it felt different. For the first time in over two years, we were going back. We always moved forward. The fact that we were going back hit us hard. It’s over. It is really over.

We were joined by a journalist from Circumnavigator for the trip down. We pulled out as soon as she arrived. We actually had to fight the instinct to go north or west, and instead turned south. We used the never used in 2 years “reverse route” feature of the plotter to set a reciprocal course back to San Diego. Going back on our previous course seems wrong. Our plotter draws a red line where we have been. By definition of our circumnavigation the red line has always been behind us. Now we were following the red line.

Right away, we realized the automatic stabilizer system wasn’t working. Oh no! Had the Nordhavn repair guys broken something while they were doing the work to the boat? It was odd because the entire system that was offline, not just an individual fin.

Anyway, the seas were calm and following, so there was no need to put the paravanes down, and we made the ride without stabilization. The ride was pleasant and we made excellent speeds, doing over 7 the entire time and at one point getting to 8.1 knots. It is so nice to go with following seas! Also were particularly light in weight, with less than 175 gallons of fuel. We never would take off from a port that low on fuel.

While we were riding along, a passing boat hailed us. It turns out the guy was interested in buying a Nordhavn and has read our site. Wow. Kind of crazy! This is the third time we have randomly bumped into a blog reader. We met one in Panama and one in Huatulco. It is really weird to have a total stranger say “Hey! I know you!”, but weird in a good way.

After we arrived back, Eric was doing some standard checking in the engine room. He noticed a little bit of oil in the main engine’s coolant. Uh oh. Right away, he knew what the problem was. Some of the transmission cooler o-rings have gone bad and are not keeping the oil and coolant separated. It seems to be a problem on all this engine when they get to about the 3 year old mark, so he actually has been watching for it.

It seriously feels like Kosmos knew. She knew she had to get us home, and she held off on serious problems until we were home. She knows it is ok to break now because we are done traveling and it is easy to fix all the problems here in San Diego.

On Thursday, Eric finally started work for real. He has gone back to his same job, and there was an enormous pile of work waiting for him, including an important project with a looming deadline. There will be no easing into work life for him. He literally has to hit the ground running. He put in long days on both Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday, Eric woke up feeling like he was coming down with a cold. Wow. His immune system must be down from the last cold he got while we were in Greece. Eric tried to go to a conference on Saturday and a boat show today, but, since he wasn’t feeling well, didn’t spend much time at either.

Christi has been trying to get caught up on blogs. She is several weeks behind in writing. She also has been working on wrapping up all the loose ends in life that we couldn’t really deal with while we were gone, things like sending the defective camera back to Olympus, disputing overcharges on bills from months ago, and dealing with residual paperwork regarding her business that is still haunting her.

Look forward to more Q&A, stay tuned!

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