Life was often a banquet on 'Tamara Lee Ann' on the way to Hawaii, with fine meals and great company. Not much sail tweaking, either.
actual fire. Once I identified the location of the short, I clipped the wire and we continued on. The malfunctioning watermaker was a more troubling problem. It would run for a while, then the circuit-breaker would pop, indicating that it was drawing too much current. We tried taking the watermaker apart, looking for obstructions in the containment vessel, and even replaced the valves in the high pressure pump. All this was done while on a 20-degree heel, with a severe amount of motion down below. None of the fixes worked, so I was forced to declare a water shortage. That meant no more showers, no more washing dishes in fresh water, and no more flushing the toilets with fresh water. Yes, Tamara Lee Ann has two electric heads that normally flush using freshwater. With these measures
in place, I was confident that we would make it to San Francisco on the water that remained in our tanks. But it was not going to be very pleasant. Nine days out of Oahu and on our fourth day of water rationing, we crossed paths with the Robert C. Seamans, a 134ft steel brig that was also sailing to San Francisco. I contacted them on the radio, as any two ships sailing the same route 1,300 miles from land might do, just to chat and find out what they were up to. After chatting for awhile, I mustered up the courage to ask them if they could spare any water. To our great relief, they said they had plenty of water and would be happy to give us as much as we wanted. In order to transfer the water, the Seamans came alongside us as we both motored east at five knots. The crew of the Seamans
put their tender in the water and brought us a long garden hose, at which point the transfer began. It took about an hour to fill our 250-gallon water tank. Meanwhile, the Seamans engineman came over to look at our watermaker. He was unable to find anything wrong, but inexplicably, it started working again! And it continued to work for the 11 more days it took us to reach San Francisco. I allowed our crew to take showers once again, and we celebrated our good luck at finding fresh water in the middle The 'Robert C Seaof the ocean. Thank mans' came to the you, Robert C. Sea- rescue with water. mans! The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful, although we endured 48 hours of 27-30 knots of wind on our port beam as we approached San Francisco. Then, of course, the wind shut down as we were nearing the Farallon Islands. With only 50 miles to go, we were going to have to motor. But with only 10 gallons of fuel in the boat's 200-gallon tank, I was pretty sure we didn't have enough fuel to make land. As I fretted about running dry just short of our destination, the crew was talking up the 'happy hour' we were going to be enjoying late that afternoon. Finally, when we were down to just a few gallons of diesel, I broke down, called Vessel Assist, and had them bring us 10 gallons of diesel to our location 12 miles outside the Gate. It was some of the most expensive diesel I have ever purchased, as I tipped the Vessel Assist crew well. We made it to the St. Francis YC in Poul holds up one of the smaller catches on the way back. Fishing was great both going over and coming home.
TTAMARA LEE ANN
TAMARA LEE ANN
The October 2011 eBook issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.