Day 48 – Engine Running (sort of )

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 30 Jan 2022 20:19
Noon Position: 51 17.5 S 101 06.2 W
Course: E Speed: 6 knots
Wind: WNW, F4 Sea: moderate
Swell: W 2.5 meters
Weather: overcast, cool
Day’s Run: 146nm

Not a lot to report today. We have run wing-on-wing with the wind fine off the port quarter for the entire 24 hours, starting with two reefs in the main and 50% jib and now with one reef in the main and full jib as the wind has eased. I could shake out the remaining reef but Sylph is sailing comfortably at her preferred six knots so I am happy to leave things be.
We have ended up a bit further north of our planned track but only by 13 miles and the wind is forecast to veer into the NW later which if I leave everything alone will bring us back south. The forecast for the next few days looks favourable so I am looking forward to some pleasant sailing with continued good daily runs.
Meanwhile the BRM is not cooperating. I got it running after bleeding the fuel system and it is now starting fine but the oil low pressure alarm is coming on intermittently, but mostly on, and low oil pressure is one very quick way to destroy an engine. Consulting Nigel Calder’s excellent book “Marine Diesel Engines”, I suspect the oil pressure relief valve might have some gunk in it. He describes it as generally easy to find on the side of the engine. Consulting the Kubota workshop manual, it mentions the valve but does not give any indication of where it is or how to go about cleaning it – not a very satisfactory workshop manual. I have peered around the engine with a torch, particularly in the vicinity of the oil filter and pressure sender switch, but can find nothing resembling a pressure relief valve. Not to worry. If I do pull it out I would then need to recalibrate the spring and I have no way of doing that so it might be best if I just left things alone for now. At least it is running and available in case of an emergency, at least for a little while before it blows up.
The sun occasionally breaks through the thin layer of stratus.
Cape Horn 1230 miles ahead.
All is well.