Blue Turtle Cruising

Jewfish Basin and an early arrival to Key West

The morning we left for Jewfish Basin, Randy discovered a fuel leak in our generator. He troubleshooted the issue for a couple of hours before we left and discovered it was due to an injector line that might have had a hairline crack in it. Since it wasn’t leaking too bad, we decided to head on to our new anchorage where he could look at it again more closely.

Our trip from the Content Keys to Jewfish Basin was uneventful but very beautiful. We arrived in the afternoon and anchored near our snorkel/spearfishing spot that we discovered last year while staying here. We texted our friends, Joe and Glenda, who we knew were in the area on their trawler. They were anchored in Jewfish Basin as well although on the other side. We made plans to meet up for a happy hour drink.

Arriving at beautiful Jewfish Basin
Joe and Glenda stop by to say ‘hi’ before heading to Key West

Once the dinghy was deployed, Randy and Corey wasted no time in heading out to go spearfishing. I paddled the kayak over to where they were and snorkeled the area. Visibility wasn’t as good as last year which might have contributed to their lack of finding hogfish. Still, Corey managed to spear a couple of keeper snapper. Once back, Randy decided to dig into the generator issue some more. Still, he couldn’t figure out where the issue was in the line and so he rigged up a disposable plastic container to collect the leaking fuel. It was starting to leak more than previous. Once he felt he at least had the leak contained, we headed over to Joe and Glenda’s boat by dinghy and enjoyed catching up over drinks.

Our rigged up fuel collection container (green container)
Joe and Glenda’s Mainship, Phase IV
Good times catching up with this great couple

After returning from happy hour, we fired up the generator to run the microwave for dinner. Randy checked the fuel leak and it was leaking quite a bit. Too much to run it overnight for the ACs. So we opened all hatches and hoped for a great breeze than night.

The next morning, Randy decided to take apart the injector line from the cylinder to get a closer look at it. When he did that, it broke. We both spent 2-3 hours that morning searching online for a replacement part. We were able to find one of the 2 injector lines but of course it wasn’t the one we needed. The one we needed was discontinued. We placed the order for the other one for delivery to Key West and hoped we could bend it for our use. Our original plan was to spend a couple more nights at Jewfish Basin before heading into Key West, but we needed to get our generator running so we made an early arrival there. We got into Key West in the afternoon and continued to search for options and backup options to fix our generator. Once we had another option besides the new (wrong) part coming in, we decided to enjoy Key West a bit.

Corey helps me grill hotdogs on the way to Key West by blocking the wind to the grill with his skim board
Arriving in Key West
Randy navigates the channel as we arrive at Key west harbor
At the dock in Key West Bight Marina
Walking down Duval Street
Standing outside the Conch Republic
Enjoying the sunset with Sophie
My two chick magnets

Our part came in the next day and as we already knew, it was for the other injector. Randy took it and the original to a Napa Auto Parts. They were unable to bend the new part to work for us so they created one for us.  We tried using a compression fitting with the broken original fuel line but the part that compresses the fitting was too far back and the nut would not thread far enough to reach it.  So Randy installed the NAPA custom hose and it worked.

From left, the Napa custom hose, the broken line and the new part which was the wrong line
Randy installing the Napa-built injector line (and Corey and I crossing fingers – not shown)

After the running the generator for a bit it seemed there was no more fuel leaking and the new injector line that Napa Auto Parts built was working! We were all so relieved because if this didn’t work we weren’t sure what our options would be. We really want to go to the Dry Tortugas and we weren’t sure if we could make it without AC there at night since the fort blocks most of the breeze in the anchorage. We know lots of boats stay there without generators for AC but they are usually sailboats. Sailboats seem to be built for great airflow and some trawlers are as well. We do get great airflow depending on the wind direction but with split floor plans, one cabin in the v-berth and one in the aft, like ours seem to have areas where no air gets. If Corey has great airflow in the v-berth, chances are we are dying in the aft cabin with none.

With the generator fixed we are now ready to head to the Dry Tortugas. We are refilling our water tanks, getting fresh produce and other perishables and preparing for our trip. We are leaving Key West tomorrow morning(Friday) to head to the Dry Tortugas. If the conditions are good, we’ll be in the Dry Tortugas tomorrow evening. If it’s a little too rough for passage to Dry Tortugas, we’ll lay up in the Marquesas until Saturday when it should be a little calmer. Stay tuned!

The Commodore Restaurant
The Key West Bight dinghy dock and Turtle Krawls

6 thoughts on “Jewfish Basin and an early arrival to Key West”

  1. Sometimes when looking for a hard to find fuel leak, oil leak, coolant leak we would spray the area after cleaning with Desenex foot powder. Not the ment or flowery powder but the plain old white Desenex powder. Most of the time in very short notice we would find the source of the leak, they will show up extremely well in the powder. Now you have to let it dry completely before starting the engine to look for the leak. Always keep a can in your toolbox

    Reply
  2. Glad it’s fixed ! Still… the beauty of the keys will probably make you forget the problems you had.
    Hey, did Joe and Glenda get a new boat ?

    Reply

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