Day 4 – Why is it so quiet?

We woke up on Day 4 to a fog advisory and delayed our start to 0920.  Then the sun came out and the lake was flat.  Nearing Alpena, MI, crossing Thunder Bay, I was up on the flybridge getting some exercise on the bicycle and was excited to see on the AIS one of my favourite Lakers, the Alpena, was approaching.  I was going to get to photograph the Alpena as it was heading into Alpena, MI.  The Alpena is one of the last Steam driven ships on the Great Lakes.

I could just make her out coming toward us when it got really quiet. Nautoncall seemed to run out of fuel and stalled out in the middle of the lake.  Earlier I had shut off the flow from the port tank because I believed we were using more fuel out of the Port tank and I wanted to equalize the fuel levels in the 2 tanks.  It has happened a couple of times before when the fuel filters let a little air into the system.  Diesels do not like air in the fuel system.  We radioed Knot Diggin that we had stalled and I went into the engine room to investigate.  Sure enough the fuel filter had air in it and needed to be bled off.  I tried unsuccessfully to get it to start.  After about an hour of pumping the lift pump and bleeding lines, with Bill’s help, we finally got her to start.  I love the sound of a diesel engine starting and this time was particularly sweet.  It turns out the drain valve on one of the fuel filters had loosened and let the air in.  One more item to add to the regular prestart checklist.

Needless to say I missed getting pictures of the Aplena.  I did get to photograph the John G Munsen loading stone at the Stoneport Dock to satisfy my inner Boat Nerd.

The rest of the trip was uneventful ending in a nice anchorage in Presque Isle Bay for the night.


Day 4, Total 158 NM, Bars 2



Don McCulloch
  • Sue Young
    Posted at 20:10h, 23 September Reply

    Finally lol sorry you had engine problems i remember that happening to us i think we were crossing georgian bay really not sure.

  • Sue Young
    Posted at 20:13h, 23 September Reply

    Lol you are still behind in your blogging you must be hitting too many bars 😂🤣😂🤣. I look forward to reading about more of your adventures.

  • June Faust
    Posted at 20:15h, 23 September Reply

    Happy to hear on your way. Enjoy

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