Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach FL : Day 6 : Damn Buzzer!

Val begins to take things apart

Leg 2, Day 6
Jacksonville, FL to Vero Beach, FL : Damn Buzzer!

Anchor up and we were on our way nice and quite like. They day started like all others, but then “Buzz!” The damn engine buzzer went off again. We hadn't heard it since the very first day.

Val and I looked at each other, and we both looked for the pee. Yep, engine was peeing like it was supposed to. Maybe it was some glitch.

20 minutes goes by... “Buzz! Buzz!” Ugh. Then no more buzz.

Closer we got to a bridge, “Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!” UGH! POS! I became really worried the engine was about to die as we were going under a bridge, and the wind was right on our nose. Oh, what I wouldn't give to get back to those uneventful days.

Holding our breathes and praying to the Honda engine gods, our eyes opened wide and nothing came out of our mouths. We passed through the bridge with the horrendous Buzz sound but the engine kept going. Once we were clear of the bridge, Val and I went into diagnostic mode.

None of the engine indicator lights were on. Unlike day 1 when we could see the engine temperature light come on (because of the lack of cooling), all we got today was a buzz sound. With the engine still running, I back down the RPMs from 3500 to 2500 while we opened up the manuals to find out what would cause the buzz. Nothing of value in the SELOC manual. We decided to call 1 of our life lines.

On the phone to my sister I went. Her prowess as a master Googligriphier is legendary. She did some searching using Google and the most common culprit of the problem was water in the gas. That could certainly be it.

We kept plugging along, and I toyed with the throttle. Amazingly, if I kept the engine at below 2000 RPM, no buzz, I go above it BUZZZZ! (and it is a heinous vomit inducing buzz).

Ariel plodded along at a speed of 2.8 knots … about 3.25 MPH! Stress levels were high as we didn't know for sure if something was going wrong with the engine. We decided we would cut the day short and anchor up after cover about 27 miles. This would give mechanic Val some time to work on the problem while the sun is up.

After anchoring up, Val made reservations for us at the Vero Beach City Marina.... we should reach there tomorrow. Worst case, we spend the night there and find a mechanic. Best case, we fix our problem ourselves still go to the marina and enjoy a nice shower.

Val then called Dennis, the guy whom worked on Ariel while we were in Savannh. This guy was fantastic, and talked Val through what he thought the issues could be. He zeroed in to water in the system too. The guy is hundreds of miles away and not on the clock, yet he helped us. Thank you so much Dennis!!

After talking with Dennis, Val when into her mechanic mode and took out the water separator and the fuel filter.
Is there water in there?

New fuel filter going in
Once the pieces were replaced, we started it all up. It ran, but we didn't run it over 2000 RPM. That we will do tomorrow morning.

It was a full day indeed. So much to learn!