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SV Time Traveller

Vessel Taking on Water - May 11-24, 2001

On May 11, 2001, information concerning SV Time Traveller, Jim KG6AYH, was relayed to the net from Roy KR6RG in San Diego, CA.

SV Time Traveller was at position 17-43.0N x 124-53.0W or about 800 miles from Turtle Bay, Mexico. At this time the vessel was taking on water at a rate of approximately 40 gallons / 6 hours. The electric bilges were out and they were pumping manually. There was no wind so they were under power at about 3.5 knots. SV Time Traveller was a 40 foot cutter rigged sloop. The USCG had been advised of the situation and was in contact with the vessel from USCG Point Reyes.

For the next 13 days, the MMSN maintained contact with the SV Time Traveller, on a regular sked, and then passed the vessel to the Pacific Seafarers Net, as she made her way towards the Mexican coast. Alternate frequencies were used in both the amateur and marine bands and several telephone patches were made by various stations to the USCG and to family members. Below are a few of the highlights, as the trip was fraught with other challenges:

On May 12, a passing Russian tanker, MV GINA, gave Jim a life raft and attempted to refuel the vessel but the refuelling was not successful due to sea conditions. However, a USCG C-130 did drop 3 - 130lbs. canisters to Jim with supplies, which were gratefully recovered. Smoke was also spotted coming from the radar array and this was disconnected.

By May 13, Jim reported the leak rate was now 160 gallons / 24 hours and it was still manageable. Jim started motor/sailing in order to improve his speed and conserve fuel, now down to 20 gallons and being used at 0.6g / hour. Jim reported the electric bilges were now working.

On May 15, Jim reported the leak had increased in rate to 320 gallons / 24 hours. The winds had increased and he was now sailing with no power assistance.

On May 16 a passing vessel, MV Alicahue, transferred 60 gallons of fuel to the Time Traveller. This was good timing as the winds decreased and Jim had to go under power, again. The leak is maintaining approximately 320 gallons / 24 hours.

For the next few days, Jim maintained a motor/sailing condition, with the engine running just above idle, to conserve fuel.

On May 22, the engine began to run very roughly. It was determined that the fuel line was fouled and this necessitated cleaning and changing the fuel filter.

On May 23, Jim awoke to land off the starboard side. He figured he was about 30 miles from Turtle Bay.

On May 24, Jim got a tow from a private vessel and made it into Turtle Bay without further incident.

The USCG pass along their sincere thanks to all of the stations involved. Well done by all!!