It was time. Actually it was probably way past time already, but it's easy to get caught in the daily stuff we have to do and forget to go out.
We took Enfin out today.
We had some terrible family news (lots of love to Puerto Rico!), and at the same time needed to stop by the pump-out station in the marina.
As we had finished our pump-out duties, Di and I looked at each other, looked at Enfin's bow pointing towards the marina exit, and basically decided on the spot that we'd head out and go "test the boat". So we did.
Nothing major, but we both had huge grins on our faces as we let Enfin do what it's meant to do: steadily take us places.
We made our way up river for a while, enjoying the view, the fresh air and life in general.
After a while, with jet ski and ski boat traffic dwindling, we decided it was a good place for Di to learn to maneuver the boat. Enfin has an articulated rudder and with a little magical use of the throttle and rudder can turn in its own length, a very useful trick in tight quarters that I wanted Di to learn.
We must have looked a little silly and drunk for a while, as Di executed 360 after 360, using the prop wash on the full rudder. She got the gist of it in no time, but it's one thing to do it in the middle of a wide open river an another to do it in a very tight marina. Next time?
As we were heading back I decided to open the engine up to WOT (Wide Open Throttle) as a normal procedure just before entering port. It's a good way to clean things out and check all is OK.
Unfortunately main engine temperatures came up after being completely normal all along, so I added changing the thermostats to the maintenance list. They were close to overdue anyway, so no big deal. I'll also suspect I'll need to clean the keel cooler.
Thankfully, with a dedicated engine room and a simple mechanical diesel, changing the thermostats is a very easy job. Drain the coolant a little, open up the housing and there they are. A couple minutes later and you're done, new thermostats installed. Note there are 2 thermostats, one set for 76c and the other one for 82c to provide gradual cooling.
We keep thermostats as spare, though they rarely need changing.
The main engine now runs nicely and even a little cooler than before at my favorite 1,350 rpm cruising speed.
If anything the short trip opened up our cruising appetite and both Di and I are looking forward to exploring the river more once the summer season ends.