Thursday, October 15, 2009


We started feeling a little cabin fever in Cherry Cove with the overcast and rain, so even though the storm was not supposed to clear out until Thursday, we decided to go on over to Newport on Wednesday. While it was overcast and a bit foggy, we didn’t have any rain.

Just as we were pulling out of Cherry Cove, the autopilot would not engage – kept giving a message about “Autorelease”. After digging through the manual, it says “Auto Release provides emergency manual override… This option only applies to sterndrive actuators [which we don’t have] – for all other systems this option should be set to off”. Hmmm… maybe it accidentally got engaged. Poking through all the settings, it didn’t even show up where the manual said the setting should be. A quick call to Raymarine resulted in a diagnosis of likely some problem with the rudder bar. We didn’t feel like digging enough out of the lazarette while underway to see what we could find, so hand-steered on to Newport. Once in Newport, we found that a cotter pin holding the hydraulic drive had sheared, allowing a bolt to come loose which must have put torque on this bar that connects it to the rudder and popped it off. Realigning the drive, replacing the cotter pin, and popping the rudder bar back on and we were back in business!

Newport harbor is an incredible place. We spent the first night at the Balboa yacht club guest dock, and moved out to a city mooring for the second night since the yacht club gave only one free night for reciprocal clubs. Newport is a huge harbor with two large islands (Lido and Balboa) as well as a number of smaller islands. Besides a dinghy trip to Balboa Island to do laundry, Thursday afternoon we took a long dinghy ride around the harbor. Since so much of the shore is private residences with private docks (like the one to the right), there are many mooring fields rather than traditional marinas. There were scads of these small covered runabouts that people used to just cruise the harbor on nice evenings. But even with all the wealth and well-kept boats, there were a number of derelicts, such as the two below that the local sea lions had taken over.

We caught this picture of the sun setting over the moored boats with the outline of the new moon visible in the western sky.

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