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St Mary's River project summary

See attached .pdf file

Heavy Metal - Blanca, 30Jun2013

This week I finally found a source for an I-beam to make a lifting rig for the old generator and starboard engine.  I'd found the rest of the gear for hoisting (chain hoist, beam trolley, etc.) for a reasonable price (yay, Harbor Freight!).

Fuel Polisher - Blanca, 17Jun2013

This spring (while waiting for penerating oil to penetrate the stuck piston in the starboard engine) I put together a fuel polishing and distribution system for Blanca.

I had an issue with water in the fuel tanks--  they sat mostly empty all winter, and when I started the port engine, the water separator did its thing.  I had to shut down and empty the sludge bowl every 3 minutes or so!  I'd been ruminating about a fuel polishing system, so I decided to move that up in the schedule.

Sister Ship - Blanca, 17Jun2013

Awhile back, I discovered that Blanca's sister ship (the other of only two made) was docked in Alameda, California.  She (oddly, named "Gypsy") recently underwent a change of ownership and was relocated to Ohio.  I've traded emails and phone-calls with the owners, and they shared some pictures of her as she was being relocated.  So strange, to see "my boat" (with slight differences), being partly disassembled and trailered!

From the Chesapeake to St. Augustine, again

See attached .pdf

Roper status

Roper has finished her spring haul-out.  Major work included plumbing the fuel, water, and exhaust lines for the diesel generator, and adding an anchor windlass and roller, a new Furuno 500 autopilot, and one more antenna for an AirMar flux-gate compass and GPS for the autopilot.  Profound thanks to the energetic and capable Brendan Burke of the St Augustine Lighthouse & Museum; to IMH stalwarts Cynthia Loden Dowdle, Isabel Mack, Dawn Cheshaek, Kebret Andarge, John Dowdle, Kirk Pierce, and David Wright; and to Rick Meatyard and his gallant crew at Tall Timbers Marina.

IMH fieldwork schedule, 2013

2013 fieldwork schedule:
February & March --
  sidescan sonar training on weekends
  boat maintenance on weekdays
April --
  dive & map sites in Potomac River or
    Chesapeake Bay on first 2 weekends
  boat hull and engine work after 11 April
May --
  boat hull and engine work until 9 May
  underway 11 May for Georgia and Florida
  scan sites in Georgia
  arrive St Augustine FL on 25 May
June --
  LAMP field school in FL
  17th century site in MD

Pumpkin Pie - Blanca, 17Dec2012

After the high of getting "Patty" started last month, I spent the long Thanksgiving weekend tearing into "Selma", stripping her down and removing the cylinder head.  Let's just say it wasn't quite as clean inside as the port engine.  I knew I was in for something more "interesting" since I've never been able to turn the crankshaft with a wrench like I could on the other one.  So I was rewarded with some "pumpkin pie" rust in cylinder #2.

starboard bare blockstarboard bare block

Blanca Speaks! - Blanca, 19Nov2012

My apologies for the long interval since my last entry, but I haven't really had any *visible* progress until this week.


I've been working on the port engine ("Patty"-- the starboard one is "Selma") since March.  This included removing all the engine components including the cylinder head.  I was prepared to do a complete overhaul, including pistons, sleeves, rings, etc. but I discovered that would require pulling the engine, which I hadn't planned to do. In any case, once removing the head, the pistons and sleeves looked clean enough not to need that attention.

Andrew Doria reconnaissance project

A copy of the report on our third field session (Sept.-Oct. 2012) is attached.  I hope we can go back in the spring and continue work.

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