August 30 to September 30, 2003
La Ceiba to Utila

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We returned to Scorpio at the La Ceiba Shipyard in Honduras after a 3 months vacation in Finland. This year we did not have any really big maintenance projects and where able to launch the yacht already 10 days after our return. The most exciting work was the replacing of the heat exchangers and some other engine parts because this work was performed by the captain himself. But all vent well - or so it seems at the moment.

The docks of La Ceiba Shipyard ..

Where driving is really slow

After the launch we took a berth at the neighbouring Lagoon Marina, where we continued our preparations for the season ahead.  Ten days later we let go of our lines and set course for Utila in the Bay Islands - or so we thought. Within 30 minutes we discovered that the propeller shaft and packing box were getting very hot and decided to turn back. The Shipyard immediately answered to our call on the VHF and a haul out was arranged. They had repacked the box during our previous visit and apparently something vent wrong. We stayed two nights again on the hard working on the problem and some other issues.

The Gren Parrot Taverna..

Owner Sandrine in front of Scorpio's flag

We took the opportunity to present the watering hole of the yard, The Green Parrot Taverna, with Scorpio's flag. The owner Sandrine let us put the contents of our fridge in hers while we were hauled out because we could not run the (watercoooled) fridge aboard while out of the water.

Lagoon Marina

Looking back at mainland Honduras

At noon on a Saturday we were launched again and started motoring again towards Utila. Within an hour we returned back to the shipyard's dock. The shaft was still getting hot and no lubricating water was coming through. Because it was now Saturday afternoon there was nobody at the yard except for the guards and we would have to wait until Monday to get anything (but what?) done. I decided to give it one more try on Sunday. We left again for the third time, but now with the packing nut completely out of the box. I hoped that the packing rings would loosen by time and allow some water to get in for lubrication. But it did not feel very good to drive without the nut secured. If something vent wrong we could be flooded fast. It seemed to be working though, and the shaft did not get as hot as before: I detected a few drops of water. Five hours later we were anchored in Utila's East Harbour. We had been motoring all the way because of the lack of wind, but the shaft stod the test, if only just. It was wonderful to be able to swim in the sea again and to feel the slight breeze in the anchorage after two weeks on the windless mainland.

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