Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An attempt to get away from Carnaval

On Sunday 19 Feb, we left the marina dock in the afternoon, having decided to go to the panga dock until Carnaval was over. It was a beautiful breezy afternoon, the sails went up, I was at the helm, life was good, and tonight we'd get a good night's sleep. Before turning into the narrow channel, I turned upwind, and Dick doused the sails. We were motoring slowly, a light breeze on our nose. Dick had just said, "Stay a bit to starboard, closer to the rocky shore," to better turn to port into the docks ... and then the engine DIED!   We still had a bit of forward motion.  Dick, "Turn to port!" and he left to quickly raise the staysail.  Although the rocky shore seemed to be getting closer for a while, the wind soon filled the sail, the boat continued to turn 180°, and we had control.  Whew!  We were headed back toward the channel.  Time to breathe, think and plan what to do next.  The engine would NOT start, sail power was all we had.  What to do? 

The most conservative choice would have been to sail out into the Sea of Cortez, far enough away from tanker and fishing boat traffic, heave to and keep watch all night.  However, we decided to sail back through the channel toward the harbor and marina (and Carnaval).  Now the wind was cold and the sunset was approaching.  We tacked back and forth up the channel, took the longer way around Isla Almagre Grande and Isla Almagre Chico, and sailed to anchor. 

On Monday the 20th, the diagnosis began.  Dick decided to harness up the engine.  Tuesday morning he would lower it into the dinghy, row it ashore, and take it to an outboard engine shop.  However, he continued to work through additional possibilities, including
going to shore and consulting with people in the workyard who might have additional ideas.  The outboard stayed on the boat, but the bicycle needed to be onshore.  Best to tie it down to the stern of the dinghy - wouldn't want to lose it in the bay.
Tuesday the 21st:  most likely there's a problem with the fuel tank, at least that's the first thing that will get attention.  Meanwhile, it was officially Mardi Gras tonight, our last NOISY night (hurray).
Princess Arlete celebrating Mardi Gras - what a party girl!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Here I was going to make a joke about sailing onto anchor, wouldnt I have mud on my face , WELL DONE!
    As far as the outboard dieing ,BUGGER, hope you find the problem asap and is not needed to leave the boat.
    But yes Dick , first is check for spark , if spark it is fuel, check filters, water in fuel etc . Im sure your getting all this info anyway.
    I to have had continuous problems with my motors , now a raw water pump allowing water into the sump , yet again.
    You got to love boats.