In Gibraltar - after some Engine repair
Thu 14 Aug 2014 09:22
Date: Thursday August 14, 2014- Time:
10:30 Madrid Time|
Position 39:09.442N 05:21.359W
Sailed distance = 110 NM
Sailed time = 1d
Engine Time = 18h
Average Speed = 4.58 kts
The night of Wendsday was quite uncomfortable because some swell especially in the late part of the night.
(Better it would have been to anchor in the West side of the bay of La Herradura)
At 5 am it was almost impossible to sleep any more and we decided to leave.
We started the engine and we retrievde the anchor.
As the anchor was retrieved we started to motor away from the bay.
After about 5 minutes, the engine stopped (as it was running out of diesel).
Still dark and no wind to sail.
Quick check on the depth that read 110 ft (luckily) and a quick decision to drop the anchor with 250 ft of chain.
No wind so the boat was not going anywhere now and we could start to figure out the problem.
Not very comfortable with the same big swell and the boat rolling.
I immediately suspected the fuel pump and by putting my hand on it while the ignition key was on I could not feel the light vibration indicating it was working.
To really make sure I disconnected the output hose and turn the key on again: no-diesel coming.
This was the same problem the boat experienced in January of 2010 when with Jeff Lewis we were about to take the boat from Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale.
At that time we had to call a mechanic and he installed the new fuel pump and I had the good intuition to later buy a replacement to keep on the boat.
So I had an exact spare pump and I proceeded in replacing it with the broken one.
30-45 minutes later the replacement was in place but no luck with the engine starting and no diesel out from the air-purge port.
At that point we checked the fuel-filter and realized that it was half full of diesel. What had happen is that while changing the fuel pump I had forgot to close the fuel valve (like I usually do when changing the fuel filter) and the fuel by gravity had gone back into the tank.
Unfortunately I had no small container with diesel on board (which from now on I will make sure to always have) and getting diesel from the tank, although possible would have been another big work involving opening inspection port or removing hose etc. So we decided to put the dinghy back in the water and the outboard and go to Marina del Este, about 1 miles away, to buy some diesel. Leaving Yael to on the boat.
With the diesel we filled up the fuel filter and after few seconds with the ignition key on the diesel was coming out from the air-purge port on the engine.
After purging of air the engine started and all was ok.
At 10:30 dingy and outboard were back on board and we were ready to leave our rolling second deep anchorage spot.
Started to motor west along the coast. Around noon the wind suddenly built to about 28-32 kts in less than few minutes and of course coming from the "wrong direction" (not unexpected since it was on the grib files). So for the rest of the day we had to get west by a series of tack until we reached Malaga after which was almost sunset and the wind started to calm down and we motored sailed from there.
At sun rise the rock of Gibraltar was in front of us and a school of dolphin welcomed us to the cold, 16 C, waters of Gibraltar.
Went to fill up the fuel tanks with some cheap diesel in Gibraltar (there are 3 gas station right south of the airport runway).
And then to the marina of Alcaidesa in La Linea.
The broken fuel pump. It did last 4y 8m and almost 2000 Engine hours.
Close hauled in 32 kts of wind.
Dolphin playing at the bow of Blue Note
Blue Note back in Gibraltar, at the same pontoon she was almost a year ago.