Cala de San Pedro

Fenix II ARC
Liz/Steve Rakoczy
Mon 25 Oct 2010 07:36

23/10/2010      Distance: 95 NM       “36:54.20N 1.58.80W”


We slept surprisingly without nightmares and after a good night sleep we were up at 7.30 and started to sail in the dark. It was a nice start for the day. We admired the rising sun and the setting moon, both appearing on the opposite horizons for a while. Feeling good, we had a nice warm breakfast and settled down for a quiet sail for the day. But it was not to be.


Steve checked the dreaded transmission oil level and announced that it was down – again! - to the minimum. Meaning, we could not continue, as practically we did not own an engine anymore. (I have to mention that in Barcelona a Volvo expert spent weeks repairing the transmission, which was stuffed up by a marina employee twisting a rope around the propeller.) Nothing seems to fix it. The mechanic changed the oil filter and declared victory. It leaked. Another mechanic yesterday changed the transmission oil filter and seal. It now it still leaked.


 So, floor boards up. I can only give a description of what I saw. Husband, as head surgeon, seemed to be doing a major operation, half buried in dismantled parts, wiping oil painstakingly from every single part of the transmission. In a surprisingly controlled manner asking for: “paper towel, screw driver, Allan keys, scissors, more paper towel, etc. for an hour. Then, the diagnosis got formulated. “The bolt under the transmission cable bracket  is leaking.” While acting like a theatre nurse I tried to sail the boat as best I could with the jib, avoiding a major fish-farm exactly in our preferred direction.


Sails furled. Motor started. The diagnostic work on the now squeaky clean transmission continued.  The final diagnosis. “Yes it is the bolt.” Bracket off. Bolt out. Me, cleaning bolt and metal seal with a toothbrush. Bolt back. Motor on. It works. After one month the transmission has actually stopped leaking!! (for now, at least!)


I simply could not believe it. All the mechanics Steve consulted, just shrugged their shoulders. No, nothing can leak. But, it did. At the end it was up to Steve to find this fault. I have no idea how people without his skills and determination can sail. You could say that one does not need a motor to sail. Of course, but this was just one piece from the thousands of bits and pieces that can go wrong on a boat. And even if you are just

10NM off-shore you have to solve the problem: there is no RAC around the corner to tow your vehicle to the closest garage. No RAC, no garage and no mechanic.


It is a beautiful somewhat cloudy day today. We are trying to reach a nice anchorage for tonight. We saw a school of tuna! Hundreds swimming into the Med from the Atlantic!


Our trip for the rest of the day was uneventful we had a great dinner while sailing towards our anchorage.



So long.


Liz & Steve