Never Leave On Friday The 13th
22 April 2012 | Marina El Cid, Mazatlan
We have had to run north and south the last few months for various reasons so have been off the air and let slide doing any postings to our blog. We are back in business and can start chronicling our adventures once again.
What a way to start.
There is an old saying that you should not start a trip or crossing on Friday. Well, we did. Not only did we leave on Friday, but we also picked Friday the 13th. Should have known. We hurried (key word) and filled up the fuel tank and headed from Mazatlan to La Paz. We were buddy boating with Roger and Di on Di's Dream. At first, we ran into some lumpy seas and took some water over the bow, which was no big deal. During the night and about 40 miles out the engine suddenly quit. I knew I had plenty of fuel and thought it might be low oil. Roger was able to pass me some oil to top off the engine. No good. The engine would still not start. When out on deck I noticed the fill plug for the diesel was lying next to an open fill port, that's a big deal.
That means salt water in the diesel. We decided to turn around and try to head back to Mazatlan. Of course the wind died so we were just floating. Luckily the current was heading straight back to Mazatlan. It was only one and a half knots but in the right direction.
The day broke with blue skies, sun, and flat water. No wind. Since we were not going any faster than the current, it was fun trying to keep the boat headed with the current without any steerage. Marilyn thought it was great "sailing" without the noise of the engine, sunny, warm, and reading her book. The wind picked up in the afternoon so we were able to make some good time under full sails. With the wind we thought that we would be back to El Cid in Mazatlan when it was still light. When we got to about 10 miles from El Cid in Mazatlan the wind died. We finally got to an anchorage at about 9:00 PM and dropped the hook. Whew, we made it.
Patrick on Just A Minute had heard our chatter on the radio and followed our progress. He organized a flotilla of dinghies to come get us the next morning and tow us in to the marina. That makes it two nights and a day to make the 80 mile round trip from dock to dock. At least we made it back safe.
Next we had a mechanic check out the engine and found that the injector pump was toast. It seems that when salt water hits the hot diesel in the engine it turns to glue and plugs up the works in the injector. Result was the pump head cracked. We are now seeing if it can be rebuilt in Mexico or we will have to get a new one for $3000. That is going to drastically cut down on the cruising season.
Anyway take your time at the fuel dock and make sure everything is secured and think twice about leaving on Friday the 13th.