You would think since we had been sailing for over a year at this point, things would get “easier”. Unfortunately, that was not the case. What should have been a calm motor-sail, turned into a nightmare really quick. About an hour after we left Luperon, all hell broke loose. Our engine made the sound all cruisers dread…putt putt puttt…dead! At first, Nick and I weren’t that worried. Often times, Nick could pinpoint the problem and fix it quickly. He went down below to troubleshoot while I stayed in the cockpit on watch. Luckily, it was an extremely calm night. I sat and looked at the stars and the shore thinking we’d be underway at any moment.
If there’s one thing that has never wavered with me, it’s my faith in Nick. Even in the biggest of pickles, he always figures it out and keeps us safe. I trust him 1000% with my life and of course our dear King. Time marched on and Nick was still struggling to find the clog. He determined quickly that was our problem. The infamous “Diesel Bug” had literally come back to bite us in the ass. We pulled out the jib and started to tack towards the shore. I was watching the charts carefully and as soon as it was getting too close for comfort, I’d tack away from shore. Rinse and repeat. In a blink of an eye, 4 hours passed. During this whole time, I was able to chat with my friends Jenny and Kach. They kept my spirits up and kept me thinking positive thoughts. The last thing any of us wanted to do was turn back to Luperon. We were all ready to get on with the sailing season. It’s short after all.
Jenny’s husband Steve gave us the idea to use and refill our Jerry can to keep the engine going. We had used the Jerry can method at that point but had never had to refill it. Nick figured out how to get the return diesel in another Jerry can so we could swap them every 1 1/2 hours. At least this kept us moving forward. By the time the sun came up, we were both exhausted. Neither one of us got much rest with working on the engine, keeping watch, and swapping the Jerry cans. We took turns taking tiny naps which helped.
A couple of hours later, Nick found the clog in one of our valves. It was a miracle! He literally disassembled the entire fuel line system. We got a little spring in our step because we were able to use the engine “normally.” We decided to go to our original destination of Escondido even though we would arrive after sunset. Our friends let us know it was wide open and easy to anchor so we felt comfortable arriving in the dark.
The next day’s sail was quick and uneventful. Satori was on her best behavior and didn’t give us one hiccup. However, it was clear we had to do something major to prevent having further issues. But first…rest and pool time was on the menu. 🙂