The guys at Cabo Yacht Center (Beto is the man) identified a fixable problem with the fuel tank, and fixed it! As described by the Captain in an e-mail:
"After cutting a new and larger inspection port in the top of our fuel tank it turns out that the plastic pick up tube was close to the bottom of the tank and flexes just enough to stick on the v-shaped bottom of the tank, creating a suction lock and fuel starvation scenario. The next time the fuel sloshes around the lock can be broken, pipe returns to vertical position, engine starts right up, off we go until it happens again some random time between five minutes and five months later. Shit. Simple problem, simple fix – cut an inch off the bottom of the pick up tube."
So, an identified problem fixed, and relatively simply. But is that the problem? Because the engine has been cutting out randomly (in a way that would probably meet even the Bush Administration's definition of torture) we won't really know if this is "it" until . . well . . . the engine never quits again or the memory of the engine quitting at inopportune times fades . . . . But, we're optomistic and thus we're on our way.
And today was a no-fail engine day. Celebrate the victories in life!
Among things that don't constitute "victories": Our crew, Corinne and Rick, left Cabo Saturday -- the day after the engine issue was (touch wood) addressed (we dare not say "resolved"). We hated to see them go, and are sorry our engine delays meant they didn't get to Mazatlan. However, they had to get back to their lives in Washington.
On the plus side of loosing our crew safety net - a plus side Rick and Corinne can undersand better than anyone -- we have MORE SPACE. Imagine the smallest apartment you ever had - say, a garage apartment. Now imagine half of that. Now imagine sharing that half with three other people. People you really like, but people that are there taking up space. Our guess is that, after living on Abracadabra for three weeks, Rick and Corinne had the unusual experience of feeling like their coach airline seats were oddly . . . comfortable!
Read the review of the Cabo marina on our "Cruisers Notes" page and you'll understand our need to get moving today. So, here we are in San Juan del Cabo - a whopping 20 miles away. The sail here was lovely - though the wind was a tad low. It gave Molly the opportunity to practice her light wind sail trim (she's going to be just like Rick and Corinne when she grows up). And we did use the engine for about half the time as a test of the fix.
Our big fun tonight was, as we were preparing dinner at our side-tie at the "transient dock", we were startled to hear a huge mega-yacht coming by. It's tied up to the same long dock. This thing has it's own helicopter!! The picture below doesn't do it justice because it was dark -- but it gives some idea of the size (see the helicopter on the top):
The tender for this boat has three outboards that, in total, have more than six times the power of our diesel engine (even when it's running all the time!).
We considered stopping by to ask the new neighbors if they wanted to join us for a drink . . . but we figured they were tired. Maybe tomorrow?
Our plan is to spend tomorrow relaxing at the transient dock, and head to Mazatlan on Tuesday, if the weather cooperates.