Sailing sans engine

Manzanillo to Ixtapa  Feb 16-18

This is the summary of a long and sometimes grueling and sometimes beautiful drama of motorless sailing from Manzanillo to Ixtapa.

The engine quit at sunset (two days ago?).  None of the slow down/speed sup/slow down dying associated with filters in my past experience. It went from running normally to dead in one second.

I acted as if I weren’t concerned, and I just simply sailed through the night until the wind gave out entirely.  And then I bobbed like a cork — quite alone in the world.  It isn’t the solitude as much as the vulnerability of having no control over weather, winds, direction of travel or ability to get out of someone’s way (like a freighter) that grabs you.

Nothing, anywhere, except the separation sea and sky

With the advantages of morning light and flat seas I pulled the floors, inspected every engine connection, and finding nothing wrong I then changed the primary fuel filter. Still I couldn’t get the engine to speak to me (no start). Next I changed both secondary (on the engine)fuel filters.  And again, no start.  I tried for hours to clear air from the line — with no better results.  So I just kept on sailing with a goal to get to Ixtapa where the resources to fix it might be.

I arrived at Ixtapa Bay after dark last night — but judged it not a good idea (partly because the winds were flukey and then died) to stay in the bay or attempt another bay anchorage nearby.   Larry and Lynn Pardy came to mind and their years of sailing into harbors without a motor.  It’s different!

Favoring prudence, I sailed about 5 miles off shore all night (and hove to for several hours and grabbed some sleep).


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