An update on this years sailing season
Well firstly we must apologise for the gap in updating our blog page. To be honest and frank, we didn’t think it appropriate to be posting about us while the world has been put on hold. We have paused our regular videos on YouTube (although our Patron only videos have still being going out), but now we think it’s about time we can start posting them again, now that the world is getting back to a bit of normality, albeit, still a different one to that which we had become accustomed to.
So what’s happening aboard Dream, I hear you say!
Well throughout the lockdown period we had been fostering a beautiful dog, Sam, who was waiting for the lockdown to lift so that he could be flown to his forever home in the UK. We became quite attached to him, and in all honesty, if we weren’t planning on sailing we would have kept him. The lockdown lifted for sailing in Greece came at the beginning of June, however Sam’s flight was booked for the 15th, assuming they were going to fly then. We decided that rather than him have to go into another foster home we would stay and look after him until then.
Two days before he was due to leave the couple who were going to have him pulled out. Now there is a waiting list for the dogs that are rescued here so rehoming him was never going to be a problem, however the 15th came and went. It wasn’t until the 27th June that we finally had to say goodbye to this lovely companion who turned out to be one of the most loyal, faithful and loving dogs we have had. After a lump in throat farewell we could get back to our sailing plans.
We needed a few days to get the boat transferred from its ‘winter living in the marina’ mode to “I’m a sailboat lets go” mode. Most of the jobs were done, just an engine oil change, a bit more fuel and some supplies and we could be off. Oh, not forgetting paying the dreaded TEPAI cruising tax and fetching our ship papers from the Port Police.
29th June and the TEPAI tax was paid online, the marina office printed off a hard copy of our receipt which we could present to the Police in order to get our papers back. 1st July, trip to the port Police, 10 minutes later we had our papers and were legally set to go.
I needed to complete the oil, filter and fuel filter service prior to leaving. Oil and oil filter done, engine started to run it through the engine and that is where the problem started. The revs started hunting up and down, there was a cloud of white smoke and then the engine stopped and refused to restart!
Now from my limited mechanic skills, I was adamant it was nothing I had done, or related to the oil change. I hadn’t started on the fuel system but I thought that it was a fuel starvation problem or contaminated fuel. The fact the smoke was white and not black indicated fuel issues. I removed the primary fuel filter, and there in the bottom of the collection chamber was what every sailor dreads, the signs of diesel bug. It’s actually a living organism that grows in the water content in the diesel, has a snot like consistency and doesn’t do your fuel system any favours. So all indications were that our fuel was contaminated.
Off to the chandlers where we purchased a 12v pump and a fuel polishing filter and some hose. Next we had to find enough jerry cans to empty our fuel tank. Two days later, the fuel had been emptied, cleaned and polished and was looking good. A check of the interior of the tank was pleasing, NO BUG! It looks like that the only bit of bug we had was in the bottom of the primary fuel filter casing. The fuel was returned to the tank. With new fuel filters fitted and the system bled we should be good to go. Ignition on, starter engaged……………Not starting. Try again…….nothing. Fuel was getting to the high pressure pump but no further!
The following day I spoke with a local mechanic who said it could be the high pressure fuel pump that was blocked. Specialist tools required, testing etc = big bill. And if it needed replacing €2776.00!!! What?
As luck would have it the following morning a boat near to us which had been vacant all winter had someone moving around. A neighbour mentioned they’d heard the owner was a mechanic. The sun was shining that day, yes he was a diesel mechanic with 30yrs experience under his belt. An hour later he was up to his armpits sucking diesel, blowing here, fiddling with that etc.
The diagnosis was hat the fuel lift pump was not delivering enough fuel and that a replacement would be required. I went online and found a place, not far from where we lived in the UK that had the part. A quick phonecall, a credit card and it was on its way. Only problem was it would take up to two weeks to arrive. No problem, we could get everything else ready to go.
That night we received a family phone call, without going into details here, we had to make a decision. Jen was booking a flight to return to the UK for almost 4 weeks, the longest time we would have to spend apart since we met when we were 16 and 18yrs old. Not something we were looking forward to but needs must.
The earliest flight was booked and we decided I would stay with the boat so when the new part arrives I can do the repair so when Jen returns in August we can more or less set off sailing straight away.
So, that’s where we are to date. I’m sat here on the boat doing a few little jobs and Jen is back in the UK with family. It feels really strange being apart but it’s only for a short time and sometimes you have to put other people’s needs before your own. I can’t wait for her to get back though.