Scehawk was lifted off the stands and put back into the water again. And.. she floated! It’s always scary and exciting to see the boat put back, Blue Beryls story adding to the pressure. But all was well, except for some problem with the engine mounts which put us back a couple of days again. The boat yard staff had warmed up to us a bit, after we poured our hearts out about our setbacks. First they jumped at every opportunity to charge us (‘you used 22 sandpapers of 27 cents..’), but later they offered us to stay at their dock for free until the engine work was done. What a relief!
The day the engine was finally installed, we took her on a test drive (or sail?). We were powering up to full speed but the technicians started screaming and swearing and we had to abort the test because of some forgotten seal which caused the coolant to spray everywhere. Another day delay..
In the mean time our newest crew arrived, who were keen on getting a lot of sailing done. Basti and Caro are considering crossing the Atlantic with us, so they wanted to get to know the boat a bit better. You can imagine that the delay on the engine was extra frustrating for all of us! But we did get the chance to experience Torrevieja’s world famous flamenco festival (who hasn’t heard about it). There were three days of elegant horses, loud music and pretty dresses right in front of the marina.
After the final engine check we filled up the diesel tank and we were off! The plan was to daysail towards Gibraltar and do at least one overnight sail. The idea was that Basti and Caro could get a feel of longer passages. But we got unlucky with the wind and had to motor almost the whole way. Yay for the new engine, but a bummer for not being able to sail.
We have to run the engine on high load the first 50 hours, so we flew from anchorage to anchorage. The upside from going so fast was the amount of fish we caught. On one day, we caught 7 tunas! We threw the first 6 back because they were too small. From the last, decent-sized one we were able to make some delicious sushi. The next day we caught an enormous mahi-mahi and the day after another big tuna. So the fish fundraiser count is 3!
As we got closer towards Gibraltar, a thick fog caught us by surprise a couple of times. We were so happy to have extra crew on board to be on the lookout. We were a bit under pressure to get to Malaga, as we had already rented a car there, so we had to keep on motoring through the fog. It was super creepy not being able to see anything. We anchored blind twice, just by the position on the chart plotter (basically the same as a gps navigation in the car) and the depth meter. A few hours later, when the fog slowly dissolved we could see our surroundings – in case of the Spanish coast, its sometimes better not to see it because it hurts the eyes. They definitely need some better building regulations!
About the new engine..
The new engine is working like a charm. It starts very reliably, which is such a relief! It keeps the right temperature and gets us through the water with 7 to 9 knots. That is SUPER fast and we don’t plan on running the engine at this speed once the ‘break-in’ period of 50 hours is over. With this speed its also super thirsty, we use more than twice the diesel we used with the old engine. But we ran the old diesel with 1800 rpm where we run the new one with 2500 – 3200 rpm during the break-in. When we slow down to a less noisy and more economic 2000 rpm it will hopefully just need 2 L/hour. We are super happy with it and so much stress has fallen of our (especially Thomas’) shoulders!
*All the pretty pictures were taken by Basti and Caro. Remember the black & white photos from our wedding? They were also made by them!