We had a nice run from Estepona. Following winds. Favorable current of almost two knots. We motored along the coast. Set the genny at times for a little extra boost. (Wind was directly aft, so we had to take it in much of the time.) We saw some dolphins. Jen made wonderful meals.
Then, at around 2 in the morning, the motor started stalling.
We remember motor stalling. It's what happened to us as we rounded Cape St. Vincent and we had to be towed into the Lagos harbor.
So, I shut of the engine and we drifted in the darkness as I replaced the clogged, secondary fuel filter. As we got going again, I checked the log and found that the filter clogged after only 30 hours. Normally, that filter is rated for about 500 hours.
To say this was a frustration is to say the Mediterranean is a cute little pond.
I fiddled with our plotter and changed our course. Instead of heading for fabulous Formentera, we are now berthed in Almerimar. A port with a lot of marine services but little charm since it is a new, condo-type of village.
After talking to some people here, we’ve decided to try and solve our fuel clogging issues once and for all: We will have the tank completely drained. This is a major undertaking that will involve hiring a man who will bring hoses, a pump, a barrel and probably fifteen rolls of paper towels.
But since this marina is relatively inexpensive, we have decided to use this delay as an opportunity to get away for a few days and visit Zoe in Leipzig.
I’ll let Jennifer take over from here:
All of these delays have put us so far behind our planned schedule, that we have been resigning ourselves to the fact that we will not make Turkey this fall. But after speaking with so many cruisers who have gone to Turkey and ended up staying for months and sometimes years, it had re-energized us push ourselves and cover the necessary 2,000 miles to the Turkish coast. This will mean taking many more 2-3 day passages and sacrificing some of those wonderful siestas we have grown so accustomed to, but I think it will be worth it. This way we can start from Turkey next spring and ensure that we won’t have to miss out on exploring the dozens of Turkish and Greek islands in the Aegean or forego the Dalmatian Coast. I realize I am sounding a little too relaxed, cavalier even, about all of these passages and potentially hash weather we will surely encounter, but my desire to get east is stronger than my buried fears.