Monday, December 13, 2010

The little dinghy engine that could 12.13.10

On our 2nd day in the anchorage, we checked into the morning net and announced we were looking for a small outboard, something to get us by until we figured out what we were going to do for a replacement. Immediately, a boat named ‘Puddytat’ called us and told us they had a little Honda 2hp dinghy engine that they were looking to sell and to swing by when we had a chance. Luckily, they were the boat right beside us in the anchorage so Michael dropped the dinghy in the water and rowed over to their boat. They were asking a little too much ‘coconuts’ (It is illegal to sell anything in Mexico unless you’re a legal citizen) for the size and shape of the outboard but to our surprise said that we could borrow it while they were in the anchorage as they were going to sell it anyway and it could use some exercising. Wow, GREAT!

Puddytat in La Cruz Anchorage

I have mentioned the Cruiser Karma account and this is one example of how the cruising community really comes together, always helping out a fellow sailor in need. You see, we have had such good fortune in the past few years with having things working well on the boat but always lending a hand when someone needed it, a spare part if we had it, etc. Now we’re blessed with having a total stranger in the anchorage loan us a little dinghy motor. How kind is that?! We’re surrounded by such wonderful people, it’s humbling being on the receiving line of this kindness.

However, the little dinghy engine that could turned into a bit of a nightmare as it was always dying. For no reason! The first day we used it, it was….problematic but we seemed to be able to get it functioning. Well, kind of. We were going into the marina and were following Bill & MJ in and got 2/3 of the way in and it died. Bill & MJ turned around and we told them we thought it might be low on gas so they zoomed over to their boat and grabbed their little 2 gal gas tank and brought it to us as Joe & Deb towed us into the dinghy dock. Doh! We filled up with gas as we were getting ready to go back out to the boat, it fired up, made it to the main channel…..and died. OK, this is really starting to get frustrating! We were towed back to the boat by Bill & MJ. The next day Michael calls David from Puddytat and tells him of the issues and David tells him it’s OK to tear into it. Michael figures it has to be fuel related and begins with the injectors, cleaning them up.

Day #2. With fresh injectors, Michael hooks it up to the dinghy and does a circle around the boat. No problem! Woohoo! We attempt a trip into the marina again, it gets 2/3 of the way…..and dies. Damn it!!!

Day #3. He tears into it again and finds a leaking gas tank. Maybe that’s the problem! He replaces the thing-a-ma-bopper at the bottom of the tank so it won’t leak anymore and does 2 circles around the boat. Woohoo! Things are looking up!

Day #4. Another attempt into the marina. We make it ¾ of the way in this time and….it dies. You’re got to f$(#%&ing kidding me!!! We row into the dinghy dock and go into town anyway. We’ll row back to the anchorage, no problem. We didn’t time it quite well enough though because as we were leaving to go back out to the anchorage it was about 3pm. Now if you’ve been to La Cruz you know that the winds pick up around 2pm and blows about 15-20 knots until about 6pm’ish. So we have the wind against us. No problem, Michael’s muscles can handle it! A funny story too, as we were rowing out of the marina there is a group of Mexican fishermen who are playing a card game on one of the pangas we have to pass by while rowing out. They’re having a great time, laughing and joking. We row past….whosh, whosh, whosh. And one of them looks out at us and gives us the universal sign for pulling the ripcord on the dinghy engine to get it started!!! Hahaha!!! So THAT’S what we forgot, to pull the cord!!! We explain to them that it’s not working and they go back to their game while we whosh past. Silly gringos….

Luckily for us Herb & Juliette from Synchrony are zooming into the marina and offer to tow us out to the boat. Michael didn’t argue so Herb dropped Juliette off and swings back by to grab a line and tow us to our boat. Michael’s going to give it one more chance as there is a little in-line filter at the bottom of the gas tank that he’ll check. After that, it’s going back to the owners, this is getting ridiculous.

Day #5, maybe 6 as he took a break from working on it for a bit. He checks the filter, all is OK. He takes it on a circumnavigation of the boat….and makes it 3 times though he can tell it’s still not right. He decides to call David on Puddytat and take it back to him. David says something about it sounding like it might have an air lock and Michael decides to investigate the fuel cap, making sure it is open. The fuel cap has a little valve on it that is open but for giggles he takes the cap 90% off as well and…..whalah! It’s fixed. He does about 10 doughnuts around the boat and it’s running like a champ. And the angels sing…..aauuuuuuuuu!!! haha…

So for the past couple days it’s been working like a champ. No fuel leaks, no stopping 2/3 of the way in, no tows back out. All is right with the world. Or at least all is right with the little dinghy engine that could. We sound like a mosquito buzzing through the anchorage, and it takes us about 30 minutes to get anywhere, but by golly, we’re making it in and out!!! :-) Keep your fingers crossed it keeps functioning until we leave!

More to follow…


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home