The last couple of days have been hard work days on the boat as we prepared for the arrival of our family friend and very experienced professional skipper, John Burnie. He’s come to Turkey for a few days to teach us how to really sail the boat properly, and with over 250,000 miles of sailing under his belt there couldn’t be a better person. We started this morning by walking the boat end to end inspecting every rope, cable, pump, and clip, which added considerably to our “to do” list. Then the wind whipped up and it was time to go sailing.
We left the marina with the wind at about 16 knots, hoisted the mainsail, then put up a staysail for the first time. The staysail is a small sail which flies from the extra stay (cable) in between the mast and the rolling jib stay…. designed for higher wind conditions where the full jib would be too much sail. This is how we will sail the boat when winds exceed about 20 knots. Then we turned away from the wind and rolled out the jib, meaning we were flying three sails at once – a very fast configuration. We probably would have botched this in an epic way if John wasn’t there to show us how to do it – the rope configuration gets complicated with that much stuff flying around. But we hit 10 knots for the first time, and everything was going perfectly…. until John asked what that diesel smell was. We opened the engine hatch to investigate the stench and looked down into the engine room to find a small ocean of diesel fuel – we had a major fuel leak.
Turns out our generator and main engine share a common fuel line, and when we removed a part from the generator for service, we left open a major hole in the fuel system that causes fuel dump into the engine room when the main engine is started. Luckily we found the leak, were able to McGuyver a temporary fix, bilge out the fuel, and make it back to the marina. We’ll worry about that one tomorrow.
A storm front is coming in tonight which should create some interesting sailing conditions for the next four days that John is here, so things could start to get exciting.