We had a Mojo issue of our own just a few hours ago leaving Garrucha, Spain
for Cartegena. Too weird... here's what happened:
We left for Cartegena today around 10am. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. We got just outside the breakwater... everything was fine, until I smelled electrical
smoke.... fire! So maybe 300 yards from the harbor entrance, I immediately shut down the engine
and all electrical
systems and my good friend Art and I set out to find the source of the fire/smoke... which turned out to be... the engine
compartment. To avoid going up on the rocks, I dumped the anchor
and 150ft of chain.
The engine wouldn't restart nor would any of our electrical systems come back on including the anchor windlass
. Quickly we decided, we need to bring up the Ultra 45kg anchor and 300 pounds of chain to get out of the situation or call for expensive help, so we rigged a contraption to haul up the anchor by hand using the sail winch
, took us two hours to do. The main sail wouldn't unfurl, because it uses an electric motor
, so we had to use that stupid little mini crank to get it out which we did (1/2 hour). Then as soon as the anchor came off the bottom we began to drift towards the beach, because by this time we'd drifted past the harbor breakwater (the rocks). It took me 5-6 tries to bring the boat around without the use of the jib
... we'd decided not to set up the jib
ahead of time and instead do it in Cartegena because of the harbor gypson dirt... bad idea. The anchor then got snagged on a fisherman's fish
trap, that Art was able to quickly untangle, so much going on that I didn't even know that until later.... I probably came less than 25 feet of running aground on the public beach before the wind miraculously came up as we made a broad turn towards the beach, then we began to pick up speed and head off shore. It was way too close a call.
Next, we hauled out the staysail and set it in order to head back directly upwind to Garrucha (1/2 mile away), it took us 3 hours to sail up 1 mile West of the harbor and head back towards the harbor entrance, by now the wind had increased to 20 knots. The stay sail furling
mechanism wouldn't turn so that we could furl the sail in... it was stuck. We were then able to furl the main sail to 25% by hand and began our one shot effort to dock
the mammoth without an engine or bowthruster in 20-25 knots of wind inside the harbor. We sailed down past the gypson ships, I banged a U turn and came up alongside the outside harbor dock
and headed into the wind. a few scrapes along side the boat which should buff out. We then dropped the sails
. What a miserable, stressful day.
Everything turned out fine, no damage, but I think the engine starter motor
was the source of the fire. Everything else works even the starter solenoid, it just won't turn over the engine. We'll pull it tomorrow and try to get a new one quickly. Then try to repair the staysail furler
... probably something simple on that.
Art is asleep now taking a well-deserved nap... his first in years. I'm sure 99% of people would have just given up and called for help.... but not us. Now we sit here next to a enormous dirt ship ready to load gypson..... 150 meters from where we started.... in a boat reeking of burnt starter motor
How was your day?