The plan for the day was to go out to the Indians just outside Norman's Island for snorkeling and scuba diving. We didn't get an early enough start though, as all the dive moorings were already taken. We decided to put the sails up and enjoy some sailing while we waited for a mooring ball to open up. After a couple of hours several balls opened up for us.
We grabbed a ball right next to the Indians and began to suit up. Karen and Peter began their dive rigging process which seemed like a lot of work to us. Tanks, flippers, rubber suits that are nearly impossible to get into, weights, tank bangers, goggles, regulators.......... Geez, we were tired just watching the process.
We put our snorkels and flippers on in about 3 minutes and were in the water right behind them. The Indians are a very popular dive site which offers everyone a great adventure. It is beautiful and unique with the small spikes of land jutting up out of the water. The coral is bright and healthy with numerous fish to watch.
Once everyone finished debriefing after the dive, we fired up the diesel to motor over to Great Harbor, Peter Island. As we left the Indians in our wake the diesel decided to conk out on us. We restarted it a couple of times and it continued to sputter out. The crew raised the headsail so we could safely make it between the two islands while Mike checked into the issue. We had been maintaining a fuel usage log since day one which showed 21 hours of motoring and charging time. This should mean we had used roughly 15-16 gallons out of a 45 gallon tank, so we ruled out low fuel. The next obvious cause would be dirty fuel and/or clogged fuel filters. We discussed the situation and agreed to continue on to Peter Island and sail onto a mooring ball.
A little more wind would have made the sail easier, but we eventually managed to get ourselves on a mooring ball. We rewarded ourselves with a drink aboard and then a nice lunch at Ocean's 7 restaurant. We contacted Jim at Pro Valor Charters who agreed to come out first thing the following morning to look into the mechanical issue. It is nice to be on a charter boat and simply call in a chase boat for these repairs.
The next morning Egbert from Pro Valor and his assistant pulled up to our boat and proceeded to go through the entire diesel fuel system looking for leaks and clogs. Mike enjoyed the free diesel class as they ended up going all the way from the engine to the fuel pump to the Racor filter. After a couple of hours Egbert called it good and told us to have a nice day. Mike didn't like the sound of the diesel, so he suggested they follow us out of the harbor to ensure the issue was really resolved. Good thing, we didn't make it 200 yards and the diesel was coughing and stalling again. Egbert helped us grab another mooring ball and brought his tools back aboard. The real culprit ended up being the fuel pick-up screen inside the diesel tank. Once it was cleaned and re-installed the motor sounded great once again.
Since the day was slipping away we decided to return to Peter Island for the evening. Karen and Peter snorkeled while Brenda and Mike just relaxed aboard. Not your typical charter day, but a fun and interesting adventure to be sure.