We left Saldanha Bay on Tuesday afternoon with the expectation of nice conditions for at least the next 5 days north towards St Helena. Enough time to get us far away from the "Cape Town weather". It was a beautiful day, clear and sunny if a little chilly, after a fierce weekend of storms.
All was looking rosy until shortly after we left the entrance when we attempted to increase engine revs to help push through the swell. There was only about 7 knots of wind so we needed a little more drive. The engine won't go any faster! Darn. Change the 10 micron Racor pre-filter. That usually fixes it. Not this time. Time to turn back to make sure we've got this right. The main engine Yanmar filter was only changed 15 hours ago.
Jibed gently around with the nice shiny new preventers and bang! The main sail ripped from luff to leech just below the 3rd reef. Something is trying to tell us something! Well we hauled in the reef, and were dodged by a huge fishing trawler as we limped back to the anchorage.
David spent the evening trouble shooting the fuel issue but as we expected, when we changed tanks to the back tank and changed the main engine filter again it ran fine. Very frustrating. Our main fuel tank has been the aft tank but we have two central tanks which we discovered in Richards Bay were contaminated with a Diesel Bug. (These tanks had not been used since April when we left Langkawi.) They were emptied and mopped out. We then put in 20 litres of new bug treated diesel and slopped that round for 1000 nm then emptied and mopped up again.
Tanks were then refilled with new fuel and treated with biocides about 2 weeks ago. Where to start now??? Think we will make up a filtering system and filter all the fuel through that.
Genset seems happy with fuel from anywhere. Same Racor pre filter.
Quantum came and picked up the sail from the Saldahna Yacht Club. We have to decide now whether to have a new one made or repair again. It's been in the repair shop twice since the Indian Ocean crossing and it's 9 years old. A new sail will put a dent in our plans but hey! Plans are always written in the sand at low tide!