28th – 31st January – Back to Shelter Bay

I left Lemmon Cays soon after first light, as soon as the light was good enough to see the reefs. Out past the reefs and breaking surf I could set a course to clear the reefs of Porvener. A close reach this wind about 20 knots and a reasonably lively sea. I chose to get enough northing in to clear all offshore dangers meaning I could run down my westing free in that knowledge, rather like the old time clippers used to do. Once out at 9 degrees 38 minutes I turned westwards, putting Sea Bear on a beam reach and she fairly romped along. Much later the average speed on the log was showing 6.1 knots, good going indeed for us.
Rounding Isla Tamba and Isla Grande we were in good time and so instead of going in to Isla Linton to anchor I carried on to Portobello. The wind had eased a little over the last hour but rounding Drake Island and within sight of the anchorage with the log showing 60 miles covered in 10 hours, it died completely. No problem I thought I’ll just motor the last mile to anchor, but problem there was. The engine did not start, it would not even turn over but was locked solid. An initial assessment showed me that it wasn’t something I could fix right then. With wind I could have sailed in but there was none. I called up some cruisers in the bay over the vhf and explained my position so they said they would come out in their dinghies and assist. Before they arrived though a little breeze came back so I sailed towards the anchorage, the dinghies dully arrived and shepherded me to anchor. I was grateful for their support.
Safely at anchor it was out with the tools, out with the injectors, off with the exhaust elbow and drain all the seawater out of the engine and crank by hand to blow the remains out. Put it all back together and mercifully the engine started and ran. I warmed it up to drive out any moisture lingering. Finished well after dark and then I could make a cuppa and cook dinner. Puzzling over why this had happened I investigated further and discover the air inlet pipe to the anti-syphon valve was blocked, allowing sea water to syphon in to the exhaust manifold and thence the engine, Easily solved that but worse was that the exhaust elbow was corroded inside – only cure for that a new one.
Spent a couple of day at Portobello then headed off to Shelter Bay, turned out to be a very windy day and approaching the breakwater rain squalls too. Dodging both and outgoing and ingoing big ships I entered the breakwater and so to moor alongside in Shelter Bay marina. Time to try and get a new exhaust elbow and start with the canal paperwork.