Yes, it happened when we least expected it to. While we were in Bodrum, we received a message from our Turkish broker, Birol, that an American couple living in Italy were interested in buying our boat so they could sail her back to the US and maybe beyond. After much heartache, some serious soul-searching and some negotiation, we accepted their offer. The next step in the process was to have the boat surveyed (at the buyer’s expense). It made sense for us to have that done in Marmaris so we could take advantage of our remaining free dockage, due to our annual contract, with Setur Marinas.
While all these negotiations were going on, we ended up anchored off Bodrum for 9 days, by which time we were beginning to get to know it a lot better. The town caters mostly for tourists so, with fewer around this year, the vendors were hungry for sales. We ended up buying sandals for both of us, hand-made ones for me and German ones for Howard. We also enjoyed the Friday farmers market and a few refreshments, sometimes with Paul’s company as he was anchored next to us, at the waterfront restaurant where we would came ashore and leave our dinghies each day. The friendliness and lack of hassle with the restauranters was amazing.
However, we didn’t ignore our boat maintenance and changed the oil in the generator as recommended by the manufacturer for the hours it had run. In retrospect, this may not have been such a wise move because it is an awkward process and Howard’s back was grumbling before we started. By the end, his back was grumbling a LOT louder and it is taking its time to fully recover! Our Northern Lights generator has worked reliably all the time we have had the boat but we have always had a suspicion there was something funky going on with the fuel tank levels after running it. I (Hope) had written on our ‘To Do’ list to trace the fuel lines (supply and return) from each of the 3 fuel tanks as it seemed the starboard tank which the generator was supposedly drawing from, remained full! After changing the oil filter, we ran the generator a couple of times without incident and then, without warning, the next time it suddenly quit after 20 minutes or so of running. Our hunch was that it was a fuel issue, i.e., the generator had been starved of fuel. It has two in-line filters (Racor 10 micron, generator 4 micron). As the former looked clean we assumed the latter was clogged. Finally, I checked the line from the Racor filter/separator to the generator and found that it had been incorrectly connected to the return on the generator when it was installed. We would have changed it ourselves had Howard’s back permitted but instead sought professional help. It took a lot of persuading but finally, after asking the first mechanic to check the fuel lines from the Racor and him ignoring my request, he enlisted a second ‘expert generator mechanic’ who tried everything else before finally listening to me and agreeing that my assumption regarding the fuel lines installation was correct. The generator started up without issues immediately after correctly reattaching them to the generator. The first mechanic had changed both filters but still could not get the generator to run. The incredulous thing about this whole episode is how on earth the generator ran for 300 hours sucking fuel, only through the 4 micron filter, from the return which enters near the top of the tanks, unlike the supply hose that draws fuel from the bottom of the tanks. It must have been that we always drew fuel from a tank that was close to being full. Amazing!