We have left Lipari…TWICE!
A couple of hours after the first start, the engine started acting-up again just when we were considering a stopover in Salina for a quick plunge.
We decided to head back to Lipari, hoping to find a competent mechanic that could detect what affects our engine; needless to say, the wind dropped so our return took forever.
We managed to berth again at “La Buona Fonda” with the help of the staff with two RIB’s, and we call Biagio.
Biagio shows up at dinner time, with a multitool as his only gear, and works around the engine for a good hour, essentially repeating the same checks that I had already done. He leaves without having found anything obviously wrong and suggests to do a test tomorrow.
Before I could stop him, he had made a strange modification, adding a spare hand-pump along the fuel line (“this has saved more than one difficult situation” he claims).
We cast-off the next morning, pretty much unconvinced, but the engine goes, and goes, and goes, it seems to be its usual, good self!
Now, there are three possible explanations:
1) Biagio is well connected with the god of mechanics (who could that be, Vulcan? It would be appropriate, given where we are!)
2) Just by chance, the problem that was probably due to a dirty-fuel clog somewhere has been removed.
3) The funny modification with the hand-pump (or more precisely, the non-return valve which is in the pump) has really solved the problem (which gives some hint on where to look for the fault).
Fact is that this time the engine allows a pretty normal cruise until we reach the island of Favignana, where we even find a berth at the local “Circolo Nautico”: not as easy as it sounds, because there is a sailing event and the place quickly becomes crammed-full of racing yachts: we literally got the last available place!
The idea is to stay for a day to allow the sea to abate a little before heading towards Sardinia (Cagliari or Carloforte, depending on Lorenzo’s plans for his return home).
Favignana is still a pretty “natural” place, where you have to accept delays and lack of choice in shops, but all this is more than compensated by the quality of food: a fantastic bread, and plenty of local delicacies plus, of course, an excellent ice cream!
We chat with the crews of nearby racing yachts, and we managed to raise envy from a few of them…