We started late today because the harbourmaster was not there before 09:30. We left Peniche at about 10:00 local time and motored out of the harbour. Just before hoisting the sails the engine buzzer started beeping loudly indicating that something was wrong. We switched the engine off and tried to understand the problem. The engine panel light burning was indicating too high temperature for the outer cooling circuit. There was enough cooling water coming out of the exhaust; the impeller was working. There was also enough oil and cooling liquid in the inner cooling circuit. Then we realized that the engine main block was getting too hot. We had a cooling problem indeed. It was not just a faulty temperature sensor. And it was not the outer cooling circuit. Most likely, it is either the thermostat that adds the outer cooling system when the engine has reached a certain temperature or the inner circuit pump.
The wind had fleshed up a bit and Peniche was now lying about 5 NM behind us. The engine was out of order. The question was now: Do we sail back into Penich where we could be in one hours’ time and where we know what to expect or do we sail south the 50NM to Lisbon with the risk of not arriving in daytime in an area we had never been before? I took the decision to sail to Lisbon. The weather was expected to be the same as the past days. With the Nortada blowing at F5 we could arrive in Cascais at about 21:00. If not we would stay outside and try to sail into the harbour with the first daylight. We switched off most of the appliances that weren’t necessary in order to save battery power, hoisted the main and headed south.
The Nortada was reliable and with all sails up we accomplished the remaining 50 NM in about 8 to 9 hours. I contacted Cascais Marina. I told them about the engine problem and that I would have to sail into the harbour, they offered assistance and sent out a RIB at the harbour entrance which towed us safely into a berth.
The destination of the second leg of the voyage was reached. We were lying in Cascais Marina at the mouth of Rio Tejo which leads to Lisbon.