If you haven't read the previous "Rescue at Sea" post, now would be a good time.
Took the tank into town and filled that sucker up. Packed an additional two gallons of gas into my three gallon tank. (Wait. That means there was still a gallon in it when I "ran out of gas". My spider senses started tingling. Well, maybe the fuel pickup is that far off of the tank so you don't suck dirt from the bottom of the tank into the engine.)
Got back to the boat and loaded the tank onto the dinghy which was still hanging from the back of the boat on davits. Then I had to take a break. It was hot. Dropped the dinghy in the water and fired the engine right up.
Remembering, in the back of my mind, the uneasy feeling about the fuel quantity, and being a relatively intelligent individual (HA!), I decided to put the engine to the test. UPWIND from the boat, so if it failed I could just be blown back to the boat without a whole lot of fuss. It was, after all, hot.
Remembering that the engine, last time, ran about five minutes once I got the dinghy planed off, I wisely ran it up and down the creek for at least ten minutes, always upwind of the boat. It performed flawlessly.
Concluding that the test run was successful, I decided to finish the project with a run to Paradise Cove, there to reward myself with an ice cold beer. It was, after all, hot, and I had more boat projects to get accomplished.
EXACTLY half way to the Cove, the engine "ran out of gas" again. The first thing I thought was "I KNEW I had enough gas!" Then reality set in. I was even farther from the boat than last time. And I would be rowing into the wind, again, which was stronger this time. And no amount of pulling on that stupid rope would persuade the engine to run.
I assembled the paddles.
No traffic this time. No one offered assistance. It was just me, my dinghy, and that little Mercury two cycle engine that couldn't. Did I mention it was hot?
A couple of days later, the fuel pump came in for my other dinghy motor, a Tohatsu four stroke. Once replaced, and the oil in the cylinder drained (due to the engine being on it's side for too long in my trunk), it also fired right up. After switching engines, I did the entire test drive on the upwind side of Sea Bird.
Not that I'm superstitious or anything.