It’s Not all work.

Every cruiser knows this saying “ Cruising is working on your boat in paradise”. And while there is a great deal of truth in that saying, it is not the whole truth. We make time for feeding our soul. We meet with other cruisers. we share our lives and experiences with citizens of what ever country we visit. And we interact with the kids.

Everywhere we go in Indonesia kids are fascinated with us. It might be that we’re “white”. It may be that I stand head and shoulders above most people; and W/. We do look an odd couple. They love W/ because she’s closer to their height. They love to practice their English; saying “Hello”, “How are you”, and “What’s your name?”, “My name is …. “.

Schools in Lombok Indonesia teach three languages, Bahasa – the language of Indonesia, Arabic – the language of the majority religion, and English- the language of tourist.

For us English speakers it makes living here a bit easier. We need less sign language, less Google Translate, and a little patience. Not a bad trade for sharing in and learning about a culture that is quite different from that of our upbringing.

Tomorrow we splash….

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Work Continues

We’ve been making progress. At the speed of a Sloth; oops wrong continent. At the speed of a Koala. 🙂 Checked our fuel tanks and ordered diesel.

Developing countries are missing infrastructure that makes boating easy. We know of no marine fueling stations anywhere in central or eastern Indonesia. We jerry can all the fuel to the boat. The process is, dig out the containers, dinghy to shore, get a taxi to the station, fill up, load containers back in taxi and then dinghy. At boat lift them up to the deck and finally siphon the diesel through a water particle separator into the tank. It is NOT an easy process. And it is not a clean process. No matter what; we spill diesel on the deck and need to clean it up. Luckily, in American Samoa I bought a stack of fuel absorbent pads. We do our best to keep diesel out of the environment.

We ordered 350 liters of diesel and 30 liters of petrol. The petrol is for the dinghy engine. When we leave the boat for extended periods we don’t keep any petrol aboard. Petrol goes bad and is also way too explosive to have sitting around unattended. Since the boat is on the hard the diesel was delivered to the boat and left on the ground in 40 liter containers. The deck of the boat, where the fuel fill is; is 3 + meters off the ground. We needed to lift 700 lbs of fuel on to the boat to add diesel to the tanks. W/ used a winch to haul them each up to the deck level. I tied them on, she cranked, I climbed up the ladder and guided them into place. Climbed back down the ladder and tied the next one on. We did this early morning while it was much cooler. Sweat was pouring off us. It is hot here. We returned to the room, showered and had breakfast.

The next task was siphoning fuel into the filter and then the boat. W/ checked how much fuel was in each tank. We have three tanks. I then adjust which tank to fill. And while filling ran the fuel polisher. We began filling one wing tank. All went well for the first 40 liters. I switched to the other wing tank. After about 20 liters we were getting sputters out the fill. The tank wasn’t breathing. Each tank has a vent. This prevents air locks and allows filling and using the fuel to be problem free. We need to clean up the diesel on deck and discover why the tank wasn’t venting.

We had this once before. Mud Daubers (wasps) had built a nest inside the vent hose. When we left 8 months ago W/ thinks that I had put a piece of gauze in the vent to keep the critters out . The gauze wasn’t there. Birds or weather may have removed it. No matter what, I needed to ensure the hose was clear. And as any reader knows, I do NOT love working with hoses. First order was to clear a path to reach the hose fittings. Where I really suspected the issue was it was a difficult place to reach . I choose a place in the middle of the vent hose run. There I could check it much easier. And if the issue wasn’t there I could reassemble and search elsewhere. Fighting the hose, hose clamp and barbed connection was not fun. After a few scrapes and scratches colored with blood ; I had the hose off. As I disconnected the hose air escaped the tanks for a few seconds. The tanks breathed a sigh of relief. Well, I’ve not found the blockage. I now know it is blocked.

And blocked where I thought it would be. I tried exhaling through the hose. Nope. It was completely blocked. Now I needed to get at the fitting that vents the tanks at the hull. Move more stuff. Loosen the clamp. Pull like hell. Eventually with a slew of kind words (yeah right), and more sweat, I was able to dislodge the hose. I take a few different pointed instruments that I can get in place and begin pushing and poking. I break up the mud at the vent entrance that the wasps left. Just to be clear. I couldn’t do this easily from out the hull as the vent has a 90º turn. A few minutes later it seems I’ve cleared the hose. I reattach the hose, return to the mid section and exhale through it. Good: it is clear. Great! Put everything back together and we again add fuel to the tanks. To provide some perspective, from loading the fuel on, discovering the vent, cleaning the vent, clean up spilt – splattered fuel, reattaching the hoses, refueling, and washing the deck afterwards. We spent a good part of the day on this job.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long