Then we heard a short siren outside our boat. Dave peeked out and there was an official looking boat that wanted to talk to us. It was a routine inspection by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force. They wanted our Coast Guard Registration form and passports. They didn’t board the boat, like the US Coast Guard did back in Georgia. Everyone gets a chuckle out of the name of the boat. So it lightens the mood. They wanted to know where our last port was and how long we plan to stay in the Bahamas. There were 3 of them on their boat and they all seemed young, like in their 20’s. It’s actually nice to know they are checking boats out. There is a lot of crime in Nassau. Now if we had to call in with a problem, they would know our boat.
We then had coffee and breakfast and planned what to do in the meantime. Should we stay in the harbor or move outside to an island for a day. We decided to stay and work on a few things. Dave wanted to work on the outboard Mercury motor. We needed to provision at a nearby grocery store. And Dave will take fuel cans to shore to fill, rather than moving the boat to a dock. And I always have cleaning to do :( But I am going to cook some things ahead of time for the week while Pete is here.
Dave fixed the Mercury!! He adjusted the idle control and it would start and die right away. So he replaced the filter in the gas line. He added it because of a suggestion by another sailer. And he brought a replacement filter. There is usually gunk in fuel that you buy in foreign countries. It is brought to the islands in tanks that slosh around and stir things up. After replacing the filter, it ran beautifully!
We also “pickled” the water maker. We haven’t used it for a couple days. And now it will be a couple more. We don’t want to use the water in this harbor to make water. To make water, we run the generator. So, I plug in the computer and catch up on my blog. I can’t be in the galley while he is pickling anyway.
Next. Dave moved on to replacing the pump unit in the aft head. Seems like there is always maintenance on those head toilets. We had water, etc, gurgling up in the toilet between uses. I can’t imagine what else would be involved if we pumped paper through it, too. Yes, we put paper in the garbage, not the toilet. I thought I heard him say “this smells just like poop!”. I asked him is he wears gloves when he works on the head. He said “I could.” That’s the first thing I would do. He said the trick is to not lick your fingers. This time the problem was not only the joker valve, but the base valve too. But it all comes together as part of the pump assembly. Dave explained to me that different grades of rubber work with water, verses oils. So I asked why they didn’t put a better grade of rubber in the head assembly. His answer was because they wouldn’t make any money on replacement parts. He also did some reading in the manual about what can be done to prevent this problem. One problem with Beneteau’s is that the holding tank is upright, so everything has to flow uphill and stay uphill. He may add a vent to keep water from flowing back towards the head if it is below the water line. He had done that in our Catalina because we would often heel at a greater degree than we do in the Beneteau.
|Dave holding the joker valve closed after washing it
|distorted joker valve that leaks
|different view of distorted joker valve
After a quick late lunch, we took the dinghy to shore. The dinghy dock we used before was gone. There is now a fuel dock there. The fuel attendant/dock master at Harbor View Marina remembered us and that we were going south to the Exumas the last time we were here. So we asked him where there was a dinghy dock. He let us use their’s. It helps to make connections, I guess. We walked to the grocery store about 2 blocks away. We carried everything but the eggs and bread in backpacks.
After we took everything onto the boat, Dave returned to Harbor View Marina with 3 jerry cans to get 15 gallons of diesel. Whew, we felt like we accomplished a lot today.