Friday, December 30, 2016

December 22-23, 2016 Matt Lowe Cay and fuel repair

We moved our boat to Matt Lowe Cay today.  It is only about 5 nm around the north side of  Marsh Harbour, but it is a lovely bay with clean water.  We wanted to make water and see if we could get a better reading on our insoluble particles.  It has to be under 500 and we are pretty close to the limit.  If it’s not better here we will pickle the water maker, change filters and flush the system.  The warmer water here makes it easier for all kinds of things to dissolve in the water. 
There goes the neighborhood.  Someone flying in to their private island.  No trespassing signs on the beach
Dave is still working on the fuel line business.  He added more fuel while we were in Marsh Harbor.  When he checked the lines today, he found wet fuel lines above the area of the tank whistle.  So now he gets to  work in a more confined area-tomorrow. 

We took the dingy for a ride in the area.  We got out our “looky loo” bucket to check the anchor and look for any wild life amongst the rocks.  There is a lot of ferry traffic in this area, so didn’t expect too much. 

We went back to the boat and mixed a container of gin and tonic, took some ice and cups and were going to watch the sun set and drift back to our boat.  We noticed someone outside on the only other boat in the bay.  So we went over to say hello and ended up aboard their boat and visiting for a couple hours.   Their boat is named Modaki and they are from Ontario.  The name stands for mom, dad and kids.  We had a great time visiting with Yvonne and Joe and found out we knew a few other boats in common.  Small world. 
Gin and Tonic to go
Joe and Yvonne from Canada
Dave went back to work on the fuel line today.  He discovered a broken piece at the tank.  There is a built in nipple that a vent hose attaches to.  The nipple appeared to have been bent at some time and finally cracked. 

Dave needed another part from the hardware store and thought he could wait until we went back into Marsh Harbor tomorrow.  But I reminded him that it will be Christmas Eve and stores may close early.  So he decided to take the dingy 5 miles to Marsh Harbour for the part.

Dave had go to a couple stores to find a brass threaded nipple.  He also needed to find a a sealant that would work with plastic and with diesel.  At the auto parts store, they had 30 kinds of sealants.  So he had to read each one until he found the one that worked for both materials, Permatex form-a-gasket sealant, #1 fast drying, hard setting.  Then he had to stand in line at both the hardware store and the automotive store.   

He said everyone was shopping and visiting  just like in the states.  He could tell some were home for the holidays and catching up on each other’s lives.  Others were picking up supplies to do projects around the house while they have family home to help.  All he had was a couple little parts, so it tested his patience.  But he was able to blow off some steam on his rodeo ride back to the boat.  He was motoring against the wind.  He radioed me before he left, so I was watching for him.  There were several times I thought the dingy was going to flip over.  But I had to remember he was only in about 15 feet of water and would survive. 

Back at the boat, he had figure out how to work in this confined area.  He had to cut two holes in the floor of the aft lazerette to access the area of the fuel tank that needed repair.  Once he could look down onto the top of the nipple, he could see the crack where the nipple was bent.  Since it was on the top, the fuel would run down the top of the hose and settled on the tank whistle.  That’s where he felt the wet fuel to begin with.  From his previous access, he could  only feel the bottom side of the hose, which felt dry.  (We both thought of my cousin Joe when the doctors couldn’t find the source of the bleeding in his intestines because it was hidden behind the scope.  There’s always something that could be worse.)

Dave was hoping to find the exact size diameter fitting, but we are in the Bahamas.  He found one bigger, but at least it fit the hose we have.   First he needed to cut off the existing nipple.  Then he had to drill the hole bigger in the plastic tank that was full of fuel.  He said it actually went pretty well.  It made 2 big pieces that came right out with the drill bit and didn’t fall into the tank.  Next Dave had to cut threads in the plastic of the tank.  He said the plastic was easy to cut through, but he wanted it straight, and he was working in a mouse hole.  Then he placed the sealant on the fitting and on the threads of the tank, inserted the fitting, which was a threaded hose barb.  The sealant hardened within seconds.  So he placed the hose onto the hose barb and clamped it in place. 
Handy dandy assortment of hose clamps
Dave used a hole saw to access the tank.  He kept the circles that he cut out of the floor, but has left them open at this time.  He may place a piece of plywood over the holes in the future.  He said he can see the future where he will drop screws though those holes.  We still need to clean the last of the fuel out of the bilge, but we’ll wait until after Christmas.  That will also give it a few days to see if any more fuel leaks. 

While Dave was doing all this, I did our first load of laundry on the boat.  I wanted to do a bucket of towels.  We had plenty of clean ones to use, but there is no place to keep a load of dirty towels on the boat.  

I also made English toffee.  It’s one of Dave’s favorite candies.  I remembered to make only 1/2 of the batch this year.  I also made tzatziki sauce while we had fresh yogurt and cucumbers. 

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