Shreks progress (or news from the engine room)

Rick, Helen, Sue, John
Tue 26 Apr 2011 18:50
Hello from 16:23.10N 64:38.17W.  This is becoming predictable.  Just got the breakfast bowl in hand when Shrek went off on one.  Chug-chug-chug-chug..chug.....chug.........chug................silence.  Well when I say silence I mean a very load bee-bah-bee-bah-bee-bah....alarm  On any boat the fact that the engine is no longer turning and yet the ignition is still on is announced by an alarm.  Normally a discreet beep or something along those lines.  In this case someone's been down to Radio Shack and bought one that sounds like a house alarm.    You look around to see who's breaking in.  Anyway, usual drill.  Lift the floor boards and down into the now familiar territory of the black lagoon (its been suggested I might like a little berth down there).  I fiddled around with the fuel filters for a bit (maintaining a thoughtful, calm, 'I know what I'm doing' _expression_) when I noticed that the sight gauge on the starboard side tank was showing a load of fresh air.  (We've only been drawing from this tank for just over a day so it should be still - say - 4/5ths full.)  Then I noticed another thing.  The port side tank (which had been only 1/4 full) was now practically straining at the gauge.  So despite the fact that the port-side was closed off somehow, overnight, our fuel has transferred itself from one tank to the other.  Another mystery of the sea, that's what it is. 
Continuing the story of Shrek - having established the facts, turned on the relevant taps and bled the system (men's talk) we then had the usual post-operative squeal from the bloody fan-belt.  So replaced that with our last. What a bloody job that's becoming. 
With only stately progress it has to be said, we're making for St Croix which is a little lozenge-shaped island just south of the Virgins.  This will give us a chance of a quick breather, unravel the genoa, unblock the heads refuel, re-provision, buy 20 more fan belts and allow R to jump ship to get to a conference in Toronto which he is apparently chairing on Friday.  Humm. (Have you noticed how these medicos all always swanning off to conferences in places like Rio, Cape Town, Vancouver or even Cairns?  Barnsley, Sheffield or Walthamstow don't seem to get much of a look in.)
There's about 80 miles to go so should get in tomorrow morning.  R will fly on Thursday and H, S and I will head off for Antigua which is still a 2 or 3 day sail (all up wind, up tide).
More rubbish as it occurs,
The Crew