Almost there

Lesley & Derek Mercer
Wed 11 Sep 2013 13:12

Interesting couple of days.  All the parts have now arrived, so things are starting to happen.  One engineer is tasked with rebuilding the port engine.  Here is a picture of her after he has “stripped” her down:




As you can see, the head has been removed, but fortunately the main block and pistons are intact (unlike last time).  It turns out the injectors had got corroded as well as the valves, so there has been a mixture of specialist refurbishment in Cagliari and replacement with new, to get everything working again.


Engineer spent most of Tuesday putting the engine together again and now looks normal again.  The main problem was the water traps.  Out with the old:





And in with the new:





It’s that big grey thing at the back of the picture.  4 times the size, and should make sure we are safe from horrible sea water coming into our engine. 


The engineers are doing their best, but it takes time to fit and make absolutely sure everything is A1.  To his credit, the manager Andrea, has kindly told me he “doesn’t want to see me again”!  He is very thorough, so I know this is meant with the best of intentions.  It looks like the work will complete today, Wednesday, so hopefully off early tomorrow morning.  Friday is windy, so expecting to be at anchor somewhere, but Sat/Sun is the perfect weather for a crossing to Sicily.  Fingers crossed.


Thought you might like to see one of our neighbours.  They dropped in for fuel.




There was only the crew on board, very chatty.  El Capitano is South African, fiancée was Zimbabwean, and the crew hand was asleep.  They had come from Tunisia.  In order to stay in the EU, they need to be outside of it every 18 months or so, hence their trip.  The boat is registered in the Cayman Islands, and owned by a company. (Incedale Ltd.  Owns hotels, but have not filed their company returns for this year).  Crew on a 3 month contract.  They were desperate to fill up with diesel, having used up no less than 5500 litres on their crossing from Tunisia.  (To remind you, I used a total of 350 litres last season).  They were heading for Majorca, and had to be there by the morning as the weather was closing in.  Poor old Sant Antioco only had 3000 litres of fuel in its tanks, but they managed to get a tanker to come and top up, so that “VITA” could set off for Majorca, running her generators for the air con as well as the engines!  In order to avoid VAT, they have spent nearly £15K on fuel!  Makes you think. 


Saw a couple of British yachts today, both refuelling.  One even had an “ARC 2013” flag flying – clearly heading for the Canaries.  (ARC= Atlantic Rally for Cruisers i.e. transantlantic crossing in Nov 2013).  As he had a blue enseign, I suspect that this is why he failed to return my friendly wave.  The other boat, a lovely monoholl called Page, did, of course, wave back.