Another day in Lagos

Minka of Southampton - Cruising Log
Edmund Wigan
Thu 2 Sep 2010 20:40
The plan was to continue our journey today. Two things have conspired against us. Firstly the wind has continued from the north west which is heading us. More seriously we started the engine this morning to find a huge cloud of smoke coming from the exhaust.
We opened up the engine compartment to find about half a gallon of oil in the engine bilge. On further investigation this was actually a small amount of oil floating on water. The water was salty but I don't know about the oil as curiosity only takes you so far,
The smoke is probably caused by a faulty fuel injector or pump which is beyong my expertise so we sent for a mechanic. The oil in the bilge is due to a long standing problem which means the engine leaks about a tablespoon full about every 8 hours running. The salt water in the bilge is a new problem caused by a leak between the sea water and fresh water cooling systems which overpressures the fresh water circuit which is then relieved via the radiator cap. The source of this leak is a mystery but could be found by dismantling the heat exchanger. Thye engine can be run safely with these leaks.
The mechanic came whilst John was on the boat and has gone back to see his boss about the problems. John reports that whilst he was running the engine the top end started making a rattling noise. When I got back to the boat and started the engine this had disappeared, We have yet to hear from the engineer's boss.
Depending on the engineer's boss and how big a job it is to fix the engine we have two choices. One is to stay here until the engine is fully fixed or maybe even replaced as it is 16 years old. The other to carry on our trip just running the engine to get into any marinas. The latter would be fine as long as we have reasonable and helpful wind forecasts. It will be interesting to see what the engineer's boss says tomorrow when I see him.
Not all gloom though. We walked down to the beach this evening and spent a happy hour watching the locals haul in a sardine net to the beach. Initially there were two teams of about 20 people spaced about 400mts apart. Each group was pulling a rope up the beach out of the sea at a slow walking pace. Eventually it became obvious as they got closer together that they were pulling opposite ends of a huge net. After about half an hour they hauled he last part of the net up the beach which was full of about half a ton of sardines. Quite a profitable evening's work. The teams involved people from 5 to 90 all working together. In the UK this would be a community involvement project managed by a sociologist rather than an old fisherman.