Saya Bo-dah ="I’m s tupid " in Malay, Bor neo
Peter and Margie Benziger
Mon 1 Oct 2012 02:25
Saya Bo-dah = I’m stupid
Recently, I picked up some handy Malaysian vocabulary words while at the boatyard in the town of Kudat, Borneo. As I was telling the story below to a couple of Malaysian locals, they good-heartedly cried out “Anda Bo-dah” which means “You are stupid.” Realizing that they, pretty much, hit the nail on the head, I saw this as perfect opportunity to expand my Malay so I looked up the words “I am stupid’ which is “Saya Bo-dah.” What I had done earlier that day aboard Peregrina was most definitely stupid but I’m assuming that it won’t be the last time something like that happens so, now I’ll be armed with an easy explanation in four simple syllables.
Margie and I were getting Peregrina ready to cross the Sulu Sea from Malaysia to the Philippines. I had already taken our diesel jerry cans ashore and gotten a taxi driver to take me to the petrol station so I could fill up our fuel tanks. In Borneo, there are no fuel docks for sailboats, so I get lots of exercise carrying five gallon diesel jerry cans back and forth to the boat.
Margie was still stocking up on fresh fruit and vegetables at the outdoor market and trying to get fresh, sliced bread (difficult) and cheese (impossible) so I figured it was a good time to top off our water tanks.
While we do have a water maker on board Peregrina, sometimes we cannot make water if the anchorage where we are located is muddy or polluted. In Kudat, we were facing the “polluted” option. Since I like to leave on long passages with all three water tanks full, I made several trips in the dinghy to the boatyard to fill up our 5 gallon water can. Back and forth…fill and pour…fill and pour…
The next day, we woke up early and prepared to get underway. I usually start Hercules, our beloved Yanmar diesel engine, about 15 minutes prior to departure to let him wake up slowly and get up to operating temperature. After about 10 minutes, a shrill alarm went off. We ran around looking for the cause. We have wake-up alarms, anchor alarms, off-course alarms, motion sensor intruder alarms and a variety of engine alarms…so it could have been one of many problems. When I got to the engine instrument panel, I saw a light flashing that I had never seen before. It said “Fuel Filter.” At that point, the engine stalled and would not restart. Oh, no…
But, the truth is, we were really lucky! Another 5 minutes and we would have lifted the anchor and then, if the engine stopped, we’d be blown right onto the rocks that fringe the Kudat harbor anchorage before we would have had a chance to put up the sails!
Using my best “Sherlock Holmes” investigative powers, I took a sample of the fuel and discovered that there was water in the diesel pumping through the engine. How did THAT happen?
Turns out some stupid guy had emptied a full 5 gallons of drinking water into the Aft Fuel Tank access port!
As you can see, there are three inlets all within a few inches of each other serving the Forward Fuel Tank, Aft Fuel Tank and the Water Tank.
After about 10 trips with the 5 gallon, 40 lb water jerry can, I must have gotten so tired that I emptied the water into the Aft Fuel Tank by mistake. Believe me, that is a BIG mistake!!!
The next day was filled with activity. It’s a good thing I’ve got lots of professionals advising me long distance! The night before, I had written to my friends Jim Galvin (a wonderful certified Yanmar mechanic in Miami) and Doug Dykens of Mastery Yanmar Engines. They have been SUPER in supporting me whenever I need help and provided some good instructions by email.
First, I had to drain all the fuel lines to the engine, replace the filters and try to start the engine from the Starboard Fuel Tank which still had good fuel. This was quite a task since all the engine fuel lines, injector pump and injector lines had water in them.
Here is a picture of me in my very open and spacious (Not!) engine room “cracking the injector nuts” to bleed the engine. Normally, when you have a little bit of water mixed into the fuel this is a 10 minute procedure. When every single line in the fuel system is inundated with water this takes a LOT longer!
The next task was to empty the water from the contaminated fuel tank in the main cabin. Here’s a picture of my new best friend, Gert, from the Australian catamaran “Daedalus Too” who brought over his extractor pump.
We pumped out about 80 liters of water from the bottom of the tank before we were satisfied that the remainder was mostly fuel. There was smelly fuel splashed all over the floor in the main cabin. Margie was not amused…
Below you can see the tall plastic bottle from the contaminated tank showing the water, which is heavier than diesel, at the bottom. The small plastic jar on the right shows the color of good, clean fuel.
I figured out that the total time to empty that can of fresh water into the fuel tank was only about 3 minutes but the time to correct that boneheaded mistake took over 8 hours!
Ok….just say it: “Anda Bo-dah”…”you are stupid”!