Working towards the off

Rich Carey
Fri 15 Jun 2018 18:45
Water pump needed changing. Still working, so now it's the spare, but it was getting rather noisy. The VFlow5 Jabsco pump has always been a fairly short lived facility - you get 6 months life out of one, if you're lucky. They're expensive, which compounds the ugly, but I persist with replacing them as for that 6 months, the thing is massively effective (powerful and instant on) - it's a bit epic.
Right next to the pump is the pH stabiliser for the water-maker, and seeing it reminded me to go through a full flush cycle of the desalination system. This requires a sequence of through valves switching, and running the test pipe out the small bedroom window - a fair bit of faffing about.
While working in the water-maker pre filter space, I could see some gunk in one of the Racor Diesel water separator filters, so decided to take it apart and give it a good clean- up, and filter change - bit of a messy job. As I was wrapping up in the water pump space, I was reminded of an issue with the saloon couch (which covers the space), so decided to fix it. This required removing 100 Staples out of the back of a couch section, sawing off 10 mm of one side of the couch (!), And then reshaping the foam, re stretching and shaping the material, and stapling it all back together!

So what was supposed to be a 45 minute pump change, turned into 5 hours, variously as a plumber, desalination engineer, diesel mechanic and upholsterer. I'm glad I didn't need to go to the toilet.

Today I had an accidental breakthrough. I got myself all wound up to have another go at the sticky port throttle. Its been a nuisance for ages, and a past investigation gave no clues. In neutral it's fine, so it's not the 3ym30 diesel engine - must be the SD20 saildrive. So I disengaged the gear cable from the SD20 and the throttle action was smooth, reconnected it, and it was still smooth. WHAT!! That wasn't supposed to happen, but I'll take it - thanks very much! Instead of being upside down in the engine space for three hours, I made some toast and checked mail - nice :-)

After the toast, I played with diesel containers - diesel bug checking, filtering, and syphoning. Need to get 280 liters before leaving, so back to 880 onboard, which will be heaps for cruising Froggy Polly with the family for the next two months. Then a refill and that should get me most of the way to Sydney - maybe a refill before the final hop, but I'll be trying to judge it so I get there with the big blue barrels empty and ready to give away.

I've been here in Marina Taina for quite some time, but now the off is defined. 23rd - 8 days. Joining the short (15 miles), Puddle Jump rally from Tahiti to Moorea (Cook's bay). 40+ yachts that have crossed the Pacific recently. A few shindig's pre departure (21st) in Papeete, 22nd for the hop across followed by dinner and some cultural events, 23rd buffet and more cultural.

All's well on x86, looking forward to full crew on Wednesday night.

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