Continuing with the story...
Before we left Portsmouth we had noticed some diesel in the bilge. We decided to wait to deal with it in Roseau. We had some in the bilge previously, after we got our fuel polished (that story here). needed to trace the source of the diesel, so we needed to get to the fuel tank. Nothing is easy on a boat, to access the tank, the pantry has to be moved. Once the pantry was moved and Bob had access he noticed that the gaskets on several of the screws were worn, so he replaced them and tightened the screws down. We hope this will fix that problem. While he was doing this I opened up the engine compartment to begin to trace the path of the diesel that would need to be cleaned up. All over the bottom of the compartment is red fluid. What could it be? I began wiping down the bottom of the engine looking for the source of the liquid. Transmission fluid is red. Could that be it?
To check transmission fluid in a car you pull out the dipstick and look. Of course it can't be that easy on a boat! We have to open the doors to the back of the engine, find the correct wrench because of course it has to be a bolt and not a simple handle to pull , and finally unbolt the dipstick. We pull it up. Is there fluid on it? We can't tell. Wipe it off, do it again. Still can't tell, try again. We get a flashlight, shine it on the dipstick and yes, there is fluid up to the line. Big sigh of relief.
But what is the red fluid? Bob remembered that the coolant was red. We look at the coolant reservoir. It is opaque, we can't tell if there is any fluid in it. Bob unscrewed the top and pulled out the hose. It seemed wet. He dried it off, reinserted it and pulled it back out. Nothing on it. We have our culprit.
Tracing the coolant line to the engine we notice a crack in the line. Bob begins to take off the hose while I tackle the bilges, cleaning up the diesel residue in eight (8!) separate bilge compartments. I get forward to the bilge compartments in the v-berth. There is water in them, but no diesel. I think I know the source of the water, it is the overflow from our new watermaker. It should not be flowing into the bilge, but that is an issue for another day. As for now, I have five more bilge compartments to get water out of.
Bob is still working on the coolant hose. To get it off was a struggle because it had partially melted onto the connection. When he cut it back to make a clean end to reinsert, it crumbled. We have no replacement hose on board. Fortunately we have Rescue Tape, a wonderful invention. Silicone, self fusing tape. We use it for a myriad of things, from sealing the ends of lines, to wrapping electrical wires and now for reinforcing an engine coolant hose.
Bilges cleaned up, hose taped and repaired, I am exhausted after a sleepless night, an overly exciting sail and boat repairs/clean-up.
We still have no propane so we cannot cook anything for dinner. We eat some leftover fruit salad and a cold can of soup. Yum.
I settle down for a good night's sleep, but it was not to be. We are in a rolly anchorage, not too bad, but enough to disturb my much longed for sleep. The bigger issue, however, was that darn mooring ball going Thump Thump Thump right next to our heads. Not only was it thumping, but as the boat rolled the ball was dragged down the hull, Thump Thump Skriiitch, Thump Thump Skriiitch.
2AM I give up and start to read on my Kindle.
3AM, my battery has run down, so I begin to write.
So, here I am, waiting again. Waiting for batteries to charge, waiting for the rolling to stop, waiting for 8AM to come so we can get a taxi to go to the filling station to fill the propane tank so we can go to Martinique. Estimated travel time 6 hours, we need to arrive with daylight left. 8AM leave for propane, back to the boat by 10 + 6 hours = 4 PM. Should be do-able - because everything always goes smoothly and as planned - right?
Take Mom on a Luxury Sail for Mother's Day!
Update: Taxi at 8, back to the boat by 9 and a relatively benign motor sail to Martinique, except for the fan belt breaking...