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SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip
Finally, boat lesson learned
Larry Nelson
15 May 2012 | Enroute to Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia from Galapagos
We've been having trouble getting our watermaker to run properly. Eventually we traced the problem to the sea chest where there was an obstruction at the watermaker port. We cleared that obstruction but still while it was improved we really couldn't make satisfactory water. Why? What to do? It's a difficulty that MUST be surmounted but there is no help. We checked the port on the sea chest was still clear. It was. Then we went to the bulkhead connector at the watertight bulkhead. It was clear. But when we took off the hose we noticed that the waterline is very very close to the height of the fitting. Even with the valve open at the sea chest almost no water flowed unless we lowered the hose. So...the light dawned. Where the valve to switch between salt water and fresh water in the engine room, the salt water line must be blead before assembly otherwise a bubble exists that cannot be cleared by the pumps and insufficient pumping of low pressure water to the clark pump will occur. That was our problem. The problem was exacerbated by our port side list when we sailed enroute to Nuka Hiva. The list raised the connection still higher and combined with the obstruction caused complete starvation of the salt water pumps. We have it properly primed and assembled now and we are making water. Importantly we have a much better understanding of the limitations of our installation and how to overcome them. The problem is at least circumvented if not solved. Boat lesson learned....very painful.

And we can also report that we now have a full fuel tank. To do that you med moor (drop the anchor and back toward the dock, then tie to a post on the dock to hold your stern an approximate distance from the dock (actually a concrete pier suitable for the supply ship). The surge in this area is very large plus we had about a 20 knot direct cross wind. Adrenaline pumped in the crew as we passed the fuel hose to the boat using the dinghy. Karen went ashore to take boat papers and fuel discount papers and the exact amount of fuel wanted. Eventually she got the fuel turned on and we filled up. Reverse the procedure to leave. Now that it is done, easy. Right?

So we called it the end of the work day and after showers ashore went out to dinner with SV Blue Rodeo (Mark and Anne). The hotel we picked was beautiful and located high above the bay for a first class view. The dining room was exquisite (and a little pricey). They have an infinity pool to drink next to and to eat overlooking. The walk home topped off the beautiful evening. It was about time. We've been in maintenance hell for several days and we are more than a little tired of it.

Tonight we are anchored in Daniel's Bay (Hakatea on the map) (about 6 nm from Taiohae Bay). Tomorrow we hike to the waterfall with friends. Tonight...Karen brought a few cold beers for us to drink in the cockpit with friends.
Carl Nelson
16 May 2012 14:22:50Z
Hard problems. Way to perservere.
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