New engine safely installed and we're off again!
13 February 2013
Pic shows the Nanni engine just put in place by Miguel's crane in Puerto Calero
Leaving Puerto Calero and Lanzarote tomorrow for Las Palmas in Gran Canaria after 6 weeks on the island. The new engine has taken two weeks to install and we are now ready to see how it runs. We ended up doing nearly all the installation ourselves with only a few hiccoughs. We roped ourselves just round the corner into the travelift slip at high water twice to get the old engine out, then put the new one in a week later, with the help of Miguel, the grua (crane) man.
We got Gregorio, a local mechanic, to help make up some new metal bearers and do the alignment. Because the new engine is smaller and lighter than the Yamaha, it was fairly easy to give it a shove one way or another until the feeler gauge showed that it was all lined up vertically and horizontally.
Canarian tradesmen don't speak a word of English, so communicating about the finer points of engine installation has been an interesting and challenging learning curve. Long ago, we spent a whole year wandering through South and Central America from Venezuela to the Rio Grande in Mexico and by the time we left the area, we were able to have a reasonable conversation about just about anything, from the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua to the antics of armadillos and the Mexican economy. However, we never spoke a word of Spanish until we arrived in Menorca last year, so the dictionary has been in constant use these last few weeks!
The rest of the bag of engine tricks was relatively easy, although there were a few oddities that revealed themselves as we went along. The engine wouldn't start, just as Gregorio turned up for a final inspection to see what a mess we'd made of everything, and he gave us a withering look after finding the fuel tank was empty. The same thing happened a couple of days later, even after pumping up the fuel to fill our 40 litre top tank. We discovered that the Nanni's injection system is a "common rail" system, which meant that the diesel kept flowing from the tank round the injectors and back into our main keel tank via the return pipe. This meant that the top tank just drained into the bottom one, even when the engine was shut down through a siphon effect! We solved it by teeing the return into the top tank.
We got to the last part of the Arrecife Carnival, though we missed the Grand Parade. This was the rather bizarre ceremony known as the "Burial of the Sardine". Most of the island seemed to be in town for the event, which saw some rather amazing costumes, drummers and we even saw the next Pope - at least that was what a message said around his neck!.
The sardine was buried on the town beach, but we never got to see the poor piece of plastic fish being burned as we were too busy scurrying around trying to find the bus back to Puerto Calero in the dark surrounded by odd looking fake cars, shiny, metallic bulls and weird looking butterfly things with big feet!
The weather looks fantastic over the next few days and we should have a good passage to Gran Canaria.