Chimney blues ENGLISH
4 August 2019, Spanish Water, Curacao, Sunday
Since a week or so I, again, have infected mosquito bites and sister Elisabeth has forbidden me to swim. Yesterday they finally seem to have cured and I was looking forward to a nice swim to cool down after a 'hard days work'. Unfortunately I got a bite on my elbow last night which got infected very fast and soon looked like a small boll. We took care of it in true 'nurse Heidi' way and it soon cured enough for me to jump in the water late Saturday afternoon. Wonderful!
I use mosquito repellent at night but the small 'no see' mosquitos don't seem to care about the 40% DDT in it. They must be really hungry or maybe they are very fond of me. We are anchored in area A in Spanish Water where the wind blows strong all day and night and mosquitos are few. We also have a 'bite away' which works fine during the day when you notice a bite but at night one sleeps.
It felt a bit strange to start cleaning the chimney of the little 'Spitfire' wood stove in the tropical heat of Curacao but the chimney is only 2 inches in diameter so it needs to be kept clean. The very short manual states in very big letters that the chimney has to be cleaned every 14 days because of the small diameter. We had, off course, not done that since we installed it in the Azores more than a year ago so bad conscience told us to do it now.
To clean the chimney you need a special tool in the right size. We had found one with 6 centimetre diameter in the cellar of Elisabeth's parents house some years ago which and of which I thought it would fit snugly in the chimney and do its work. Elisabeth thought different and warned me that it would get stuck we would have a serious problem. Our chimney consists of 2 inch stainless steel car exhaust-pipes and has two 45 degree bends in it. The tool got stuck and when I pulled hard on the rope it, off course, broke. Somebody said ''told you so''. Hmm!
The next hours were spent trying to get the damn thing out. I tried a hose, a stainless steel rod, a bendable stick and lots of dirty words but it didn't move an inch. Elisabeth tried to get a flexible curtain rod (do not sail without this very useful piece of equipment) past the tool and after several attempts succeeded to get the rod out on the other end of the chimney. I fastened a big nut on a strong thin rope and pulled it up through the chimney with the help of the rod. The first attempt failed but the second attempt was successful and the tool came out together with lots of soot.
Elisabeth made her own tool of a stainless steel cleaning boll (the ones you use in the kitchen to clean pots and pans with) and we pulled it through the chimney a few times with great success. The chimney got clean but we got black so we jumped in the water to cool down and clean ourselves. After that we enjoyed a well deserved sundowner.
Life is hard indeed!