Rainy day in Paradise
24 June 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
08 55.038 S
140 05.994 W
Weather; overcast and raining, wind N/A, waves N/A
Today was going to be the fixing of stuff day but when we got up the sky was full of grey clouds and not long afterwards it began to rain, so much for fixing stuff outside! Never mind there was always the fuel issue to address. Jonathon, who we had cocktails with last night had offered to lend us his fuel pump so that we could pump the tank out rather than resort to jugging it into a bucket and then transferring it to the second tank, we gratefully accepted the offer and Gerry went across in the dinghy to pick up the pump and hoses. Back on board I cleared the space in the salon so that we could access the tanks. Gerry arrived back with the pump and hoses and set about putting it together and finding our Baha filter. Next came the destruction of the salon, cushions were rehoused for the time being, wooden slats, which make up the base of a spare bed and do double time as one of the salon couches, were unscrewed ad placed carefully out of the way ( on the other couch) the inspection lid for the port side fuel tank was unscrewed and the lid and gasket were removed. We now had an open fuel tank in our salon - awesome! So the plan was then carefully explained to me so that I couldn't get it wrong, the filler end of the fuel hose pump was going to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pickup point is, from there the pump would take the fuel and pass it along into the smaller return hose which I was going to have to hold in the Baha filter over the top of the inspection lid so that the cleaned fuel got returned to the top of the tank. This process was going to be on going for a good half hour so I had to get comfortable and try not to breathe too deeply. Ready, set, go and the process began. To start with Gerry had both filters in the Baha - one which is intended to catch the debris and one which is intended to catch any water, we found that the Baha filled much too fast with both filters in at the same time so we stopped and regrouped, taking out the water filter and just running the fuel through the debris filter then, after half an hour of doing this, we swapped out the filters and did the water filtering. My arms ached and I was sitting at an awkward angle to the tank, I'm sure to have some residual aches from it! Anyway after almost an hour we stopped. The debris filter had picked up a few odd bits of rusty stuff but not nearly as much as we had expected, the water filter had nothing. So we had finished polishing the fuel in the port tank, back on went the gasket, the inspection lid was screwed in place, the wooden slats lined back up and secured in place and finally cushions returned to their rightful spot. the small amount of cleaning up was done, you wouldn't know we had been there. Now where is the repeat button? The same process had to be carried out on the starboard tank, it went exactly as the previous tank but without the double filter start - we knew better the second time around! By the time we had run this side through the filtering it was getting towards lunchtime and we had had enough of being stuck in a diesel smelling environment, beside which we had a bag of trash and a second bag of laundry to go ashore plus we needed to collect our bag of laundry from yesterday. So we showered and changed and set out for the dock, just as the heavens opened in earnest. We tied up and made a dash for the cover of the yacht services place and stood under the awning there after handing in our bag of laundry. We were a little disappointed that the laundry was going to take 2 days this time as they were a little busy, but there was nothing we could do about it. With the rain still belting down Gerry took off to deposit our trash in the bin whilst I made a dash for the cafe where he met me and we ordered some lunch. The cafe was busy so it took a little while and by the time we had our food and eaten it the rain had let up. Gerry wanted to try our debit cards at the post office ATM which we had only remembered the previous night so we set off up the hill (of course it was up the hill why would it be on the flat) and we got to the post office as the rain stopped. I'd like to say that we hit the jackpot and the machine gave us our life savings but that would just be a lie. Typical of this machine, or so we were later told, it was out of service, we didn't even get to insert our cards! So back down to the dock and the laundry as we had to collect yesterday's laundry by 2 pm as they close for the usual 2 hour French break. We bought a couple of Magnum ice creams (on a stick, they didn't have the yummy Lorie special occasion sort!) and sat at the small table along with a young couple who had just arrived. The guy is an Australian and the girl is Swedish, we chatted for a while and got to hear their crossing story (38 days, I was in tears for them!) but they are young and seemed to have weathered it well. Like us they are heading home to Australia but are trying to sneak in as many islands as possible along the way, legally or not. I'm sure we will be having a beer with them in the next couple of days and dispensing some oldies knowledge which they will then ignore!
The time had come to return to the boat between rain showers, we made it back and settled in to do nothing for the rest of the afternoon, the morning's work and a big lunch had left us pooped. Gerry had a nana nap and I would have joined him if I hadn't been trying to type the blog. If you are wondering where all the photos are I'm afraid you are going to have to manage without for a while longer as I have no way of up loading them at present. The satellite is fine for the written document but won't do photos and the sim card that Gerry has for the phone won't allow a hotspot so we are having to cool our heels and can only just check our email using the phone. Man on the moon? It didn't happen! Green flash at sun set? It doesn't exist! Easy ways to communicate? It will be coming to a place near us soon, apparently!
Dinner was the next hurdle, as we had eaten a big lunch neither of us wanted anything so we settled on a bowl of soup, well to be honest it was passed off as soup but looked to be dish water with a few strings of pasta and some weird lumps which the can said were chicken - who knows! Another shower and off to bed, there's still a heap to do and we are running out of time. Gerry has emailed for permission to extend our stay but typical of any French government department we haven't heard a peep back from them so at this point in time we are supposed to leave here on Saturday morning. So far we have had no luck in locating any fuel filters within FP but we are told that there is a possible shipment due in on Friday which may or may not have the size filters we require. The other thing that Gerry did was to contact the yard in Tahiti to see if we could get hauled out to fix the aft toilet and the through hole, they came back with a haul out price but want us to have the fixtures and fittings in hand, they won't supply them! So we just need to know how we are supposed to acquire these parts in a more remote island than Tahiti - any advice gratefully accepted, but believe me when I say we have probably already looked at your idea and rejected it!