Catching up with a few days
06 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
2nd - 6th July
08 55.038 S
140 05.994 W
Weather; wet, wind vicious and nasty, waves causing a horrible swell inside the harbour
BELATED HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL OUR FRIENDS IN AMERICA
I'm sure that a few of you are wondering where I've been for the last 5 days, the short answer is nowhere! We have had the most horrendous weather (well it's pretty horrendous for the tropics but probably would seem like a normal sort of few days to those in England or in the throes of the Australian winter!) it has prevented us from doing pretty much anything. Even going out into the cockpit has been limited to when we can take a bar of soap out with us and have a shower, just kidding but we have been stopering up our deck scuppers and collecting the water runoff by directing it straight into our water tanks. This of course means that we haven't had to run the water maker, so to make sure that it was still running OK Gerry went to start it up and to flush it with fresh water, just after his aborted attempt to help out our Kiwi neighbours sort out their water maker problem. We think it was a case of passing the problem on around the harbour as for the first time ever ours wouldn’t start up. Gerry was immediately out in the lazarette doing boat yoga to try and find what the issue could be. As the water maker is a very simple piece of equipment it didn't take too long to discover what the problem was, now I hope you are sitting down because this is going to sound like de ja vu, the pump that drives the water maker has brushes and there is no prize for guessing that these were causing the problem. They had apparently clogged up with carbon preventing the electrical pulse from getting through. Gerry cleaned them off and gave them some TLC which seems to have done the trick as the pump now starts and we can make water once again. Knowing the issue we had in trying to get the brushes for the auto pilot (they are still floating around Panama or the international space station somewhere, we have never received them) Gerry got on to the water maker manufacturer, who supply the complete unit, including the pump, to see if we could get some spare brushes - just in case. The usual run around has been happening ever since, "we don't have spare brushes", "we don't sell them", "try the pump supplier near you" (closest place is in New Zealand apparently),"no we don't supply brushes try the manufacturer", "no the company was bought out by the water maker supplier". Circular emails flying now, in the end he asked to be put through to a technical guy and has now, at last, got a proper answer - "the brushes come as part of an overhaul kit", great "how much and where can we get one from" " we can send you a kit, the lead time is 8 weeks". There is a deadly silence, but at least we have an answer of sorts and the tech guy has sent through a schematic so Gerry can check other stuff out, the troubling thing is that he has found a wear patch on the brushes now that he knows what they are supposed to measure. There is no way we are going to order something with an 8 week lead time so we are just going to baby the pump along for the time being and try to be gentle with our water usage. Pump brushes have officially become our nemesis!
On the up side we heard on Friday that the fuel filters we need have arrived in Tahiti and can be flown up to Nuku Hiva early this week. We put in the order and got an eyewatering quote for them plus freight plus the agent fee, we need to very quickly have a second child so that we can sell it off to cover the cost of these damn filters! They are supposed to be here today so fingers crossed, it will be one less thing to worry about.
We had let the rigger know that we have transferred the money to his account to get the shroud made up and sent up to us so with any luck by the end of next week we should be set to take off once again.
Gerry has emailed the French authorities three times now asking what is happening with our application to stay longer and also to stop off in Tahiti and I can finally tell you that as of yesterday, Monday, we are no longer here illegally, we have the authority to stay longer and to visit Tahiti, thank goodness. The email didn't say how long we could stay but apparently our visa here is good for 90 days under normal circumstances, not that these are anything like normal circumstances but we will take all the time we need!
The wet, wild and windy days have confined us to the boat and even that has been unpleasant as the swell coming in from the sea has been rocking the boat quite violently making all activities a task and a half with a bruise and brace difficulty thrown in for good measure. The cockpit has been swamped with water as we left the enclosure curtains open but at least it's fresh water and not sticky sea water, we just need the sun to hang around for a couple of days to dry everything out. From the boat we can see a few waterfalls that have appeared on the surrounding hills, it looks like the place could very easily be flooded if the rain continues for any great length of time. Our activities have been reduced to reading, sleeping and some basic cooking along with the showering and teeth scrubbing and not much else. Our dinghy has been tied up alongside the boat as it kept bashing into the stern ladder with the rolling and Gerry has had to climb down into it to bail it out on two occasions and also to right the fuel container which, being only half full, had managed to turn upside down with the bashing and water logging of the dinghy (AKA Opal's swimming pool!).
Talking of swimming, I have been very wary of getting in the water to swim and on the weekend it proved my caution to be justified as I was outside when a shark fin glided between our boat and the next boat over. I called Gerry out to have a look and make sure that I wasn't seeing things - it was definitely a shark and there went any tiny possibility of me getting into the water for a swim anytime in the foreseeable future!.
So today is Tuesday and we have just got back from our first shore trip in a few days. We stopped for coffee in the cafe and whilst we were there the Yacht services guy came to find us and drop off a box containing our filters so that was one thing off of our list with a big tick. We had planned on going to the supermarket but the box with the filters was extra to carry so we decided to do the supermarket tomorrow instead and just had lunch before fighting our way back into our dinghy and coming back out to the boat.
We had had emails from the Kamikaze group saying that there is a flotilla heading out of Galapagos this week coming our way, to this end we are trying to get ourselves organised and ready to leave before they arrive and the anchorage gets crowded. Its already hard enough trying to get somewhere to tie the dinghy up to at the dock as people are both selfish and stupid with how they leave their dinghies. Given that the tides are quite big and there are only 2 ladders where you can climb out onto the dock things can only get worse with a whole lot more boats arriving.
Back on the boat Gerry has set about and changed out the fuel filter on the gen set, it took 4 goes to get it to start but hopefully that will get better with the new filter in place.
A final word to our American friends, we hope you had a wonderful 4th July celebration, there was nothing to celebrate here apart from the fact that we are safe and covid free!
I'll be back soon with more exciting happenings to share I'm sure.