Oil everywhere and mouse
08 July 2021 | 08 55.038'S:140 05.994'W, Nuku Hiva , Marquesas
08 55.038 S
140 05.994 W
Weather; wet, wind vicious and nasty, waves causing a horrible swell inside the harbour
Wet, windy and wobbly Wednesday arrived with not much to recommend getting out of bed but we got up anyway. Straight after we had finished eating breakfast Gerry began delving in the tool locker, when I asked what he was planning on doing I wished I hadn't asked, he wanted to change the oil on the gen set. As we now had new fuel filters in place he thought that clean oil might help with the sluggish starting. He vanished out into the cockpit and I reluctantly followed him out as I was sure to be needing to fetch something that he had forgotten. Gerry had done the boat yoga stuff and squeezed himself into the lazarette and was busy manually pumping the old oil out of the gen set and into a waste oil container, there followed a whole lot of sailor speak and the first demand, for me to fetch him some kitchen towel. As I handed him the sheets of kitchen towel there was even more sailor speak, he handed me out the waste oil container along with a small container and lid all of which were coated in a thick layer of oil, at this point I peered into the black hole and saw what all the swearing was about, the oil was all over the place, around and underneath the gen set, miraculously not on Gerry. I held open a plastic bag to receive the yards of kitchen towel that Gerry was mopping up the oil with, it was over everything at this point. I wasn't brave enough to ask what had happened, I value my head far too much to have it snapped off, but Gerry offered up the reason anyway. Apparently he had pumped out what he could, thinking that almost all of the oil was now out of the gen set he opened up the valve at the bottom and a whole load more oil gushed out. Why this happened when he thought that it was almost all removed is just a guess but we think that the boat rocking as badly as it was had caused the oil to sit on one side until the boat rolled back and it found the exit point. Anyway there was far more excess than the small container and lid could hold so it had spilt everywhere. One carrier bag full of oil coated kitchen towels and 2 sets of hands with oily grim under the fingernails later, we eventually got the mess cleaned up, and Gerry refilled the gen set with new, clean oil. Next he wanted to check the glow plug to make sure that it was actually heating up to start the motor but it is well and truly stuck in its hole and Gerry didn't want to force it out and break it as we, of course, don't have a spare one to replace it with. This check was really just to keep me happy as I had suggested that maybe the glow plug wasn't working properly even though it was drawing down the power prior to turning the motor over, Gerry was convinced there was nothing wrong with it but tried to do the checking anyway. He did discover a broken hose clamp on the fuel return line whilst trying to get at the glow plug so that got replaced. By now we were well and truly over the oil change and it was time for Gerry to get out of the lazarette and clean any oil off of himself before giving the gen set a run. So did the oil change make any difference to the sluggish starting? Not a single bit, we didn't expect it to start first go immediately after the oil change but having tried it a couple of times since we haven't noticed any improvement, it still takes at least 4 tries to get it to catch, we'll just have to live with that for the moment and baby it along.
By now it was 8.30am and the weather was settling in to another wet and windy day, we really needed to get off of the boat as we had a trash bag that was full and stinking the place out plus we now had waste oil to get rid of so we prepared ourselves to go ashore. There was a brief let up in the rain that we made the most of and hurriedly dinghied ashore, making it before the next downpour. We quickly got rid of the trash and headed across to the waste oil depository which is on the way to the supermarket. We had just dumped the oil and were heading to the supermarket when the next down pour started causing us to have to wait it out under a tree as we had no coats and no umbrella. As soon as there was a let up we head off once more making it to the supermarket in record time where we filled a basket with essential stuff plus a couple of none essential things before we took off at Olympic speed back along the foreshore to the cafe. By now it is was lunch time so we stopped and put in our lunch order. We were a little thrown today by one of the "Plats de jour", it read "Souris d'agneau" and came with pasta, but neither Gerry nor I were sure what this was. We knew that agneau was lamb but neither of us knew what Souris was, possibly a cooking method or maybe a cut of meat?. We weren't ordering anything but baguettes anyway but curiosity got the better of me, I had to know what Souris was so I got Gerry to put it into the phone and Google translate it. Now if your French is better than ours you possibly know what Google came up with, Souris translates as "Mouse". We were amused and dumfounded but not to be out witted we just couldn't envision mouse lamb. Gerry then put the whole phrase into translate and it came up as Lamb shank which made a whole lot more sense, it just goes to show that you can't take part of a phrase and expect translate to get it right! So today we have learnt a new word with 2 meanings, our French vocabulary is increasing whether we want it to or not!
We had our baguettes and then headed back out to the boat just before the rain began pelting down once more. There was nothing to do for the afternoon but read our books and hunker down out of the weather. Gerry had checked in with the rigger in Tahiti to see if our money transfer had hit his account today, according to him it hadn't even though it was taken out of our account and processed on the 2nd. Gerry was ropable and wanted to find out where the money was so he rang the bank in Australia and after being on hold forever finally got to speak to a customer assistant who couldn't find the transaction until Gerry pointed out that I was the one who had done the transfer on internet banking. The assistant then wanted to speak to me, so I had to skip through the security check and she started to quiz me about what I wanted to know, I said that my husband needed to explain and she then asked who my husband was, I was near exploding stage as I told her that she had just been speaking to him and gave his full name etc. more security checking and finally Gerry got to ask what we can do to chase the money. Turns out it can be tracked but will take up to 4 days, long story short, he has put the tracking in place but hopefully the rigger will let us know before then that he has received the transfer because until he has the money in hand he won't make up the shroud that we need to continue our trip safely. It's all very frustrating but there is nothing we can do about it except wait, not something that Gerry and I are very good at!
It was now 5 o'clock and never has there been more need for a large glass of something alcoholic, we retired to the cockpit to watch the last of the rain clouds coming over the top of the hills and splattering the deck with rain before eventually going back below in time for dinner.