Hanging out at Minerva Reef
03 June 2017
We've been anchored at North Minerva Reef for two days now, enjoying the warm weather and sleeping all night long. Twenty boats are currently sharing this brilliant turquoise circle with us - all of us waiting for the right wind to take us to our next destination- but there's still plenty of room.
Yesterday, a friend came by to announce that he had a lobster emergency - he had caught a few more lobsters than he could eat. Could we possibly help him out? We possibly could! We dinghied over at lunchtime and with some other cruisers spent the afternoon enjoying a lobster feast.
The lobsters ("crayfish" as they're known in this part of the world) of Minerva Reef are legendary and plentiful; big, colorful, and lacking claws or any other defenses, crayfish can be found hiding in the reef by anyone who takes the time to go looking for them and dares to stick his or her arm deep into crevices.
Our time in Minerva has so far also been what I've termed a "fix-o-rama." In the past 24 hours, we've fixed the dinghy motor, the fridge compressor motor, and we're currently working on the generator.
The dinghy motor had suddenly refused to run. After some ministrations involving carburetor cleaner, and some sleuthing with regards to the fuel supply, Eric discovered that a big chunk of gunk had blocked the fuel line. Once he removed that, the outboard ran like the champ it is.
The fridge compressor stopped working yesterday, after emitting a death squeal and tripping its breaker. Suspecting for awhile that the compressor might be on its last legs, Eric had proactively ordered and received a spare compressor. During the postmortem, Eric discovered that the compressor's motor - not the compressor - was shot. Taking the motor down to its elemental parts, he then discovered that the motor's bearing was bad.
We don't have a spare fridge motor, BUT, thanks once again to the foresightedness and diligence of SCOOTS' previous owners, we did have spare bearings for the motor, so Eric was able to swap out the bad one for a brand new one. The compressor is once again purring along making plenty of cold.
The first time we fired it up, on passage, the diesel had stopped running under load. We've been using Y the M to charge our batteries since then, so it's not a desperate issue at the moment. We do want to get it working soon, though, so we can use it to make water and also charge the batteries and make hot water. Eric thinks the problem might be dirty fuel injectors, and in the process of taking the injectors off to clean them discovered that we don't have the precise size of wrench or deep socket - 21mm - to get the injectors off. A call on the VHF resulted in some responses from other cruisers but none have the right size. So, when we get to Fiji we'll make sure to buy a 21mm deep socket and a wrench, so we can finish the job.