Changing oil and a restaurant on stilts
31 December 2017 | Bahia Del Sol, El Salvador
Bill/Sunny and hot
It's now Saturday, December 30 and the resort has started gearing up for the new years. There is a party going on at the restaurant/courtyard up at the end of the dock. Singers and loud music so it may be a sleepless night. Apparently, the folks in El Salvador celebrate the 30th as well as the 31 with lots of parties and tons of fireworks so it's going to be a noisy weekend. While I can sleep through just about anything, Tracy will be pulling out her ear plugs(stops her from hearing my snoring) and that should make it easier(sure hope so). Add on a couple of power boats that have cranked up the volume on their stereos and it adds to the mayhem. From what we've been told, they are expecting 1,000 people tomorrow at the Pacific side of the resort. For $150, you can drink all you want!!! No clue when it starts but hopefully most of the partying is going to be over there. It's about a kilometer south of where we are located so I'm sure we will still hear some of especially once they start the fireworks. They are big on using HUGE firecrackers. We've heard lots of them over this past week.
This morning, we got another task out of the way before we take off again. Having run the engine most of the way here from Panama, the oil desperately needed to be changed as did the oil in our diesel fuel injector. So we went at it right after breakfast while it was still cool. I started on the changing out the oil in the injector pump. According to the owners manual, it's supposed to be changed every 50 hours of engine operation. When we bought Zephyr back in 2007, I was clued into the injector pump by another cruiser that had the same engine. I called the previous owner and found he had no clue about the injector pump and had NEVER changed the oil(not good) and he's run the engine for may thousands of miles. When I undid the drain plug(back in 2007, I was met with lots more liquid that was supposed to be in the pump and I do mean a LOT. It's supposed to hold about 13 ounces and I got that and lots more only it wasn't oil that drained out but diluted diesel fuel. It had replaced the oil that was supposed to be in the pump. I called the company that makes all the parts for our Ford Lehman engine and his question was "Is the engine running alright?" "Yes" was my answer. He told me to change the oil after another 20 hours of operation and see how much I got out when I drained it. Then do it again at 30, 40 and 50 hours of operations. Each time, I got just about 13 ounces out so while it had not been serviced in years(about 12) it was still working fine. The company I talked to told me that while 50 hours was just a "guideline", it wasn't written in stone and to simply check it each time I changed it. As of today, it's still putting out the same 13/14 ounces of oil when I drain it. As for getting the oil out of the oil pan at the bottom of the engine, we have to stick a small tube down the dip stick tube and suck it out through there. A real pain in the butt as you don't know where the oil might be in the pan as the engine is slightly tilted towards the back of the boat and sometimes the tube doesn't get all of it out. When we blew the engine in Micronesia, I had the mechanic drill and tap a hole in the oil pan so I could put a drain fitting on it and suck out the oil with an electric pump. Unfortunatly, the mechanic we had hired for the job was an alcoholic and he drilled and tapped the hole in the wrong place so there was no way to hook a hose to it and pump the old oil out. We still have to suck out the old dirty oil out through the dip stick tube and that takes a good bit of time. I sit on the floor slowly moving the tube down the dipstick tube as Tracy pumps the oil extractor trying to get the oil out. Some times I get it right and we hit oil and sometimes I miss it as all we get is air but Tracy has to keep pumping the handle up and down over and over again. At least we started the job early so it wasn't quite as hot in the boat as it would be in the afternoon. We got the job done with enough time to get Puff(our dinghy) into the water and the outboard mounted as we were invited to join a bunch of cruisers for a lunch at one of the local restaurants located in the middle of the estuary. It's a big platform built up on long sticks so it stays out of the water and has a small kitchen(wood fired oven) attached. We all took our dinghies down and tied up to their stairs and once we were all there, the owner came out with a tray of fish and shrimp so we could pick out what type of fish or shrimp we wanted. There were five different fishes for us to choose from(no clue what type of fish they were)and examples of the shrimp(huge). Tracy had some shrimp and I had an entire fish to eat. The cook took all the fish back to the kitchen where fires were started in the old cast iron stove and everything was cooked. I had my fish, plus spanish rice and cheviche/salsa and fried thick tortillas. Add in a couple of beers and a hammock to rest in after the meal was over and it was an enjoyable day out. We returned to the marina after hauling Puff back in the water as the tide had gone down and we all then went up to the pool to spend more time relaxing. Now, we have music for the next several hours. Heaven help us if tomorrow is a noisy as we have been told it will be. A little work and a little play is good for the soul.
It's now Sunday the 31st and the party last night ended before 2330! All was quiet when I went to be shortly thereafter. What a surprise but I doubt that it will be the same tonight.
The picture today is of everyone picking out what they want for dinner.