June 21st, 2011
After Sandrine arrived at Vuda Point, the three of us went provisioning with our favorite taxi driver Abdul and then off to Musket Cove with the best of intentions to cruise the Mamanuca and Yaswawa Groups of Western Fiji. Kate will leave soon and wants to get in some more diving in (including her first NIGHT DIVE). We arrived as Musket, 2 hours from Vuda and spent a lovely few days diving the pinnacle and Sandrine got to \”fly\” in her aerial silks. (See PHOTO GALLERY).
Then we had another couple of \”boat problems\”. Ah, you remember boats?! Our generator\’s fuel starvation problem became worse to the point where it wouldn\’t stay running with any load on it. So, I went to Plan B and charged the batteries with the engines. The starboard engine then started to make this horrific sound. It was the high power alternator completely off the engine mount. I thought it was the new bearings gone bad, but wanted to check.
The next morning, I laid prostrate to the engine and did my slithering reptile \”boat boy\” best to put it all back into place. Started her up and……(drum roll). It sounded just the same! So back to Vuda Point we went after I took it all apart again.
GOOD NEWS all around: Generator. \”Atherosclerosis of the fuel lines\” Cleaned them out, changed filters, cleaned the filter housings and it works. This problem started a year ago, the guys here at Baobab Marine diagnosed and fixed it in 1/2 a day. Little did you all know that ALGAE grows in fuel. On your car, you use it so much and the gas stations tanks are so well used that water doesn\’t collect in their (or YOUR) fuel tanks. In the marine world, not so much! We don\’t use the fuel that fast as we store a lot and the humidity allows water in the tanks. Then algae grows and life can become miserable. We use biocides and water decontamination treatments, but after awhile, Mr. Bug (algae) can win. I had the tanks cleaned out in New Zealand, but the fuel lines and filter housings were forgotten. And now you know…..the rest of the story.
Alternator: The new bracket I had installed in New Zealand was rubbing against the belts. Re-shaped it, put back, we\’re good to go! Baobab comes through yet again.
Off to Navadra (pronounced Navandra) Island tomorrow.
KIT, Scott and the Crew of s/v Beach House (Sandrine and Kate)
Internet is not good here but I can download emails via sailmail at [email protected]