Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sea Turtle fixes

On Friday the 13th, we had been in Port Vila (Vanuatu) over a month now so our solicitude for leaving was great. We were mostly ready to make tracks to new sites and discoveries. Sailors often say, partly joking, partly not wanting to tempt superstition, Can't leave on a Friday (much less Friday the 13th!) Our real excuse was the newly installed injector pump rendered the motor rough running, puffing smoke, and low on RPM and power.

For the installation, Jordan was concerned about timing the injector pump properly, and even though he spent a few hours on internet forums on the subject, he realized it would take some trial and error. So he now figured that the problem lay in bad injection timing and thus an adjustment would solve it. Now this was easier said than done.

The motor is very accessible, but the side-mounted pump hides behind cooling pipes, oil pressure lines, and is obstructed by the exhaust manifold. The engine coolant would have to be removed again, pipes disconnected, and hard to reach bolts backed before a MINOR rotation adjustment could be made. Then to test it, everything had to be reconnected, coolant replaced, and the motor started.

The first adjustment Jordan tried was in the direction he thought was correct. However this proved to worsen the situation. At this point he started to doubt this was the problem and fretted that it might be something else undeterminable by him. But again, he laboriously went through the exercise again, rotating the adjustment in the opposite direction.

Preparing himself for disappointment punctuated by frustration, Jordan turned the starter. All misgivings immediately evaporated as we heard the perfectly smooth purr of the Perkins motor. Power and RPM had returned to normal!

Friday afternoon we speeded over to Customs in the dinghy to get our required Cruising Permit for the duration of our time in Vanuatu cruising other islands.

We were kept busy Saturday morning with last minute 'to-dos' and a startling sight when provisioning at the market. We had seen fruit bats flying in the wild but never for sale as food - 2 for 1000 Vatu (~$10 Cdn). They are declared to be very delicious by Ni-Vans (persons born in Vanuatu) but definitely not something we would ever try!

"Holy hors d'oeuvres Batman"...

At 15:00 on September 14th, we slipped the lines from the too familiar mooring ball and headed out for an overnight sail to the northern end of Epi Island, about 80 nautical miles to the north from Port Vila in Efate.

No comments: