There always seems to be boat work when on a boat…

Up at our normal 5:00ish. There were some sprinkles of rain around 3:00am and again at 5:00am so with that help and a bucket with detergent I cleaned the caked on salt from the passage off of the windows and hatches. Morning coffee and a breakfast for me led to some texting home before the morning weather check. Looks like clouds the next three days so conserving power is key.

I started cleaning the helm station windows and the gaskets gave off a black liquid. Ugh. Carl cleaned up the instrument covers which were dripped on and then moved into re-stitching the fraying seams. I’m not good at sitting around so I tore into the port raw water pump. There had been steam coming out of the exhaust which had led to a few conversations starting on our sail south to Vuda point (Carl had attempted to tighten the belt in the Blue Lagoon). We had decided that it was acceptable but to watch it. Enough back story…we had made a plan during the passage and it was time to get busy.

After disassembly I was shocked at how loose the raw water belt was and it was at the maximum tension possible. Off came the pump and the hose between the pump and the heat exchanger. I cleaned out the small amount of debris in the hose and fished around in front of the heat exchanger but did not find any vanes from previous pump failures. Inspecting the vanes on the stern I was hit in the face with a vane, likely failed due to overheating from lack of water on the passage. So we replaced the impellor. Comparing the new belt to the old it was shocking how much thinner the old belt was compared to the new one. The cause was rust on the pump pulley. So the next half hour I spent sanding the rust and slightly polishing the pulley. There was deep rusty pits that could not be removed but it should get us through the season just fine. Reassembled we fired up the engine and waited. No water. Wait. No water. So we had to shutdown. We have both dealt with air lock before so off came the raw water hose to the heat exchanger, run the engine to get water pumping, reinstall, and test again. Ah the sweet smell of success. We had tons of water jetting out and life was good in the world.

In the afternoon we paddleboarded to a small beach and started on the trail to the village where we did our sevusevu with the Chief. Afterwards we wandered around town and talked to a few of the villagers. On the way back we passed the Chief’s son’s home and started a conversation. He explained that he travels to New Zealand for six months a year to pick apples. By Fijian standards is it very well paying work, and it has allowed him to build a large home, with solar/batteries and a freezer (this is considered a huge luxury item). His youngest daughter was quite scare of us, I can only presume that she has not seen many white faces in her young life.

Back aboard we enjoyed some downtime relaxing. Hearing an outboard we headed to the stern to say hello. Fijians love to chat, it seems to be engrained in their friendly disposition. Able was the fisherman and we explained to us he was heading out to fish for White Snapper. A supply boat was coming in the new few days and so it was time to stock up in order to sell their catch and have it taken to Suva. He was very relaxed and even took time to roll an odd, but cool, looking cigarette. Carl gifted him some old line (rope) that he appreciated and with the conversation running it’s course he was off to get his hooks in the water.

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