Pumps, Planes and the Pope

Cruising is often described as working on your boat in exotic places. this is more truth than fiction. The list of projects and ensuing needed parts grew and grew as we basked under the warm Filipino sun. The ESI fuel polishing pump died as did the electronics on my trusty Gibson guitar, two essential items on Furthur. A few other things piled up as the emails to the states flourished. The big one hit when i was happily watched an episode of Bones running the gen to give the batteries a bit o lift just before i retired for the night. The dreaded sputter sputter dead sound came from the gen.

As i always put things off till morning if possible, the next day i went at the problem tracing the fuel source to the generator lift pump, the little do dad the brings fuel uphill to get things going. Some things on the boat have required little or no repair so my knowledge of them is limited but i will say the Northern Lights gen motor has consistently provided me with opportunities to learn, hahaha…

Getting parts in the Philippines is a challenge at best, so the orders are made and shipping arranged through an agent but that still left me with no gen. i can survive this way but not happily. Two items that require the gen are the water maker and the dive compressor, both being used frequently here. The dive shop will fill my tanks and there is a water source for boats so we can manage if we must.

With the help of my cruising mate, Dale, we sorted out the options and solutions in the best “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” methods, one experiment after another showed that with a small 12v submersible pump to get things started and a jerry can of fuel the gen would run. I soon took a lesson on how much fuel the gen intakes before the return lines pass the excess back to the tanks, i used 10- 15 liters an hour! i tried to hook the return line back to the jerry can with no luck. the procedure is to pump fuel from the main tank into the jerry can each day, often twice a day. So i get my daily douse of diesel, i now have a semi permanent diesel aroma on my hands.

So we duck yet another disaster and Mickey Mouse saves the day. i ponder the evolutions i have taken, six years ago this would have sent me into a tizzy, i could deal with such problems and rarely had a solution. the years of cruising in remote places have taught me a few things, mostly that things will all work out and there is a solution to every problem. Sure is still cuss a bit but i have the calmness of knowing that eventually some solution will pop up, quite often i find at 3 AM in my deep sleep. So many times i have gone to bed with a problem and awoke with a fix, i seem to be a better engineer in my sleep.

With all the trauma we still got in at least one good dive a day, still spent time with all our Pearl Bay friends, still had time for the after noon sundown swim at Al Faro. Life just seems to go on and with great joy.

The long awaited box of parts should arrive today, the path has been jagged at best, it arrived in Manila and picked up by the agent, sent to Coron where the local driver reported in drunk yesterday delaying the arrival, then the airport closed as all flights are from Manila. The Pope arrived yesterday closing the air space and the only flights here originate in Manila so this airport closed. Yes the Heavenly Father even had a hand in my escapade. i do hope the proximity to His Holiness gives the parts a bit of a blessing!

1 thought on “Pumps, Planes and the Pope”

  1. SUBJECT: RE: Pumps, Planes and the Pope

    Great to hear you are doing fine. Sorry about the Gen, but I say you are getting your money out of it. Glad to hear you also survived the Typhoon.

    I just took lessons in Nitrox after 40 years of diving. New opportunities and  a new mind thought.


    From: Furthur Adventure [mailto:blog-31901-comments@t…]
    Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2015 4:27 PM
    To: jnsparke@h…
    Subject: Pumps, Planes and the Pope

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