Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trouble in Paradise!

Don and Sheila were our crew from Darwin to Lombok.
Sheila completed her circumnavigation there and left us for
some fun in Indonesia before returning to work in Germany.
The World ARC fleet had a scheduled Start to Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling, two Australian islands in the Indian Ocean. I say “had” because we were not part of it! We were abandoned by the fleet as they headed out of the Gili Gede anchorage early Sunday morning!

We had attended the Skippers’ Briefing on Saturday and asked if anyone had a spare oil pressure switch for a Fischer Panda generator with a Kubota engine. Into the Blue said they had a used one for a Kawasaki engine that we could have. Since we had a mechanic coming on Sunday, we stayed behind to wait for him.

The water taxi was the best way to go ashore.
Needless to say, it was lonely in the harbor
the fleet. Odysseus, the boat with the engine failure that was towed 350 miles by Katarina, was still there waiting for the mechanic, too. The mechanic arrived midday and installed the part. Then it happened!

The generator wouldn’t start at all. Before it was just the feed water pump that wouldn’t start due to low oil pressure. Or so we thought! Now we weren’t sure what was the real problem. Dennis asked a local sailor to take a look and Nigel thought it was a solenoid problem. There was a loose wire that had sparked when Dennis touched it.

Sailors helping sailors! Diagnosing the generator issue.
Of course, the mechanic had to go to Odysseus to diagnose their engine problem. He said he would come back in the morning. NOT! Unfortunately, there was a death in his family so he did not come back. He has to drive two hours from Mataram to get to Gili Gede. So we sweltered in 100 degrees and sun – with an occasional squall – for the whole day and most of the next day.

He never did come back! He only went to Odysseus to drop off an invoice and collect money so he could order their parts. He said he would come over to us, but did not.
This is how we refuel when there is no marina.
In the meantime, we had begun trying to source the parts from Australia with the hope that Hugh with Rally Control could bring them from Sydney. Even though the fleet left us behind, the World ARC was very helpful in trying to assist.

We hoped the parts could meet us in Cocos Keeling. The main issue is that we cannot run the water maker (desalinator). We had enough water and juice on board for keeping us hydrated. The issue is the need to protect the membranes of the water maker and we can’t backflush or make water without the generator working properly.

Sometimes friends drop by ... or swim over!
Now let’s add a little more drama to the situation! Dennis was having what our Van Ni friends call “running stomach” and sleeping all of the time that he was not seated in the head. Actually, we all had a touch of it, but I blamed it on the spicy food we had eaten on several occasions. Remember: Lombok means chili pepper.

Don and I were fine after 24 hours, but not the Captain. It started on Sunday and by Tuesday he needed to see a doctor. The trip to a doctor entailed a dinghy ride to the mainland, then a 1.5 hour taxi ride to the hospital and then the return trip. It took him all afternoon and he returned to the boat at sunset.

He described the experience to us: the hospital was very modern and there were several non-natives there with stomach issues. They drew blood and ran tests to find that he had an intestinal infection. The doctor gave him some medications and sent him home.

He said the hospital had modern equipment and facilities, but the staff did not wash their hands between patients and they did not change the linens on the examination tables between patients! Yikes! I wonder what else he picked up there? He returned to the boat to eat a little something since he hadn’t eaten in two days and was weak and lightheaded. Then back to bed.
The World ARC Yellow Shirts and locals took good care of us.

This was our track on YB Tracker. No we did not cut
across the land. The tracker sends a signal every six
hours so it missed us going through the Lombok channel.
We would wait another day for the mechanic (who never showed or called) and for the Captain to regain some strength. Then we would fill the tanks with bottled water we purchased and head off to catch the fleet.

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