Escape from Losers Bay

I bought every R-24-T fuel filter that they had in the Galapagos. Yep, all six and at $38.00 per, I’m glad that’s all they had because I’d have gotten more if they’d had them. It’s a long hot dusty walk to the General Mechanico, who had just lifted $120.00 cash from my frayed, sad-looking wallet to repair Escape Velocity’s never-used-by-us, but apparently much abused fuel transfer pump which is used to move fuel from the fifty-gallon front auxiliary tank up to our 100 gallon main tank. We’d just paid $1,600.00 cash up front, for another one of those surreptitious fuel deliveries plus six of the ubiquitous seventeen gallon blue plastic jugs that you see all over the third world. I wonder what originally comes in them?

As I was saying, cash was getting kind of thin and we still hadn’t had our “last supper” so we found a restaurant that actually took credit cards and gathered the usual suspects for our traditional happy trails event. Looking out over the harbor there were all manner of boats but they all had one thing in common. They were all stuck waiting for parts. Waiting for deliveries is a full time hobby here in the Galapagos. Packages have to go through mainland Ecuador before being transfered to the Galapagos and well, you know…what could go wrong there? Conversation typically revolves around tracking numbers, empty promises like maybe Monday, or rumors of workarounds that somebody heard somebody had tried once. Patience, a fatalistic attitude, a thorough understanding of the Spanish word manana, and a healthy dose of humor are the requirements.

All those thoughts were on my mind as we putted out past the dwindling number of boats in Puerto Ayora or maybe Losers Bay is a better way to put it. We had lost a few things too. All those skippers are facing a tough decision on whether at this late date they can continue on to the Marquesas or not.

It didn’t take long before the now familiar engine stumbling started and my stash of fuel filters didn’t look so phat. EV’s starboard engine, known as the evil twin in Manta circles because for some reason they tend to run hotter than the port engine, suddenly dropped dead. The skipper may have grumbled something under his breath on the way down to the basement. Marce says I’m channeling Ralphie’s dad in A Christmas Story. I don’t know about that but I do like that leg lamp.

We siphoned three blue jugs into the main tank and I had to change another fuel filter, this time the offender was the port engine. I confess the stress level is getting to me. If I can’t keep those Volvos running we’ll become just so much driftwood. It’s hard to believe that thirty gallons of dirty fuel, courtesy of our friends at Isla Isabela can cause so much stress.

Once again our ocean current source has shown us where to tiptoe around counter currents and where to find a free ride. It’s amazing how fast these currents can change. For two days we’ve been running at 5.5 – 7 kts. when we would expect to be at 4.5 kts. at this RPM.

Fingers crossed, touch wood, turn around three times and spit.


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2 Responses to Escape from Losers Bay

  1. If someone can get a message to Jack: You can clean those fuel filters and reuse them. Carb cleaner is best but gasoline works in a pinch. Make certain they are completely dry and free of gas before re-installing them.

  2. We are keeping our fingers crossed for you as well. As you pointed out, Mañana means “Not Today”, not “tomorrow” in most of these countries.

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