Spending what we have not got

Bruce the mechanic showed up early which was a nice surprise and the now familiar routine of apparently all diesel mechanics began. Start her up, shut her down, start her up, shut her down. Right off he found a problem with the incredibly expensive Volvo alternator which involved a worn exterior case mount but he said he had a used Volvo alternator and he might be able to put our guts into his case and Bob’s your uncle. Next he did a full compression check and we passed. He puzzled over why the engine is smoking and pulled the injectors to get them tested. 

Next up was Mr. Sea Hunt, Adam the diver, with a perfectly new, shiny and smooth three bladed Volvo folding prop, which is now easily the shiniest thing on the boat. I’m more than a little familiar with the eccentricities and quirks of the Volvo three bladed folding prop and between Bruce and me we kept Adam on the straight and narrow. 

First he brought up what was left of the old prop and the mystery of why we lost two blades was readily apparent. While the blades are held in with large heavy stainless pins passing through the hub and the base of the blades, the pins are kept from sliding out with a #8 allen head bolt screwed into the hub but standing proud of the hub. The head of one bolt had sheered off which allowed two pins to drop out, along with the blades. Ouch. No idea what caused the bolt to sheer but after one and a half times around the world I guess we can’t complain. We’re just glad it happened when and where it did instead of in a remote area or on a dangerous lee shore. It’s only money, right?

At the end of the week Bruce returned with our alternator and injectors. One injector was bad which could account for some of the problems we’re having but instead of having to buy three new injectors he found three nozzles at a fraction of the cost. All and all, for this motor, not too bad. Whether the problems are fixed we don’t know. 

Our last day was a comedy of errors having to do with U.S. propane fittings verses Aussie propane fittings on which I refuse to elaborate. 

We pulled away from the dock by ourselves, pirouetted and our incredibly expensive mini refit was brought to a close. We ran up to the anchorage just past the highway bridge dropped the hook, looked at each other and said, “I wonder how we’re going to pay for this?” We dug out the good rum.

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