Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Routine Stuff

January 15, 2010
On the first morning back on the boat after our Christmas trip to Texas Bill decided to run the main engine and the generator and a few other routine maintenance items. He likes to do this every few days when we are berthed in a marina for any length of time so the saltwater circulates rather than sitting and corroding inside the engines. Before we left for the month-long trip we had filled the engine and the generator with fresh water. We also filled hoses to the toilets with fresh water, rather than let salt water sit and sour in the hoses and stink. The engine ran fine and Bill burst the throttle control forward and reverse to sling off any slime growing on the prop. But when he started the generator we immediately got a "no water intake" code and it shut itself down.

The first thing he checked was the impeller even though he had changed it just days before we left on the Christmas trip because it was at 400 hours according to his maintenance spreadsheet. There was nothing wrong with the impeller so he began the process of disconnecting hoses and checking for water flow or blockage........ found no problems. This was getting frustrating. After re-doing everything again hoping to find something that he had missed, he finally realized that the problem was the shaft key which locks the impeller in place on the shaft. When he removed the salt water pump for the second time, he found that the shaft turned freely, but the impeller did not move. We did not have a key, but did have a spare pump (in fact, we carry 2 spare pumps for both main engine and generator), so soon it was fixed and the generator running smoothly again. Did a bit of research and learned that we can purchase a replacement key and ordered one immediately so the old pump will become another spare. Seems odd that a key on a shaft would fail. Don't think we have encountered such a failure on anything before this.

January 21, 2010
Rain, rain, rain. Provides a nice break from the hot sun.

Puteri Harbour Marina now has city bus service nearby. This allows us an opportunity to get out more easily to explore, but it also means that the marina no longer is eager to provide transportation for wherever we might want to go. Or so rumor tells us. So far, the marina has taken us wherever and whenever we have wanted to go somewhere. But one cruiser said the marina refused to come pick him up at the Gelang Patah bus station one day last week; they told him to take the local bus back to the marina. We reserve judgment on this subject until we personally experience it. If we have learned anything by now, it is not to believe everything said by other cruisers. People sometimes tend to exaggerate and to omit pertinent information.

When we went to the Night Market in Gelang Patah this week I purchased a dragon fruit. This fruit looked so unusual that I had to try it. It is pink on the outside and the edible inside is white with tiny black specks. The black specks are not seeds and do not have a grainy texture. The white edible inside has the texture of a very firm kiwi fruit. The taste is very mild and ever so lightly sweet. Dragon fruit gets a thumbs up from me. Durian, on the other hand, is beyond my capacity to try. I cannot get past the awful smell. It turns my stomach to walk anywhere near the section of the supermarket that sells durains. The interior of a durian has the texture of custard (otherwise known as pudding to Americans) and supposedly tastes good. I cannot force myself to taste something that smells so awful. A Dutch lady here in the marina summed it up the best. She said that eating a durian is like eating custard from a sewer. 'Nuff said. Not trying it.

I cannot resist adding a short video of our 6-month-old grandson, Damien. This baby loves to jump. Here is a short video of him in his new jumper for the first time, taken last month when we were in Houston. Ignore the door which was eaten up by the dog trying to get to the FedEx deliveryman. I think Damien will get a lot of use from this jumper.

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