DAY 1 My outboard dies again and I need to get towed back to Elephants Child. I clean the carb again and blow through the fuel line from the tank in case any water or crap is lurking there. It starts immediately and runs fine for 10 minutes. Fixed it I think but no. Next time I go ashore to deliver the cushion covers to the laundry it runs OK at half throttle or above but dies at idle.
DAY 2 I clean the carb again and it seems OK. Start to clean the boat because Gisela arrives next week. My mixer tap on the sink starts to leak, it is not a drip but a major spray event. Go to pick up my laundry but the water supply is off so no laundry. ARGHHH
DAY 3 Get the free Island Water World bus to the chandler and buy a new mixer tap. I ask the plumbing expert there if the connections are standard imperial and he says yes. Phone the laundry but still no water.
DAY 4 Clean the outboard carb again. Filter all the petrol twice and pray this works. I have a look at the plumbing fittings under the sink and realize it it is going to need someone with better shoulders to work with two hands above their head while lying on their side. Get a local guy from CBS called Wendell and he soon gets the old tap off and removes the two foot pump outlets. The new simple outlets are soon fitted but the fittings from the new mixer tap are of course METRIC! Grhhh. No water at the laundry.
DAY 5 Back to the chandlers and more in hope than expectation I start working through the adapters and wonder of wonders they have one. Yes ONE and I need two, I ask the assistant if they have any more in stock. Goods news the computer says they should have two at such and such a location. Well there is only ONE! I start checking all the bins and pegs in case it is hiding behind something and luckily it was. Still no laundry.
DAY 6 Get up early call CBS to organise Wendell only to be told he is attending a funeral but should be back tomorrow. Clean the cooker, sinks, kitchen and start on the two fridge boxes. Manage to rip the handle off the cool side. I need a new handle and know I have one somewhere but where is the question. Clean the heads and shower. Finish the day giving Gisela's cabin the once over and adding a tasteful touch of some sweet smelling potpourri. Still no Laundry.
DAY 7 GET UP EARLY AGAIN TO FINISH THE CLEANING AS GISELA ARRIVES LATE AFTERNOON. Use the heads and discover there is a leak from the pump. This is no big deal and it is an easy fix. I remove the seal and holder and fit a new one. It still leaks. I check to see if I put the seal in the wrong way round but no it is fine. I have spare seals so I fit another new one and that cures the problem. I pump a load of water through to check things out and the seal is fine but a much bigger leak appears at the base. I remove the pump unit and on inspection I can see it has cracked most of the way round. Now my toilets are Raritans which are the Rolls Royce of manual boat toilets but the boat is 39 years old and the toilets could well be original. As a precaution 2 years ago I bought a complete spare pump assembly so I know I have an easy fix. Well it would be easy but I do not find it where I expect to be. Panicking a little I start pulling stuff out of likely lockers but no pump. Pulling more stuff out of unlikely lockers still does not come up with the pump. The laundry phones, will I come for my laundry as they are closing for 5 days. But yippeee they have water and did mine.
I rush round at full chat on the dink and low and behold it keeps running even at idle. The good old Italian tune up.
I give up on the pump and shower off the sweat etc and catch the taxi out to the airport.
Gisela's plane arrives dead on time at 4.10 pm. Unfortunately two planes scheduled to arrive after 4.10 were early and both immigration and customs were inundated and SLOW. But it is the islands and things run on Island Time so she gets through and exits departure for the short ride to Whisper Cove marina
where we have a beer and admire the abundant floral displays.
I break the news that I have broken the toilet and it is not fixed. So a bucket may feature in our future.
The beer, just a lowly Carib refreshes the parts of my mind associated with toilet parts and I remember seeing the right kind of box in the main engine spares locker. When we get back to the boat I get Gisela settled and dive into the engine spares locker. Eureka I pull out the new toilet pump.
Now gentle reader you are going to be bored with my toilet story so I will precis the next 5 hours on crouching bent over the toilet removing and replacing the new pump. The cracked outlet leak. The broken bolts,The inlet hose leak. The seawater pump outlet hose leak. The last was a pisser as I nearly cut the end off before I remembered that it was only just long enough. Self amalgamting tape and an extra jubilee clip did the job.
At about 10.00 pm I proudly announced that we have a working toilet.
Next morning I hear the toilet working and Gisela comes through to say the pump handle is sticking up and wont go down and is making a funny noise.
Again to avoid toilet boredom I will skip the next three hours of crouching swearing dismantling blowing through [ with the dinghy pump ] etc.
Until I track down the culprit. Little fish had grown bigger inside the strainer and finally had got sucked up the inlet.
His head was just the right size to plug up the inlet one way valve.
Happiness is a working toilet.
Happiness is dinner in the cockpit.
Dizzy approves of the new plates.
Happiness is being able to see when you are rowing.
Happiness is NOT walking into this very scary spider.
As some recompense I treated my hard working guest to lunch at Whisper Cove.
It was, as always, excellent.