Boating woes

We wrote that we were incredibly happy to reach Lombok after the adventure of trying to sail from Sorong to Lombok. We also wrote about how we took our bikes up in to the mountains to escape the string of breakages. And today we can report that we finally escaped from the mooring buoy off Lombok and reached the tourist island of Gili Air.

We wrote that we arrived off Lombok with only five days left on our visas, a broken traveller for the main sail, a none working marine radio and a broken anchor winch and water maker.

Day one: we delegated the visas to the marina which was very sensible as the supporting documents from Bali took over a week to cross from one island to another so “officially” we were visa-less for a few days. Luckily the locals “sorted something out” and it was all OK in the end. On the same day we found that Heidi’s front wheel had broken spikes but found some one to repair them. We ended up visiting him three times as spikes continue to break.

Day two:We dismantled the anchor winch, checked everything and sent the electric motor to an expert. I quickly logged on to my laptop to order some spare parts and it would not work. A few hours of playing with the boot menu and finally calls to an IT guy in Australia were wasted on that little problem.

Day three: decided to change the gearbox oil and the dipstick fell apart in my hand. Dug the remains of the thread out and asked everyone around if they had a spare. Finally ordered a new one from Yanmar and a better aluminium one from California – both express delivery.

Day four: received the winch motor back with the information that it was fine. Rebuilt everything and ran tests while measuring current and voltages. All fine but we think the main batteries are not holding their power,

Day five: refueled – from hand from 35 liter jerry cans. Definitely not fun but we are full of diesel.

Day 6: went to the zoo

Day seven. The salt water foot pump for the sink broke. Dived down below the boat but everything looked OK so dismantled the system and pushed a blockage back in to the sea with the bike pump.

Day 14: The promised dipsticks have not turned up. One is “somewhere” and the other one was stuck at Los Angeles Airport for a week. We built a dipstick replacement out of wood so that at least we can run the engine to test the anchor winch. The main engine is stuck in drive and we can not shift to neutral. Dismantled things, washed out salt water, scraped off salt deposits and it works. BUT when we ran the engine it forced the coolant out of the block.

Day 15: a few days of trying to diagnose the coolant problem. Maybe it is the pressure cap?

Day 17: New traveller car, new marine radio and other parts all ordered from a reliable supplier in the hope we have them by the end of April.

Day 19: Taxi to the big city to order two new batteries and find a new radiator cap.

Day 21: The new radiator cap doesn’t help so emptied all the coolant out, washed the cooling system with rain water, took out and tested the thermostat, ran more tests and think we found the fault.

Day 22: yesterday we found water with “goo” in it below the diesel filter. Dismantled things. Cleaned everything up and tested engine. Then we checked the salt water impeller and it was broken so changed that out and tested that and a “coolant loss prevention system” we built based on a tube and a yoghurt pot.

Day 22: local ladies dressed up for the festival of Galungan

Day 23: Both visa cards stop working. We can not withdraw any money! Tried a second bank no luck. Wrote to our bank who sent a standard “try again and tell us time and place” answer. Cycled back in to town and found signs saying the machine at bank 1 was out of order and bank 2 would not take visa. Bank three paid up.

Day 24: Our flag pole broke and our lovely flag swam in the dirty sea until Heidi found and saved it. The plastic dipstick finally arrived. We upgraded our yoghurt pot to a chocolate spread jar with a lid.

Day 25: We slowly motored the five miles to Gili Air while checking the coolant level in the jar. We did it. We escaped!

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