I mentioned in my last blog that things did not run entirely smoothly as we cruised from Wambrechies to Don. Every so often the engine revs would falter. We’d had this towards the end of last season and had changed the fuel filter, which seemed to do the trick. So Adrian tried to ‘bleed’ the fuel filter again. Lots of air came out so we reckoned we couldn’t have done this properly last time.
All seemed good when we set off from Don to Courchierres. But no, it came back again. So at Courchierres we decided to take the fuel filter out to have a proper look-see. Discovered we had the dreaded DIESEL-BUG! Nasty little micro organisms that like to live in your fuel tank & cause problems. We took samples from the fuel filter and both tanks to check – all had been clear at the end of last season but not so now! Dealing with this can be difficult – there are powerful preparations to put in the tank but if they don’t work the tank may need to be emptied and cleaned. We are carrying about 1000 litres of diesel. Luckily we had bought some ‘mega-jollop’ last year as a precautionary move, so we poured it in and waited 36 hours for it to do its work, took new samples and were amazed!
Memo to self: always remember to add jollop when filling tank
2nd memo to self: buy more mega jollop asap – to be prepared, just in case…..
Whilst dealing with the BUG we were made aware of another problem. Water in the bilge. Original photos of the boat show no water in the bilge. The transmission shaft is water cooled and now we seem to always have water in the bilge. Can now see it spraying out of a gasket as the transmission shaft turns. It shouldn’t do that. And the automatic bilge pump should clear it anyway. The bilge pump wasn’t operating as it should either.
So Adrian spent ages trying to sort the bilge pump – thought it was kaput but he now thinks there’s some fault in the wiring to it. So that needs further investigation. In the meantime we can operate the pump by using the manual setting.
Memo to self: remind Adrian to do this after each day’s cruising
In the meantime we went to see a boatyard near where we were to ask what he thought re the water / gasket issue. He put the wind up us – gallic equivalent of ‘sucking air in through teeth’ – saying it needed sorting so as not to cause damage to the prop shaft. This involves getting the boat out of the water. His is a big yard, for big boats (40m ish) and therefore may not be suitable for us. Adrian has sent him photos of the hull so he can decide. We are also contacting other yards & keeping fingers crossed that we can get this sorted in a reasonable timescale.
At Courchierres we were moored in a lovely park but without any facilities. We were also having difficulty identifying moorings further along our proposed route without very long days. And since we had to go down the Canal du Nord and through a long tunnel to get to the Somme, we decided this would now be foolhardy. We aborted the plan and decided to return, gently, to Wambrechies where we have all facilities and can try to find suitable assistance.
So that’s where we are now. Chris decided not to continue on his own so he came back too & will return to Belgium soon.
Arrived on 14th – now 19th – but no joy yet. Alain the Capitaine here is very understanding & realises we may be here for sometime…….
As Liam once asked Adrian ‘and you do this for fun!?!?’
Even the local wildlife seem to think we’ve taken root. We were woken this morning by noises on the top deck ……… moorhens looking through the back window and generally rummaging about!