Monday saw the start of the works we needed doing on Piedaleau. Both problems had previously been fixed, or so we thought, but had raised their heads again. We decided enough was enough and arranged for Oscar Marine to come & sort it all out on our return in September.
First problem was the gaskets on the propeller shaft which were spraying water AGAIN despite 2 expensive trips to Carron Marine at Zezate in 2019. Oscar removed the gaskets previously istalled and checked matters out. He thinks that some factory applied packaging had not been removed and this was causing the prop to move and shred the excess ‘stuff’. He looks to have done a neat job but we haven’t properly tested it yet. He is,apparently, one of the few mechanics who will do this job without lifting the boat.
For light relief that evening Nadine, Sophie and Hubert (french friends of Nadine) who were staying in Lille, came to take us out to dinner – to that nice little Greek family restaurant again (not many places are open on a Monday). Goodness only knows if and when we will see Nadine again. Long haul flights have become increasingly unappealing since Covid! But we have been invited to visit Sophie and Hubert in the Massive Centrale sometime. Not been there before so that would be great!
Fuel bug had also raised its ugly head again – also first dealt with, or so we thought,in 2019. Not so! Friends had said it was important to clean the tanks out completely in order to properly irradicate the BUG but we hadn’t done that at the time. And then Covid restrictions meant that we were hardly here for 2 years which probably exacerbated the problem. So now we decided we could no longer avoid it. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent emptying 500 liters (!!) of diesel which all turned out to be seriously affected and had to be disposed of (!!!!!!) The tanks were scrubbed and left to dry. Looks like this was indeed a long standing problem possibly because of the poor design of the fuel tank inspection covers. They may have been leaking in water over the years. The tanks had lots of water in them. We were most unhappy to say the least!
Chris and Helen Hanley had come into Valencinnes for a few days and he sealed the existing tank lids properly – perhaps a more permanent solution will be completed next year.
When this was all done we decided not to completely fill the tanks yet but to check things out with a bit of cruising first. So Adrian and I spent a ‘happy’ day going to & from the garage to fill tanks and pour them into the tank! Reminded us of what we used to do for Misty Morning but her tank was much smaller!
I have to tell you a little about Oscar – he surely is a one off! Originally from Peru he has been in France some years. Amongst other things he has worked on tanks for the military somewhere. He is very pproud of being one of the few boat mechanics in northern France, of being ‘professionel’ and of his standard of work. We lost count of how many times he told us this! Whilst he is at work he is totally focused, quiet and thorough. But the chat is relentless once that’s done – the same thing seems to be repeated upteen times! Oh and, of course, its thirsty work! We had to lay in extra supplies of beer for them all!
Quite an experience and quite exhausting in itself. Hopefully both issues are now sorted and we know who to call if any future issues on this. Phew!