September 21

Today was another very busy day for us. I began the day by taking the ferry to Luganville with 7 empty jerry jugs (6 gallons each) and filled them at the Shell station. Martin came with me though he had only 3 jugs. We got a pickup truck to drive us back to the ferry landing with the 10 full jugs of diesel which cost us all of a dollar, though Martin tipped the guy another buck for fun. When we got back to the resort we loaded our jugs into the dinghies and then took them back to our respective boats. Kate helped me unload the dinghy and then we set about to change the transmission fluid.  

This went well as far as the part where we removed the old oil but refilling it was a trying experience for Kate since she had to get down in the hold and pour the new oil one cup at a time through a tiny funnel with very little clearance. She did a great job in the end but not without much spilling and cursing. Then we changed the generator oil which was far easier but in the process noticed the drip pan had some non-trivial amount of oil in it. After examining the engine I found the oil was dripping from the oil pressure sender fitting. Tomorrow’s new task is to empty the starboard cockpit locker (to gain better access) and then clean out the drip pan and wipe down the engine then remove the oil pressure sender fittings and re-connect them all, this time with pipe dope (a solution that seals pipe fittings which I neglected to use when I installed the new sender over a year ago). That’s a 3 hour job right there including repacking the cockpit locker.  

In the morning we will first take the ferry back to the town and do a major grocery shopping. Our list is not as big is we had feared but it will take some time to purchase all of the items we need from the various little grocery stores along the town’s main road.  

This afternoon, after we finished the transmission and genset oil change we then poured 4 of the 7 jerry jugs of fuel into the main tanks. Those 4 jugs were borrowed from another boat and we then returned them and went to the resort for some R&R at the pool. This was very relaxing and we felt much refreshed afterwards. In the evening we went to visit Dave who is the proprietor of Pro Dive whose house and office is about a mile down the beach from the resort. We met Dave last year when we dived the S.S. President Coolidge with him and when we saw him and he mentioned we might set up a date for a BBQ we immediately jumped on the idea since we have been carrying around about 13lbs of pork ribs since Australia which are too large to cook on the tiny gas grill we have aboard. Martin and Christie from “Wind Runner” came too and we had a lovely time and got back around 9:30pm very exhausted. Jonah especially enjoyed himself as Dave has about 6 cats many of which are little kittens and they kept Jonah entertained the whole evening. Martin and Christie are going to dive the Coolidge with Dave on Wednesday and I will do a dive with Dave and Martin on Thursday (we will go to the engine control room which was my favorite dive on the Coolidge last year).