Thursday, June 19, 2008

Green eyes

Dad fiddling with an engine component

The news just gets worse. After yesterday’s debacle, my mom and I swam to the island. My mom had expected me to be crying, but I had resolved that using our old mainsail and staysail to get to Clarencetown wouldn’t be so bad after all, as long as we had the diesel figured out. Karl and I had known before we left that we had a problem with some bad fuel, but I was prepared to deal with it. I had bought biocide and my dad had bought a fuel pump, and our plan was to pump out the diesel tank, add stabilizer, replace the bad fuel with good, and get to Long Island with a minimum of engine bleeding.

I say, “was.” Dad woke up this morning all set to pump, but I insisted that we start the engine first. “What good is clean diesel if the motor won’t turn over?” I asked.

Prophetic words. We cranked the generator, hooked up the electrical cables, turned the key to start the Yanmar’s annoying beep, and hit the start button. Click. Nothing.

Now I’m faced with the very real possibility that not only do I have unusable sails, but an unusable diesel. I have bought, for $40, a service manual for the Yanmar, foreseeing my need for it, but never foreseeing the dang thing just wouldn’t start. It was always so reliable, so dependable, starting without fail. How could I be so stupid? So foolish? So naive? It simply never occurred to me that there would be anything wrong with the engine, that we wouldn’t just turn the key and have it hum to life, like it always does.

The horror, the horror.

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