After a calm night of sleep anchored in beautiful Calabash Creek, we woke up on Thursday morning to a faint smell of diesel fuel. Uhm! Down into the engine room I go, even before my coffee, and put my body into places and positions that bodies are not meant to go. After an hour or so of trying to trace the source of these fumes with mirrors and flashlight, I find some fuel seeping from a few sections of the welds on my port fuel tank. This was discouraging to see, but over our time on boats, Stel and I have come to realize that the many components and systems packed into a very small area will fail occasionally, especially those continually exposed to a salt water environment. I was hoping, especially with all of the work we had recently done on the boat, that we would have a few trouble free weeks. But, it’s a boat, and we have learned to expect the unexpected, and then try and deal with it calmly and patiently.
But take heart, one of the greatest things about the cruising life is that you are typically traveling with other travelers who are extremely kind-hearted and willing to help out with any kind of problem or hardship. We were fortunate to be anchored along side Randy and Sue, a couple from Beaufort, NC (former nuclear engineer and wife) who came over to take a look and help develop a solution. They offered us a tube of “JB Weld”, a fast curing epoxy putty that works miracles on patching holes and cracks in fiberglass and steel. I spent about 4 hours bent over an engine applying this product to a few suspect areas of the fuel tank, hoping that it would resolve the problem until we took more permanent action. We will keep you updated on how it works out. I have the word “Cummins” permanently imprinted on my chest now from leaning across the engine for so long.
We woke up this morning to a fresher smelling cabin and a much better attitude as we waved goodbye to our helpful friends who were heading off-shore, had our morning coffee and toast, and then pulled our anchor for a relaxing cruise up to Southport, NC. If you have never visited Southport, it’s a beautiful little boating town on the Cape Fear River. It is definitely worth a visit, by boat or car. We are at the marina tonight and will get groceries and wash some diesel-soiled clothes in the morning. Hoping all is well at home.
“God is more anxious to bestow His blessings on us than we are to receive them” – St. Augustine