All day refueling?

Today we woke up fairly early to get everything done before the shops
close at noon. Susan and I went off to the farmers market, which is
right next door to the wharf. We bought lots of fruit and veggies at
very good prices. The market also had shops set up selling all kinds of
souvenirs. Steve stayed behind and worked on renting a car. We needed it
to ferry diesel back and forth from the gas station. Luckily we had help
from fellow cruisers and they lent us some jerry cans and an electric
pump. We topped off the main tank, filled one of our auxiliary tanks and
our jerry cans. This was all going on while the two boats next to us
were doing the same with all the same equipment. Lots of sharing going
on. Very nice yachties helping all three boats out.

Both boats next door are cute little 28 footers from Poland. The crew on
each is 2 women. So, there are 3 female skippers in a row here. Very
unusual. I can’t imagine sailing here from Poland. I thought I was far
from home.

During all this activity, I wasn’t really doing anything, so I went off
to the groceries and Steve retrieved me when I was done. I loaded us up
with more canned goods. We were very low on canned veggies. I also
picked up some New Zealand lamb shanks and a chicken, both frozen. The
fridge is about 1/2 full of Diet Coke. The store wasn’t as fun as in
French Polynesia, but still had many interesting items. I also had time
for a little souvenir shopping too. I got nice black pearl necklace. I
bought one last year in Tahiti, but I wanted a bigger one.

By 2 p.m. most of the shops were closed and we were fueled up. I went
off for a shower at the harbor office. To my great surprise the water
was hot! When I got back Susan and Steve greeted me with the bad new
that our main diesel tank is leaking. Fairly fast. We knew we had a leak
and had tried a fix. Apparently, it didn’t quite work. Susan had picked
up some baby diapers for just such a sopping up occasion. However, they
were soon depleted. I ran off to the one remaining store that was open
until 4 p.m. When I got back they were pumping some of the diesel out of
the main tank and re-seating the seal that was leaking. It seems O.K.
for now. Who knows once were underway and sloshing around more.

Warning, technical boat stuff to follow. You can skip to the next
paragraph if you’re not familiar with the boat. Our main bilge has a bit
of diesel in it now and the primary bilge pump isn’t working. We noticed
that yesterday. Which is actually quite a good thing. We don’t want to
pump out the bilge in harbor with this much fuel in it. Once were out of
here tomorrow we’ll pump it out, by the hand pump if necessary. Then
we’ll get the bilge pump working again. The bilge has had a bit of a
workout running every half hour or so when motoring. It took a while to
diagnose, but we found that the engine anti-siphon is spitting out water
that is running back down the bilge output hose. Both are in the same
cockpit drain. We hope we solved that by raising the bilge output hose
higher.

With all this time running around we haven’t really seen Roratonga.
We’ll drive around tomorrow and maybe even snorkel. Tomorrow is Sunday
and the locals really frown on doing anything. We’ve already been asked
“don’t you go to church on Sunday?” We pretended we didn’t hear them
ask. From what we understand it’s even stricter in Tonga. We’re making
Sundays sailing days from now on.