Monday, October 15, 2018

Waiting for the other shoe to drop...


Conrad's latest obsession is 3D modeling and he could easily spend all day on the computer. This has us all vying for computer time on our sole laptop (we have another one that we keep as a spare). That time has become even more precious with the recent demise of our battery charger.

A view from our kolotok (of another kolotok)
Our last few passages have had good wind but usually start with our being tossed about a bit. The rough seas and the resulting banging around seem to speed the breakage of various boat bits. On one of the nights of our passage to Kumai, Matt had to work on the generator, deal with water in the starboard engine room, and a blockage in the raw water intake for the fridge (the constant thorn in our side).

It started with the generator cutting out on our second night out of Mamuju, on the way to Kumai.  Going down into the engine room, Matt discovered water sloshing around under the engine and dripping off most surfaces. Too much water to be good, but not quite enough to trigger the high water alarm.  The water was the result of the convergence of a small leak in the shaft seal, a faulty bilge pump, and an oil absorption pad that floated on the rising water and got caught up by the shaft and windmilled around at a high rate of speed, flinging salt water everywhere. The oil absorption pad also was torn to pieces and conveniently clogged up the manual bilge pump, so we had to pull out our auxiliary electric pump to get a handle on things. After cleaning up all the water and making sure there wasn't a big leak, we turned our attention to the generator and found out that the impeller needed to be replaced.  Normally not a big deal, but it turned out we didn't have a spare since the 'drop in / direct replacement' pump we installed last year used (of course) a different sized impeller.  Thankfully there were only a couple more underway repairs (how long do relay contacts last after being sprayed with salt water? Oh, about 24 hours), and we eventually made it to Kumai, dodging some rather large boats as we made our way up the river.

Praying mantis added to the list of critters that like Mark's head

We caught up with our friends on Field Trip in Kumai, which made our children (and us) Very Happy. Mark on Field Trip is also the King of Spares and generously gave us a spare generator impeller we could use. It was then that we found that the battery charger was no longer charging. So when solar isn't doing well, we will have to charge the batteries with our engine until we can get somewhere to have someone fix the issue or buy a new one at a relatively reasonable cost (which excludes Indonesia and Thailand, which have very high import duties).

Cool jungle caterpillar, but don't touch

While in Kumai, we took a 3-day trip up the river to see orangutans and other wildlife. It was interesting to be on a different boat for a couple nights. As advertised, the trip delivered orangutans (including a pair mating and one wearing a hand of bananas on its head like a hat), proboscis monkeys, Langur monkeys, long-tailed macaques, fresh water crocodiles, and our first owls in Indonesia. Conrad even got to see his first tarantula in the wild. I was glad to get back to our boat because between fighting proboscis monkeys (sounds like cats and goats yelling at each other), chatty boat staff, and a snoring husband, I did not have the most restful nights.


  1. Could anything else go wrong ??? I guess that’s a stupid question.

  2. Great shot of the baby orangutans

  3. Maybe the gods are sending you a message.....sell boat and return to a real life on land.


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