September 23rd. Don’t mess with Murphy.

Written by Jack van Ommen on September 23rd, 2013

After I thought that I had done all the necessary maintenance chores for the long haul to the Med, Thomas stopped by. He asked me if I had ever replaced the impeller on the engine’s water pump. No I had not. Then he explained to me the risks of not doing this, parts of the impeller, could mess up the cooling system. My previous engine did not have a heat exchanger and I usually just replaced the impeller when it broke. Thomas was so insistent that I felt I had no choice but to promise him I’d look after it. Besides his boat name is: “Murphy’s Law”. Sailors do not leave on a Friday and defying Murphy’s Law is tempting the Lord.

So, I crawled back into the engine compartment. Why did Thomas not stop by a day earlier? Because I had to remove the oil filter again to get at the water pump. It took hours to remove the cover and I was sure I would just take a look at the impeller and then put it all back together because the water pump has worked just fine. But when I puled the impeller one of the 6 wings was broken off and had disappeared somewhere in the cooling system. I replaced it with one of the two spares I carry.  Another club member, Robin Gorter, has the same engine , an older model, in his boat. He told me where I most likely would find the broken off part. The Solé’s manual does not give you any hint and suggest you go through the whole cooling circuit. It was right in front of a sieve where the cooling water enters the heat exchanger, together with a gob of sea-grass.

Yesterday was the last time I went to mass at the St. Augustine church. Another beautiful service with the “Voces Volantes” choir. It will take some getting used to the, in comparison, much soberer services in other parts on my voyage. Afterwards I rode to the Ooster Begraafplaats (Cemetery) where both my parents are buried. I happen to be listening to a CD of Jenny Arean. In one of her songs, “Cimetière”, she observes two French ladies going to the cemetery and this brings emotions and envy because she will never have the opportunity to visit and care for her parents grave. They were murdered in the holocaust. I realized that in the four years that I had been here I had many opportunities to visit my parents’ grave. In the picture you will see  the both my father and my paternal grandfather, J(acob) van Ommen (I was named after him) died at age 57 and my grandmother at 47. Thank God I have my mother’s genes.

I met Corrine and Euan on their arrival this morning at the Amsterdam airport. She brought me my brand new SamSung tablet. My youngest son, Seth, also put a package together of accessories for it. I am anxious to get to work with it. You will now also get a chance to see part of my adventure in short video clips on the blog.

I am all set for an early morning departure for the long haul to the Med.

 

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