August 15th, 2012 browsing by day


Wednesday evening Aug 15, Arles

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

The fuel hose problem has been solved. My search this morning was good excercise but then I found a very good replacement hose on the boat. I had bought this in Holland for the propane tank to the stove. It fit perfectly and the engine is back in business. It is a scary feeling to be on a boat that has no way to propel it, no mast and a non-working engine. Particular when the boat kept bouncing on the river bottom and I felt the need to move elsewhere. I hope the water stays calm for the nigth otherwise I’ll be bouncing around and tough to sleep through it.

There are at least 10 old magnificent churches in the old city center, not one is used as such. They are turned into museums, art galleries. There are live parishes in the suburbs. Last Sunday in Marseille in this beautiful old church there were just chairs set up for a 100 or so worshippers, a great organ and organist, but the priest had no one to help him with the service. I had hoped that I would be able to experience a procession on the feast of Mary’s Assumption. Not in Arles.

This time I have enough power left for the pictures.

Wednesday Aug 15 Arles

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

It took me from early in the morning till noon to get the mast organized and purchase two more large ball fenders, which have already proven their usefulness.

I went through the first lock. I guess  have earned my skills with the 64 locks in 2010/2011. But there are no locks on the Rhone for the next 200 kms. Thanks evry one who sai aprayer for my being able to jeep the boat afloat with the picture on the previous blog of the sunken ketch. It almost happened to me late yesterday afternoon just before entering Arles. When I got down into the cabin water was standing above the floor boards. Water was gushing in from the stuffing box. I did not accurately asses the problem, water was high above the stuffing box. I tried tightening the hose clamps on the rubber stuffing box. That did not work. What had happened, I discovered later, the stuffing box had slipped off the shaft log and the the nut to control the drippage from the box was pushed up against the flex coupling. I took a couple of rags and tied them around the leak and then started the engine up. Then I smelled diesel fuel. I had accidentally tied the fuel hose into the rag and the whole stuffing box was spinning with the drive shaft and broke the fuel hose. I had to quickly close the tank valve and now I had no engine any longer. I was drifting back with the current. I put out a May Day. No one was responding. Then I was looking for a way to set the boat on a shallow spot but I could not get any steerage. Then rescue came in the way of a German boat I had passed earlier. They passed me and I yelled that I had “Grosse Probleme” they cam back and towed me to shore in Arles. Pumping like crazy. Then once tied up to the shore I figured out the problem and loosened the hose clamps and pushed the stuffing box back on the shaft log. I had a regular swimming pool inside the cabin. It ruined my laptop charger. But, for once, holding on to old parts saved the day. I still had the charger for the Acer laptop I bought in 2006 in Cape Town. It works on the newer Acer but has to be kept down with duct tape.

I spent all morning trying to find a fuel hose replacement. All shops are closed because Mary’s Ascension is a national holiday and when I cycled out of town to a service station it was only accessible with credit cards. So, I’m stuck here till tomorrow. But there is lots to see here. But I’m  not real secure in my moorage. When a barge comes past the keel bounces on the river bottom.

I had hoped to be able to see a procession for the feats day but apparently none in Arles.

I;m out of juice, no pictures today.