27 October 2008

Still in Gibraltar


Gateway to the Atlantic
Mediterranean Sea

A week has gone by since our last update and I am sad to report we are still at anchor at The Rock. This past week has been a constant back and forth to land where we are able to check Internet and the weather. We have been receiving weather gribs on the boat as well. But with the strong winds predicted, it is better to use more than one resource.

In the midst of all the land trips we were able to get propane with the help of Don from S/V Redwood Coast and Tom from S/V Two Extreme. Once Tom and Don signed their lives away for two propane tanks, purchased an EU valve, and borrowed Tom's fitting things, things were looking up. The rig was hooked up with the full bottle a bit higher for the liquid propane to drain into our empty tank and so we waited. We weighed the tank every 30 minutes and... nothing.

A few hours have now passed. As our last resort, we look to see if Mr. Nigel Calder has written anything about this process. For those of you who don't know who Mr. Calder is. He is a boat electrician guru. And you can guarantee that every cruising boat has his books on board. We were in luck and found a mention in his book. Mr. Calder suggests pouring hot water over the full tank to heat up the liquid so it passes faster. [From Ron: Here is a way to transfer propane without hot water]

After moving the tanks up forward, securing the full tank, upside down, to the boom for more leverage, we then poured hot water on the tank. And just like Mr. Calder promised, we could see it flow. And with one tank full, and another half full, we are happy campers. It is by far the most expensive propane we have purchased because the store decided not to return our deposit. But, we are full.

Also this week our outboard motor has been acting up again causing us to have to break out the oars and row a few times. And with the heavy rain and winds here, rowing is no cup of tea. Last night was the straw that broke the camel's back because once back in the dingy we noticed we lost a oar, and the outboard decided not to run. With only one oar, and a flip-flop for the other paddle, it was a long trip home. We decided to take her apart one last time today, Tom spliced the wire to the spark plug and first pull, she started up. She's been doing good all day. So fingers crossed we don't get stranded again because we only have one paddle and the flip-flop didn't work so well.

Our trip into town yesterday consisted of us at the Internet checking weather once again. Last we saw it wasn't looking good for us to make the Canary Islands. There is talk of a nice marina in Rabat, Morocco (Africa) just 230 nautical miles from here. So if we could make that we would try. However, what we saw yesterday was predictions for the wind picking up today and tomorrow. Maybe a break on Wednesday for us to make the trip to Africa. But if not a nasty looking front is coming in over the weekend. So we may be here for another week. Of course we will keep you posted after our weather check tomorrow.

Amy and Tom

1 comment:

Naomi said...

Hi Tom and Amy,
Recently found your blog and am enjoying following your adventures! I've heard that finding a suitable fitting for your propane tank can be difficult in some countries. Have you had any troubles elsewhere? Ours has a small screw on the valve that allows the pressure in the tank to be released...allowing the propane to flow freely from the full to the empty tank. But ours were purchased in Canada, so maybe yours are different.