Trouble In Paradise

Jilly says…
This afternoon we enjoyed a lovely cruise through the Tongan islands. We left Neiafu with an unknown destination in mind. I mean, we had an idea but where we’d actually drop the hook depended upon the winds and the water. After a couple of hours we decided on a little bay just between Pangaimotu Island and Tapana Island. It’s absolutely perfect! There are three other boats here on moorings but they all appear empty. Must belong to locals or maybe to Pilangi (tourists) who’ve traveled home or something.
We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon here in this spot. It’s nice to be away from all the boats and people of Neiafu. Don’t get us wrong, we like it there and it’s nice to be able to go ashore and get supplies when you need them but we really prefer the peace and quiet of a remote anchorage and here we have just that.
A Tongan family in their small, wooden boat stopped at Dazzler this evening just before sunset. It was a husband and wife with their young son and seventeen year old daughter. They were from the village on the other side of the lagoon. Nada, the wife, was selling her crafts. She had beautiful baskets and jewelry with black pearls. Knowing we would be in the island areas with little need for cash we didn’t have much on us. Of course my man wasn’t going to let that stop him from helping this family. After all, they are trying to support their family and when you know how they live you feel like you have to do something. Yep, he bought a basket with almost all of the rest of our cash. That’s my guy…always trying to save the world. I was tearing up when they left. He’s such an amazing guy. He would give someone in need the shirt off his back. So often he reminds me of my daddy.
Nada and her husband invited us to their church the following morning. Afterward they would have us over to their home for a feast. We opted out because we would feel a need to pay them and of course they got most of our cash. Plus, we really want to do the church thing on Matamaka with Chief Ladu and those we met last year. As you are about to find out, it turns out that God had a plan and it was not for us to attend church.

Captain Dan says…
There we were situated in the very nice peaceful Tapana anchorage in eastern VaVa‘u, Tonga. The evening was upon us and the twilight rituals were ready to commence. First up shower time. Up onto the deck for a fresh water hose down and clean up. This time was different. I decided to try Jilly’s shower technique of rubbing the soap/shampoo onto the dry hair and body and then hose off. What could go wrong? This technique works if you have an adequate fresh water supply.
When I pulled back the handle of the sprayer, fresh water just dribble out of the end of the nozzle. “WHAT?” I holler down to Jilly and ask her to reset the water pump and check the water gauge. Everything seemed to be good until she checked the gauge and found it to be selected as the fuel gauge. When she flipped the selector to water. These fateful words came up from the cabin below, “We’re out of water!” Hummmm. Luckily, we had a shower bag full of fresh water so I could rinse off. Whew!
Now it’s about 1930 hours and we needed to fire up the water maker. Jilly fired up the water maker while I finished up with my shower. As I stepped down into the galley, I could hear that the water maker didn’t sound quite right. A brief inspection revealed the primary feed pump was not working. The evening of relaxing had to be put on hold while I diagnosed the issue. First up was to check the power supply. You know kind of like how those out sourced technical support guys ask their first question, “ Is it plugged it?” Well, the power was in good supply. Next up was to check the switch to the pump motor. It didn’t seem to be working so I quickly changed out the switch and the pump still did not work.
Okay, now is the time I know I’m going to be in deep Bandini as I need to get my box of water maker supplies from deep in the bowels of the quarter berth, AKA small garage, packed like the truck of the Beverly Hillbillies moving out of the sticks. So, we proceed to unpack the garage to get to the box of supplies that lives at the south end of the northbound part of the quarter berth. There it is! The new water maker feed pump complete with pump head and pressure cutoff switch. It was all shinny and new. A beautiful sight to behold. I think I might have even shed a tear.
After about an hour, the new pump had been installed and the old pump stowed away for possible rebuild at a later time in paradise. The water maker was up and running again and I needed a cold beer and another shower.
Just so you get the whole picture of the repair, both feed pumps are installed under the galley sink with very little excess room to get your hands into. The doors of the compartment had to be removed. It’s hot and steamy in the cabin because it started raining outside and we had to close everything up. I’ve got my trusty headlamp on for lighting. I’m sweating like a cold beer in the hot sun while I’m sitting on the floor of the galley in my underwear working to get the issue solved. Lessons learned:
1. Keep the water/fuel gauge selected to water. 2. DON’T put soap on until you know you have water available to rinse it off. 3. Having the right spare parts is awesome!
Until next time, be clean and happy! Cheers!
Captain Dan and Jilly
Like I told you God had other plans for us. We needed to stay on the boat the following morning rather than go to church because we had to make water. As mama always told us, “If you want to see God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

Author: Dan & Jilly

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