Monday, May 30, 2011

Port McNeill

Our last planned stop in lower British Columbia was Port McNeill.  This is a small town near the northern tip of Vancouver Island.  Because it is accessible by road the prices are considerably cheaper than all the nearby small towns that are serviced only by barge or floatplane.  We had planned to just spend one night here, stock up on groceries and fuel and be on our way.  Our plan was looking pretty good by the end of the evening, we had done laundry, bought food, gone out to eat at a nearby restaurant, and found the ice cream shop.  The following morning I decided to do a quick oil change on the boat since they had waste oil disposal at the marina.  In running the engine to warm it up for the oil change, I noticed saltwater pouring from a fitting on one of the cooling lines.  After some disassembly and further inspection I found corrosion in the fitting and several holes allowing the water to pour in to the boat.  I spent the next few hours walking around town visiting each of the machine shops, finally finding one that could repair the part.  I left it for them to fix the next morning and went back to the boat, where I decided to continue with the engine maintenance and change out the fuel filters.  After changing the fuel filters I was having some issues getting the air out of the fuel lines and ended up spilling some fuel in the bilge, mixing with all the saltwater that was already there.  The next day our repaired part was ready and was quickly reinstalled, but the clean-up lasted a good portion of the day, forcing us to remain at the dock an extra day.  The up side of this was that I got a chance for another visit to the ice cream shop, and some friends of our showed up on their boat so we got to hit the nearby pub for burgers and beer.
We are now heading out for some of the more remote sections of the British Columbia coast, so we are crossing our fingers that everything is fixed and working.

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