Barry's Blog #124 - Covid-19 and diesel bug


Grinning because we had a win

Here in Greece the measures to manage the Covid-19 virus are changing from day to day, when we recorded this week's video the government had just announced a ban on vessels entering Greek ports and harbours and moorings. As I write this blog the government have further announced a total lock down across Greece. People must stay at home and register with the local police if they are going out to shop for essentials.

Here at the boatyard we are all self distancing and self isolating. In the small village of Limni only essential businesses like the supermarket, butcher, baker and pharmacies remain open.

Family and friends have asked us how we are managing and without sounding glib, things are pretty much the same for us. We do boat jobs (weather permitting), film ourselves doing boat jobs, edit the segments together, publish the end result to YouTube, write our accompanying blogs, publish those to our website and manage our social media presence. Rinse and repeat each week.

Things will only become normal again once the virus escalation is under control, the movement restrictions have been removed and we're back in the water and heading for Turkey. How long that will be is of course the million dollar question.

Heed all advice

After seeking advice on the Interwebs from fellow Jeanneau owners we got stuck back into our attempt at removing the prop shaft. We'd been advised that we'd need to de-couple the flange from the gearbox as there was a locking nut on the end of the shaft inside the flange.

The de-coupling was easy enough but there was no locking nut to be found. Aannsha suggested that a single hex bolt sticking out of the side of the flange should be removed, sounding very confident in my reply I said "No, it's not that."

After much pushing, pulling and banging with heavy objects and assistance from Juliano the only thing left was to take out that hex bolt and hey presto once it was removed the prop shaft was easily detached from the boat. In this week's video you can hear Aannsha giving me a very polite 'I told you so.'

With the prop shaft out we could remove the stern gland and order in a replacement, it felt good to be moving forward.

1 job - 20 hours

When the exhaust mixing elbow rusted through from the inside and dumped copious amounts of oily diesel soot all over the engine and engine bay we knew we had a big clean up job on our hands.

But this week after 20 hours of knee hurting, back twisting contortions and more soot than the Sooty & Sweep TV show, we both came to the conclusion that we'd got the engine and engine bay as clean as we could. That's a huge weight off our shoulders.

I don't want to look

I could've saved myself a lot of anxious thoughts over this winter if I'd just topped off the diesel fuel tank when we first arrived at the boat yard and the weather was still warm. But I didn't and as the weather got colder a tipping point was reached where either A) condensation had formed on the inside walls of the fuel tank and there was no point in filling the tank with diesel because it would all need to be pumped out and run through filters to remove the water and any diesel bug or B) because we were not living on board and creating heat the ambient temperature inside the tank was