Diesel in the Bilge
I went to Syncopation to change the engine oil today and a relatively easy job turned into another more difficult one. As usual it took me over half an hour to actually get to the engine as the engine room floor and the cocoon has to be dismantled before the engine itself is visible. While doing this I noticed what appeared to be water in the stern bilge below the stern gland. I started pumping it out but had to stop when I realised the brown foam-like stuff pouring into the canal was red diesel. Oh dear. There was four or five gallons of diesel in the bilge. It was just beginning to spill over into the inaccessible part of the bilge under the engine cocoon.
I put off dealing with this while I changed the oil and filter (50 hour service but nearer 110 hours) and failed to tighten the engine alternator drive belt due to its being inaccessible.
After some thought I made a temporary container for the diesel by cutting the top off a 6 pint milk container. I was able to place this under the bilge pump outlet and reach the switch for the pump. After the first container full I decided the diesel was clean enough to go back in the tank, so in it went. The leak was a loose fuel pipe union that I disturbed when I removed the filter when we ran out of diesel. Over the last week it has been dripping at a rate of about one drop every five seconds.
After I had cleaned up I left the cocoon and decking dismantled: I'll have to ask Mill Wharf boatyard to tighten my alternator belt and I'd hate to have to pay them to take all that apart again: they'd probably put it together for me as well, an expense I don't need.
Spent this evening finishing covering my port hole bungs.