The pan beneath the diesel fuel leak was about half full after seven hours, and on Saturday morning Walt found a way to use electrical tape as a “bandage” for the leaking line, pouring the accumulated fuel through a funnel into the tank. We decided to motor to nearby Secret Cove, to which we could travel in about half an hour, to purchase some parts in their store, and after we arrived there. Walt consulted with the store’s proprietor, found a part that he thought would stop the fuel leak, and worked with Martin all afternoon on the fuel line and with tracing the ship’s batteries’ failure to charge, possibly due to a seemingly-dead alternator which might have been damaged by being flooded with the leaking diesel fuel. At this point, we were quite sure that we couldn’t go any further without an alternator to keep the boat’s various batteries charged; if we had to order parts, Monday would be a holiday in BC and parts would not arrive for some while. Walt sent an unhappy e-mail to the manager of the workers who had installed the heating system (which, itself, WAS working fine) about our situation. I was reminded of the old saying about the horseshoe, the horse, the rider, the battle, the king, and finally the kingdom being lost, all for the want of a nail!
Meanwhile, Joy and I walked up the hill above the marine parts store and picked a wonderful quantity of blackberries, and Martin taught me a number of things about hauling the dinghy onto the boat from the water and securing it (we still needed oars). I worked on removing the diesel fuel and its odor from three cooking pans that were involved in the fuel spill cleanup by boiling detergent-and-bleach-laced water in them and was successful—whew! After a very warm, beautiful, windy day that was nonetheless frustrating because of the increasing number of problems with various systems, naps taken by all, an excellent supper of chicken fajitas prepared by Martin and finished with the blackberry cobbler I’d made for dessert (served with cherry-amaretto ice cream—YUM!), and a good game of Phase 10 (a card game), we considered how to change our plans to accommodate our new crop of boat equipment problems, and decided to head up the BC coast to Pender Harbour on Sunday to see if we could buy the wooden dinghy oars that we were told would be available. We spent a pleasant and relatively peaceful night docked in Secret Cove, and wondered what the next day would bring.