Tickling the Nuts on the Green Bilge Monster

The engine stopped on Merel’s watch last night. There was a little wind so she set the sails, switched on the transfer pump to fill the day tank and left it at that. I came on watch and we were sailing OK at 3.something knots, and so it went the whole night, gently sailing in the right direction with no time pressures. With no rumbling from the bilge the off-watch got to sleep, the boat was happy, and my biggest problem was keeping my eyes open while I was on.

At the start of my dawn watch I saw the batteries were down and thought to run the engine, but no go. Now I know that with a diesel, if it turns over, there is just one thing to look at if it won’t start — fuel. So I jiggled the lift pump primer. No go. I changed the fuel filter. No go. I undid the bleed screw on the filter and jiggled the lift pump more until fuel came out. Still no go. I sat there and scratched various parts of my anatomy. I even looked in the Volvo Penta Instruction Manual and the last step under Fuel System had a blurry and distorted diagram that looked like nothing on my Green Monster but was labeled ‘Undo the injector nuts’ and a vague memory surfaced of having done this once before years ago. I loosened the injector nuts, turned the engine over until fuel was happily ejaculating everywhere, tightened them, hit the starter, and it burst into life instantly as if nothing had happened.

We still have not caught a fish but Merel’s Chocolate Mousse last night was subversive!

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