Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hot Diesel

No, this is not about some kind of exotic and weird fitness training.

Bear with me.

When we first brought the boat down to Seattle, and I moved aboard, it was winter. The boat had two full water tanks, so I didn't see the need to deal with water issues right away.

Eventually, however, the inevitable happened. In the middle of a shower, getting ready for work, I sucked air from the port water tank. Naked and slippery with soapy water, I slithered out to the galley, pulled up the floorboard, and re-valved the water supply to the starboard tank. I'll bet people living on shore don't have to do that too often. I got to work that day on time in spite of it.

As time wore on, I realized that the water in the starboard tank had a funny smell to it. Eventually I decided that it probably would be a good idea to use up that water for non-cooking issues (I was living as a bachelor - that did not signify much of a change).

Diesel floats on water. I'm just sayin'. (cue ominous music)

Once again, the inevitable happened, and again while I was in the shower, getting ready for work, not yet quite awake. Except this time, instead of air, the last thing out of the shower head was a gush of hot diesel. I stood there, dumbfounded, red liquid dripping off of me. I had just showered in hot diesel fuel! And, now, there was no more water in the tank. And of course, I had not refilled the port tank either. So there was no way to even rinse it off, let alone wash. I'm real sure people living on shore don't have this happen. OK, now what? It was either towel off and go to work, or towel off, get sort of dressed, go outside, find a hose and refill one of the tanks, and then re-shower. I have to confess that living on a boat had become a little discouraging for me at that point.

Well, I had started in this job only a few weeks earlier, so I was not ready to show up late for work. So instead, I showed up reeking of diesel. (Eleven and a half years later, I still wonder if that was the right call, but I do still have the job). Thankfully, none of my co-workers lit a match near me.

Apparently, the Previous Owner had stuck the fuel hose in the wrong deck port and pumped in a few bucks worth. What to do? His call: Ignore it and let the next owner deal with it.

Eventually I got all the diesel out of the tank and the plumbing thru use of 2-3 bottles of dishwasher liquid, but there was a long time during which I couldn't cook with or drink water from aboard, since it all had to pass thru the contaminated plumbing. It made for good dishwashing and showering tho.

"Hot diesel yoga" does have a certain ring to it...


Adam Salnick said...

I am not sure what the problem is, diesel smells great!

Ken said...

Queue strange comments from people googleing "hot diesel yoga" ...

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