Engine problems in Sitka

Well I arrived on 15th August around sunrise (see photo) - with engine dying every time I slowed engine down, was unable to dock in tiny space available behind big fishing boat -  couldn't slow boat down to stop at dockside by going astern! So had to anchor & wait until Harbour office opened for kind people to tow me in to a slip.
Then my engine repair course began....A major problem since ordering in a replacement fuel injection pump has been DHL not being helpful over Customs clearance in LA when thepump first arrived in US from UK - compounded by someone in the UK not putting my name in the correct 'slot' on the address form - the parcel ended up being addressed to 'yacht spares in transit', rather than to me!
Thanks to friendly, very helpful, Customs lady (Sharon) here in Sitka, I finally got my pump this afternoon (Wed 30Aug) - I would have had more major problems without her helpfulness.
Now I'm having big problems installing the pump - I need to remove so many other bits & pieces (with difficult access) to get the old pump out and the new one put in its place - and then, of course, everything has to be put back and timing etc checked - not a quick job and, yes, I really want to be moving south.... Of course, the boat is now in chaos with the engine work ongoing..
Sitka is a nice (but very, very rainy!) place but I've mainly been trying to get boat problems dealt with in the meantime - including ones left over from passages. This has definitely not been a relaxing layover - I've been tearing my hair out a lot of the time! And the lovely views are 99% of the time invisible behind heavy rain or mist/cloud following heavy rain!!
Today, I filled the water tank, 2 empty propane tanks and 5 diesel jerricans (ready for topping up diesel tanks tomorrow) as well as biking to Customs & then out to the airport and back before getting down to the engine. I went up mast Sunday to retrieve the topping lift and also to replace a burnt-out deck light. And I've spent ages most days recently trying to sort out the pump freight problem over the phone and looking at passage-planning.... the less time I have once I've finished here, the more I'm having to look at alternative passage plans. The weather isn't getting any better.... and may force me to change my plans completely at the time I'm finally able to move on.
I'm just hoping not to have to spend too many more days here, working on the engine before it's fixed - & I'm looking forward to getting down to Vancouver Island so I can relax a bit for a very short time (I may have to make a long offshore passage to save time, IF the weather permits, missing seeing the dramatic coastline in order to avoid a lee shore!!)  I'll need to head south again fairly promptly to SF to get more outstanding work done. I'm seriously getting worried about the time of year and the weather deteriorationg and causing me problems...
I shall be keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well over next few days....

Written by : Mike

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