Lumbarda, Korčula

There was a nice breeze blowing in the Zaklopatica bay in the morning. We were squeezed between the other boats and the wind was hitting our port side, so I had to plan the departure a little more carefully so that we would hit the anchor of the guy on port or scratch the guy on starboard.

I put the engine in forward and drove against a the lines on shore and we let the mooring rope go. Slowly we let the shorelines loser, but the wind wanted to take our bow anyway. Inching forward we got to the point where we could let any more line out and I gave the engine plenty of revs and we cast the lines. This is the moment I really miss my old Volvos Penta three bladed prop that digs in and shoots you forward. With the standard fixed two-blade we slowly got away.

We cleared the other boats and their mooring lines with the wind pushing us in the wrong direction. No scratches, no knocks, no missing fingers or swear words. A job well done. It was only blowing 9-10 knots and 12-13 in gusts, but sometimes that’s enough to make it uncomfortable, especially when you have the other guys lines and anchors just waiting to snag you.

We hoisted sails just outside the bay on set of in a nice southwesterly. The sailing itself was quite uneventful. We were the fastest sailing boat in Lastovski Kanal, since a lot of the boats heading east closer to the shore were motoring. A few gybes later and we were round the eastern tip of Korčula.

The biggest event was the function of the toilet. It didn’t work properly. The sea water flushing worked moderately. The water came in, but didn’t go out very well. And the dry bowl flushing did not work at all. Nice. Some shitty job ahead for the skipper.

Last summer, I had to tamper with the seawater cooling in the middle of the Baltic Sea, and now the plumbing. At least this was a part that I’m quite familiar with, since it’s a regular maintenance job for me. The thing that puzzled me and Damir in Rogonica, was that it sucks water in and moderately flushes out, and the pump didn’t go all the way down, but was not stiff. Usually, when the pump handle cannot be pushed down, the change-knob is not properly in its position.

We got to Lumbarda and I started tearing the Jabsco pump apart. When I got to the Joker valve, the problem was apparent. At this point I didn’t react to the fact that I had to pry it out. It usually comes out quite easily. It didn’t look proper at all. The ACI Marina in Korčula town was only a fifteen minute taxi ride away, so I ordered the car and whisked away. They didn’t have original spares,but I got a substitute with which I could work on.

Coming back, I looked at the original part, and suddenly realised that it had turned inside out. That’s why the pump would go all the way down, and why it was so hard to get out. It was on the wrong side of the joint facing the wrong way. How it had turned, we have no idea.

Turned the right way and installed properly, everything worked great. The Joker valve did have signs of wear, and wasn’t as tight as it should be, but worked well enough. When it’s not tight enough, the stuff slowly seeps back in the toilet bowl, which isn’t always nice.

Joker valve inside out

After this, we could go for a stroll around Lumbarda an check out the vineyards and olive groves. We were out quite late, so places were closed. The next day being the first of May, and a public holiday, didn’t help during our morning stroll the next day.

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