Fueling Day

A red day.

Lines all neat and the dinghy craned back atop the aft deck, it was time to cast off and make for the fuel lighters waiting at anchor in the bay away from everyone because they carry 80,00 liters of diesel on an old steel boat called “Successful No. 8” Since they are anchored out with their explosive cargo, I wondered what happened to “Successful 1 – 7”.

After confirming a time with Andy, I backed off the dock and motored through the mooring field to find him waiting on deck and waving us in. Rafting up was done and the haggling begins again. Price increase based on the tidy appearance of “Laysan” and crew I think, but later I caught myself in the mirror and dispelled that notion. More discussion of price and quality of the diesel including a demonstration jar of the beautiful juice for my engine. We finally agree on $6.10 hkd/liter. I wanted to toast the glass of diesel, but that was just the fumes of his boat getting to me.

We filtered the diesel again through a steel mesh funnel I bought at the restaurant supply store and a few bits were seen but overall it looked very good. Red commercial diesel may have a slightly lower octane and these guys may have a greater chance of impurities or water in the fuel, but it looked clean and the price was about 33% cheaper this way. Filling 2 tanks with 1600 liters each, and then the aft tank with 800 liters. We stopped at 4000 liters, which is over a thousand gallons, enough for this boat to go 3000 miles. Cash only once again was exchanged in the little cabin of his fuel soaked boat. We cast off and sailed out the channel for a 2 hour cruise while we polished the fuel between tanks.

Through islands and green rocky shorelines that one never thinks Hong Kong could have, we cruised in clear blue water and saw only a few boats. Tsam Chuk Wan was a nice cove, protected and we anchored for lunch.

Afterwards, we passed out into deeper open water and arrived back at Hebe Haven Marina around sunset. The red sky over the mountains, we followed two mega yachts heading back to the bay after their sunset cruise. My approach to the dock brought out a cadre of people to catch the lines who were probably rightly fearful as I maneuver this 66,000 lb boat in a tailwind. After only a little drama, we were tied up and laughing.

Tomorrow brings the decision about the weather and the crossing to Subic. All voices are being heard and now the conditions will determine my next step. Cheers.

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