Back In Indonesia - Refueling in Lombok

Written by Elizabeth

We were the first boat ever to refuel on the brand new fuel barge at Marina Del Ray, which was exciting… for a bit. Once we let go of the mooring ball, we motored alongside the fuel boat that was tied to another mooring at the other side of the small bay. We pulled along the 30-foot long skiff and tossed our lines to the Indonesian crew.




They then had to wrench something on the fuel pump. Little did we know that this was the start of an hour-long trial!

The first step was seeing if the pump even worked, which you would think they would check BEFORE coming out to fuel boats, but that it is a typical procedure in Indonesia! We found out that they got the pump secondhand from a random dude who said that it still worked (I doubt telling the truth, because it took us an HOUR to get it to work!



First they tried to re-adjust the hose clamps with a screwdriver, thinking that there was air getting into the pump.

That didn’t work so they had to try to prime the pump by pouring fuel into the pump, which worked at first, but then stopped working.

Next they tried to get the fuel out of the tank and into a bucket by creating continuous suction. One unlucky staff got to suck (with his mouth) on a hose that was in the fuel tank.

They used the fuel that they siphoned out to try again to prime the pump, which worked, for a little bit.

By the time we got the hose to reach the port side of our boat, though, the fuel was only flowing in a trickle!


Finally, we rigged up their other 12-volt pump to our boat and it worked! What a fueling experience!  But it sure has beat hauling 15  jerry jugs to and from shore in our dinghy!  Now that we’re all fueled up… where to next??

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