|Epoxied Vent Caps|
I made 3 trips to the gasoline station and brought back 120 liters in 6 containers. Before leaving for the station I would give the empty containers the prescribed dose of additive to make sure that there is no growth of algae while the fuel is on deck. I had learned that the filling station offered cleaner diesel than the fishing boat harbor, but it got better because the station offered two grades of diesel: ordinary and “Euro plus diesel”, which contains additives. With the language barrier I couldn't learn what the additives are, but I figured that they wouldn't hurt the Volvo engine and probably help it.
I topped up the internal tanks with about 50 liters of fuel, some of which remained on deck after the trip and the rest from my new purchases. I used the Baja filter when topping up the tanks, which was a piece of cake in the calm waters of the marina.
Today I purchased another 80 liters in two trips.
The last two containers are missing the caps to the air vents. Air vents are not required and the newer containers do not have them, but with the older ones there is the problem of losing them. One that I was given in La Paz didn't have one to start with and I got by by using the vent cap from the gasoline container, which I will be needing again soon. The other one was lost sometime after I emptied its contents on the way to the Horn. I figure that getting new caps would be next to impossible, bearing in mind that the two missing ones have different threads, so I decided to have a go at salvaging them. I visited the hardware store and got epoxy components in paste form. I cleaned the vents as much as possible with alcohol and found two plastic drink bottle caps which I also cleaned. I then mixed a batch of epoxy, rammed as much as possible into the holes with a knife to make a plug, then coated the threads with epoxy. Then I loaded up the caps with epoxy and fitted them over the vents. The idea is for the threads to provide a mechanical grip on the makeshift cap. I'll know in the morning whether the containers are useful.
If the container repair works I'll be leaving MdP with 140 liter of diesel in the internal tanks and 220 liters on deck. Otherwise I'll have 180 liters on deck.
Including the empty container that fell overboard in my calculation, I figure that I used 260 liters of diesel on the passage from La Paz to MdP, which reprsents and average of 2.1 liters per day.
The price of the diesel is 6.7 pesos, or about $1.50 a liter, yielding a total cost of about $400.