A Stove with Character

We still have an old-fashioned kerosene stove, called Bertie the Bertschi, which we praise when other cruisers search for gas bottles, refill opportunities and fittings while we have a year or two of kerosene on stock (after we raided a friendly little airport out on the islands…).

Unfortunately there are days when we curse it–today was one of them. Our main problem is that spare parts are no longer produced, so we try to squeeze everything out of the burners and other parts we have left. After it only produced a really small flame this morning, we cleaned the jet, but that only made the problem worse: suddenly we had a yellow flame spitting soot, then the burner got clogged, etc. After we had disassembled, cleaned and reassembled it for half a dozen times it suddenly worked again–not quite sure why, but we certainly won’t probe it while it lasts…

Afterwards we took Pitufa over to yet another gorgeous bird motu and enjoyed a wonderful two-hour snorkel playing with dozens of reef sharkies. Back home work was still lurking: while rummaging in the spare-part locker we had discovered a loose cable, so the rest of afternoon was spent squeezed under the table trying to solder and mend things…

Now we’re having a sundownwer and life’s good again (but the boat is still a mess with spare parts still all over the place)…

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