I was unsuccessful in getting it going, after cleaning the strainer and verifying a clear path to the suction side of the pump. I also disassembled the pump itself and could find no fault with it, so I shelved the project for another day.
Back to Cumberland Island. We were blown away again. Here are some more pictures. They don't do justice. Again.
Before we left Oriental, we were visited by my good friend Rob. A sailboat owner himself, he brought several things with him that he never used on his boat that he hoped would prove useful on mine. Thanks, Rob!
Among these were a diaphragm pump that he bought as a deck wash-down that proved too cumbersome to use in his application. The pump has been sitting in the deep recesses of Sea Bird's bilge since then. So I went bilge diving. It turns out it is the exact same model number as the pump I now suspected of being bad. (I have three copies of this pump on board, doing different things.) So I swapped the pump out, thinking that would solve the problem.
OK. No way two pumps are bad. After double checking everything else, I finally did the hardest thing a mechanic does. I sat down and thought. (This is much less rewarding than doing things with screwdrivers and wrenches, but sometimes is more efficient.)
Not much suction on the inlet side. It's a diaphragm pump. Hummm. I took the pump back off and poured some water in it to prime it. That was all it needed, and it now works like a champ. So now that's done, too.
We have had some wild thunderstorms roll through here, complete with tornado warnings attached. Winds have been clocked at over 45 knots, boats have been blown ashore, and I watched as a dinghy took a Walter Middy and went off to pursue a secret life. It was returned.
No storms are predicted. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing.
As the saying goes, Red sky at night...