I know enough about small engines to know that sometimes you have to just walk away


It used to be that way with cars too, before fuel injectors replaced carburetors, because the engine gets “flooded” with too much gas and not enough oxygen. I’m trying to get things in shape because I leave in the morning and Tim will return to the island. I made chile, did the laundry, made the bed, and cleaned the cabin. I filled all the gas cans and placed them in their respective flame proof cabinets. And I thought I filled the water tower, I ran the generator for 8 hours but when I went to check the water level, it hadn’t changed.

Now the weather has been beautiful and my first thought was, oh my, the well has run dry. So I went to check the generator and see what happened when I turned the pump on again. Nothing. No draw on the generator. I noticed that the AC circuit breaker was tripped, so I decided to try again. But then the engine would not turn over when I pulled the starter cord. Nada, nothing. So I took a breath and walked away because I thought I might have flooded the engine.

I went home and baked a quiche and some chocolate chip cookies, like any good mechanic, and read the manual to make sure I understood the various breaker settings. I did. (I even know what a spark arrestor does, but I digress). After the oven was off ( because sometimes the gas makes and whooshing sound and cannot be left unattended) I went back to the well shed. I flicked the various switches and gave it a shot. The generator started like a dream, like any Honda generator does, I turned on the AC and then the well and it made the right noises. Back in business. I’m running it now to make sure the breaker doesn’t trip again, since I am not sure why that happened.

This gets me back to the energy that runs this cabin and island. It’s pretty remarkable. We have 2 large generators and one small backup, all Hondas. The large one near the cabin runs the AC for the washer, dryer and vacuum. The smaller is back up and portable – we have the same one at home. The problem child is the one that runs the well but there is duplication in the system. If that one crapped out, we could use the one from the cabin.

We have propane for hot water, the stove and the refrigerator. Our friend Chuck researched it on the internet to try to explain how a propane flame keeps our food cold and it is mind blowing. Something about ammonia gas changing states and heat exchange. I’m waiting for my daughter to explain it to me. She’s an expert.

Solar power charges batteries and provides lighting and a charging source, with an inverter, for all our electronics. If that fails, a small generator can charge the batteries. And things generally run beautifully.

These 10 days alone on the island flew by more quickly than I imagined. We bonded. And now that the gremlin has been outed, it left the ax alone.

This morning ten eagles watched me from the bluffs while I did some work in the generator shed. I spotted this seal, and it spotted me, while I walked down to the marina.


And this lovely sailboat passed by as the wind picked up.


Tomorrow I’ll head ashore, way too early to beat the almost full moon low tide, use Washington’s mass transit and play the tourist in Seattle before catching a red eye flight to Boston then on to the Adirondacks. We already have a family reunion planned for next weekend. I’m very excited!! Something about Crash Bandicoot.



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