Swallows swallow May 15, 2013

In the last week, we have been visited by a flight of swallows.

IMGP3290They first showed up at about 5 o’clock in the evening and swooped and dove toward the surface of the pool.  On some swoops they would actually skim the surface of the water and catch a drink.  They then returned the next couple of nights for the same routine.  Now they come throughout the afternoon and aren’t at all bothered if we happen to be around, or even in the pool.

Unfortunately, the picture doesn’t do this scene justice.  It doesn’t show the thirty other swallows outside of the frame banking for another dive.  Such a dance of nature which we enjoy each night!  And, thankfully they love mosquitos!

Speaking of the pool……  it is full.  And we are swimming in it.  And the broken tubes in the circulation system have been fixed.  And we haven’t discovered any new leaks.  BUT…the vacuum system has not functioned well since the refilling of the pool.

Our friend Justin, who also supplies us with pool supplies, came out and fiddled around with various valves and found a balance that allowed the vacuum system to work.  That worked well when he was here, but Sanchez and Doug were unable to duplicate his tweeks to make it all work properly.

Salvador, a local plumber familiar with pool systems, came and gave us his opinion….the design of the mechanical system of the pool is terrible.  Besides that, two of the three multiport valves which connect to each of the three pumps weren’t functioning.  He suggested that we replace these valves.  Also, if we were to open the valve to the drains at the bottom of the pool just a little bit, it would create enough suction for the vacuum system to work.  Once again, it worked….sort of….but Sanchez and Doug weren’t able to get things to work quite right.

One of our carpenters (not the one I fired) was here and recommended a friend of his who maintains several pools in the Vichayito/Mancora area.  He came out and reviewed the system.  He worked with Sanchez and tried vacuumng the pool, but found the same thing we had that it just wasn’t working right.  He confirmed that one of the multiport valves was broken but the second had just been installed incorrectly.  It actually functioned, but the indicator indicated the wrong position…it was off by one notch.  He also asked about the sand inside the sand filters.  The filters had been working for two years and there had not been any maintenance performed.  He took a look at the sand inside and said it was very dirty and this might be why things weren’t working.  We had two options; clean the sand or replace it.  There are three degrees of sand inside; course, medium and fine.  Each filter has 450 kilograms of sand in it.  (1 kilogram=2.2 lbs…..so a ton!!!)  In general, you can clean the sand once and thus recycle it.  So this is the option we chose.

What an incredible process.  Imagine….Carlos emptied sand out of the filter with a measuring cup!  He dumped it into a 5 gallon bucket.  This was then brought up pool side, and washed with multiple dosings of water.  Once washed, it was dumped onto a tarp and another bucket was taken out.  This went on ALL DAY!!  I was so impressed with this guys work ethic….the work had to be backbreaking, tedious and boring; and yet he stuck with it throughout a 10 hour day.  And after that, he stuck around to try it out.










DSC01571             Carlos will be back on Monday to clean the sand in the second filter.  Then the following week for the third filter.

OK, so things were working well when Carlos left after dark on Monday.  BUT, come Tuesday when we tried to vacuum, the generator sounded strange and we shut it down.  We don’t want to strain the solar system with the pool pumps, so we now await service on the generator.

What next?!?!?!


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