This morning we set out for the train station to make our way to Chatham. Once there a taxi took us to the docks and we began the inquiry for the van. It was suppose to be unloaded and waiting in a warehouse, but the van was still in it's shipping container. Mark at the shipping company informed us it would only take twenty minutes to locate and unload the van. True to his word the container was brought in and the van rolled down to greet us in no time. The excitement quickly wore off when we discovered that the van would not start. We had feared this may happen. Firstly the battery had not been disconnected, per instructions from the shipping company state side, and against our better judgement. Secondly, when the van gets below a 1/4 tank and is parked at steep angles (or out at sea for 26 days) the tank can release some air bubbles into the fuel line. The tank was actually more around 1/8 and upon inspection the clear fuel line leading to the injection pump was completely void of fuel. Luckily we had dealt with this once before and knew the solution. Crack the injectors and and try to start the van. This would hopefully pull the air out before entry to the cylinders and allow fuel to flow. We setup to do this, but after a few seconds of cranking realized the battery did not have enough juice to crank the van long enough to start. After hooking up the battery to a forklift we tried again. This time the van cranked well, but the fuel would not pull through. The tank was too low. Mark, being a true English gentlemen drove me (Steve) to the petrol station. I bought two five liter jerry cans and filled them with diesel. Once back at the docks I emptied one jerry into the van. We tried again to no avail. I knew to get fuel to pull into the injection pump I need more than just power the pumop could provide. It would have to be gravity to the rescue. I disconnected the fuel line from the fuel filter and jammed a funnel into the end. Another chap from the shipping company started to pour diesel into the fuel while Corinne cranked the van. The van spurted and choked, whizzed and spat; fuel sprayed from the injectors. Unburned diesel spewed from the exhaust and finally....the van did not start. I cursed and spat. We tried again. More fuel down the funnel directly into the injectors and after much sputtering and fuel spraying all over myself and the poor fellow helping me, the van came to life. We tightened down the injectors, pack the van, shook everyone's hand and drove directly to a petrol station and filled up with diesel.We grabbed some terrible sandwiches from the petrol station and hit the road. After about an hour of driving we arrived in Dover and found our way to a camp spot atop the white cliffs. Thanks for the camp location Jed! After taking a stroll to see the cliffs, sheer vertical chalk-white walls, we traveled back into town to the Swingate Tavern. It was live Jazz Thursdays. The psyche was high. We ordered Yorkshire Pudding with roast, decidedly British, and Chinese stir fry, decidedly...not. The Yorkshire did not compare to my moms, but it nevertheless, hit the spot. The jazz music was surprisingly good and we stayed for a few hours. Tomorrow we head for Calais via ferry. France, here we come!
The shipping yard. The van is inside the container!
Booyah! (or so we thought)