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The elegant way to siphon?

Feb 18, 2008 To the editor: I had to laugh at the photograph of Nigel Calder on his knees blowing into the vent hole of a diesel container (“High pressure makes for a smooth passage” Issue No. 158, Nov./Dec, 2006). Nigel has helped just about every serious cruiser and I have never known him do something awkward. I am sure the vent hole leaves an unpleasant taste.

Instead, take a very short second piece of hose — label it one end: “blow into this end.”
Then put both short and long pieces of hose into the same large outlet and wrap a piece of cloth around the two and blow. No taste of diesel or diesel fumes and it’s more     elegant!

Ian R. Munro has sailed his 53-foot catamaran Monashee II 35,000 nm in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Nigel Calder responds: Ah, but you have to find the other piece of hose, and once it’s been used you have to make sure you blow in the right end. Terrie (my wife) agrees it is, indeed, a rare sight to see me on my knees, but nevertheless as awkward as it looks, the vent hole really does work fine, and as long as you don’t spill diesel out of the vent when you are undoing the cap, there’s no diesel taste in the mouth!
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