Still didn't manage to get to the masthead..... just seem to have lost my head for heights.... so i'll either have to pay someone to do it, or find a vertigo immune friend!
So.... in the meantime, I started the engine again, and then it stopped!
A quick look at the fuel filter showed it full of water.... clearly the tank still had water in it, even though I thought it was clear..... so I started pumping the tank..... and pumped and pumped and pumped.... eventually, my friend Clive turned up.... and walked off.... and turned up a few minutes later with an electric fuel pump.... hoorah!
So, 160ltrs of sludgy, watery mess later, the tank was almost empty (I only put 100ltrs in, and had motored for 22hrs, so clearly a LOT of water).... it just needed the access hatch removing to finish the job..... humhhh..... sounds easy.
The hatch was easy to unbolt.... just 20 bolts holding it on (yes, 20).... but then it wouldn't lift off due to a floor beam over the top of it..... a bit of inspection showed this to be bolted on... so off with the bolts.... now its loose.... but can't be removed as it won't clear two other beams.... so off they came.... and then its was almost clear, bar a fitting into the hatch.... so off that came.... 2 hours later the hatch came off....
I then spent a pleasant hour with a sponge with my arm up the shoulder in the tank, sponging out brown sludgy diesel.... yuck!
Eventually, the tank bottom was dry and clean....
Just the filters to empty now (and maybe replace the elements), a few minutes work, some fresh diesel, a good dose of diesel bug treatment, and we'll be back in business!
Now home... will order the bits to make the filler secure once and forever, and then it can be forgotten for a while...
a dirty job, but one that needed doing.