The cutlass bearing has been changed (including a new housing)
and the seals changed in the rudder bearing (twice - didn't quite get it
right the first time), so all was ready to put the rudder shoe back on,
glass over it and the work on the rudder area would be done. Didn't quite work
like that. When preparing to put the shoe back on we found the core that sits in
the shoe was cracked along the join. Not sure if it was caused when the
shoe was taken off, or whether there was always a weakness there, but it's
not good news! So more telephone calls and pictures sent to HR in Sweden.
Their recommendation arrived late Friday and it means a significant amount of
glassing to reinforce the whole area. It won't be a quick
The weather has been mostly dry this week, but up until today,
very windy. With the boats' instruments on it was clocking 40kts in the
boatyard. Out at sea it was higher and we felt for the Clipper crews who
were bashing into the wind and sea to get here. Clipper Round the
World is a yacht race of 10 identical 68ft racing yachts crewed by people paying
for the privilege. Each yacht has a professional skipper, who is paid, and
17 crew. Some do the whole circumnavigation (costing £43,070) and some
do one or more of the 8 legs (costing around £5,800 each). The first
boat arrived on Thursday and the last came in last night (Saturday)
and by all accounts the passage here had been by far the worst
passage of the race so far (much more so than the Southern Ocean
passage from South Africa). They came round the South of Australia and
approached New Zealand from the south. Having been here for a year and
studied the weather and sea conditions, the seas south of New Zealand can be
horrendous. They had an open day yesterday and we went on board, had a look
round and had a chat with some of the crew. We've also talked to a
few in the shower block. They were not expecting anything
like the weather and sea conditions they got. It was blowing 65kts as
they approached the southern tip of the North Island and for the
last section across the Bay of Plenty it was dead on the nose. Not
what you want having been at sea a good number of days - they are hoping
for an easier passage when they leave again in a weeks' time.
Thursday started wet, so it was a good day to go to Hamilton
to collect our passports/new visas from Immigration. They had been ready
for collection for a couple of weeks or more, but we didn't want to waste a good
day so have been putting it off. It's just over an hours' drive and by
the time we headed back the weather had cleared, so for
once we got some good views.
It was General Election day here yesterday - yes, they vote on
a Saturday. They use an MMP system, a proportional system where minor parties
get seats according to the percentage of the poll they get (even if they don't
actually win any seats on the day). This gives allsorts of potential
outcomes, however, John Key's National Party came out on top again and he will
continue as current Prime Minister. They hold elections every 3 years,
so it's surprising that anything gets done. With no election and no Rugby World
Cup, we're wondering what will be on the radio?
The good bit - the new cutlass bearing
housing (where the propeller shaft comes out of the
with new bearing inside. There's no propeller as
it had to be taken off to slide the old housing off and the new
on. Sounds simple, but we have a feathering
propeller, so it had to be taken apart to get it off.
The propeller in pieces! (Not including the blades
which also had to come off.) In operation, when the
engine is not being used, the propeller blades
feather to a position where they're in line with the
direction of the boat, so the drag is very
significantly reduced. The net result is we sail
The not so good bit - the bit with the 6 white
circles normally holds the bottom rudder fixing, but
cracked along the top edge and it, and the area
above it, will need to be reglassed to reinforce it.
Building a Christmas tree New Zealand style - in
the centre of Hamilton.
Views of the hills to the west of Tauranga
which we cross on the way back from Hamilton.
The views from the top.
The Clipper Round the World
It was Open Day on Gold Coast, so it was an
opportunity to see what they're like inside.
The galley area.
Food - at least our tins don't look this
The winches are just a bit bigger than
Back on our boat the sewing machine has been out
and Liz has made a couple of cushions using material
collected on our road tour of New Zealand.
Penguins of New Zealand - the Little Blue
the left and a collection of the others