Great Barrier Island 36 10.39S 175 21.43E

Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 18 Apr 2012 10:46
The new pipes/hoses were fitted on Monday and all looked good after an initial trial with the Volvo engineer onboard. The next day involved a much longer trial with no engineer and the engine was given a heavy workout. This produced a smear/trace of oil on a couple of the 6 nuts involved, but this was considered to be residual oil working it's way out of the screw threads when the engine got hot. So the engine was given a good clean once again and another sea trial took place. We've carried out a good number of sea trials now - out of the marina, head for Rangitoto until a depth of 50ft, then turn around and head back to the marina, turnaround again and back out heading for Rangitoto again and so on until the hour was up - the locals must have thought we were mad! The trial showed that the nuts giving concern were fine, but on one of the other nuts there was just the faintest trace of oil. This was put down to residual oil again and we decided we had seen enough - it was time to leave. So the rest of the day was spent packing everything away and we headed out this morning for Great Barrier Island, 43 miles distant to the northeast.
Despite the forecast of a southeast wind, it wasn't, being more easterly or even north of east at times. So it was a close haul sail most of the way with a mix of wind from less than 6kts, to 15kts, but with full sail up we were making 6.5 to 7kts during the better parts of the day and arrived late afternoon. Great Barrier Island is a remote island with original bush (forest) and no development. It's about 24 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest part. With no development on the island (e.g. no electricity) people say it's what New Zealand was like 50 years ago. Few people live there and there are many walking tracks and wildlife trails to explore. The main anchorages are in Port Fitzroy - an almost landlocked waterway with joined valleys and inlets covering quite a large area - it took almost 1 hour 40 minutes to motor from when we reached the southern entrance to finally dropping the anchor. With wooded hills all around, it's a beautiful anchorage and very, very quiet - once the engine was off, all we could hear was birdsong. The southern entrance, Man O'War Passage, is quite special, being through cliffs and wooded hills and being very narrow - down to only 80 yards wide at it's narrowest point.
A quick look at the engine this evening and all hose joints and nuts were completely dry - no trace of oil. So it's looking good. But the first set of hoses from Volvo were okay for their first 18 hours and then started to leak, so we'll not get too excited until they've been on for 20 hours or more.  For those who want to see what all the fuss was about, some pictures or pipes, plus one of Great Barrier.
The new Volvo pipes - the first set failed after 18 hours, the second set after just 1 hour!
The Hose Doctor pipes that were fitted 2 days ago.
The Volvo crimps - the source of the problems.
The Hose Doctor version - considerably more substantial.
Port Fitzroy on Great Barrier Island. The snaking red line shows the route we took to where we are now.