We are not in commision yet, but we are getting there. We arrived back in New Zealand on 16th February and two days later were hauled out at Ashby's, the local yard. We had heard mixed reports of Ashby's; yachties are as bad as most other groups at trumping each others' tales of woe, but we had a good experience. As you would expect this was down to the quality of work and enthusiasm of the people actually working on the boat.
JJ Moon on the hard Marcel, our electrician and Barry with the new wind generator
The painting team have been responsible for the finish to the NZ Admirals Cup boats. 'Nuff said. Pete the shipwright made a fine job of the new toilet base - better than new - and put considerable effort without complaint into renewing recalcitrant skin fittings. Rick Lowes of Lowes Engineering is a very good mechanic and an interesting man. He overcame numerous small problems and left the machinery in better shape to face the Pacific again. We had quite an emotional hour over a cup of coffee when he called in to say goodbye and we wished him well for his venture into the Mediterranen on a superyacht. Luiz is a yachtie like us; a Chilean skipper earning a few dollars working for Lowes for three months. He is a bright and resourceful man who tackled a filthy job for us, full of good humour and bright ideas. It was a pleasure to have him on board.
We went back in the water after about three weeks since when Marcel from the electricians has been installing five new batteries, wiring up the new wind generator, installing a new smart regulator to replace the one that "drowned" in the Pacific and re-organising the fat cable part of the 12v installation. We are not quite finished with all that yet and the cost mounts up. However, once again the boat will be in much better condition for his ministrations.
A neat job after Marcel has been at work.
Below this blog we have put up a list of the things we have done (mainly have had done) since we arrived in November. We have kept it separate because it is VERY BORING! We include it as a memo for us and to interest any fellow boat owner out there in the kind of thing cruisers find themselves doing when they spend time in a place with good facilities and skills.
When we got back from Europe we had nowhere to live while we were out on the hard and two days to find something suitable. We fell on our feet more or less straight away at Pine Lodge, a small motel five minutes' drive away. The accommodation suited us fine, there was a swimming pool that was almost exclusively ours and we soon became friendly with Maureen and Garry who treated us very well. They have since retired to their motor boat on this marina and we are keeping up the connection socially.
Pine Lodge - our home for 3 weeks
Social life has been pretty good generally with interesting people coming and going. Mags has been attending St Pauls, the very church where the first British Resident was welcomed ashore in 1833 by settlers and Maoris together following a joint request to the world's biggest colonial power to do something to halt tribal fighting and protect all residents from unwelcome depredations from overseas. By all accounts James Busby behaved very well and some seven years later the famous treaty was signed at Waitangi, just up the road, which still forms the basis for the generally very good relationship between white New Zealanders and their Maori fellow-countrymen. We visited Waitangi - it has a heartening story to tell. Mags has also been keeping fit with yoga and I have been trying to do some sensible walking.
St Pauls, Paihia
We have had some little medical and surgical adventures. We need not go into the details in a family blog; suffice to say that they all ended happily and provided more colourful details to life's rich tapestry.....
The weather has been mixed. This is being written during a sustained period of sheeting rain and high winds which seem very like the reports we read of the conditions which caused floods in the south of England. At the moment we are just keeping our heads down, grateful that we are not "out there". Soon it will become frustrating. The mains electrical supply keeps failing.
DANGER! READ NO FURTHER! The following material includes BORING JARGON and may INDUCE DROWSINESS after only a few lines. It should only be read by those with A NEED TO KNOW.
Work done in New Zealand 2007/08
Spars, rigging sails and covers
Renew broken boom slider for clew outhaul
Ream out and provide new s/s bearing for the gooseneck
Tighten the forward lower shrouds
Valet the mains'l
Valet the genoa and renew the sacrificial UV protection strip
Renew all stitching to spray hood
Completely re-stitch and repair bimini
Provide new canvas cover for the outboard motor
Re-mark the chain
Fabricate a spare drop-nose securing pin
Main engine and fuel supply
Renew sound insulation to the engine compartment
Eliminate a leak in the salt water cooling system and renew the internal anode
Eliminate a leak in the fresh water cooling system
Renew 2 cooling water hoses
Check and clean the injectors
Renew 2 cocks to the hot water draw-off
Renew the connection between fuel tanks to eliminate slight leak
Re-bed an inspection cover in the lower tank
Renew draw-off hose in lower tank
Fabricate a new draw-off connection to the lower tank and change the generator supply from the upper to lower tank
Remove defective copper fuel pipe and renew the main engine supply in flexible pipe
Fit stop valve to sea water strainer
Remove generator, overhaul and replace, including checking injector, renewing various gaskets and welding s/s exhaust
Provide fuel lift pump and connect to electrical supply
Fit 4 new deep cycle flooded lead acid batteries for the house bank, total 420ahs
Fit 1 (larger) engine start battery
Fit D400 wind generator complete with regulator, 2 dump loads and stop switch; connect to batteries and switch gear
Renew damaged smart regulator with Balmar ARS-5. Connect to shunt and switch gear.
Change main 12v isolation switch from negative to positive supply
Fit link switch to connect battery banks
Re-organise and rationalise heavy duty 12v cables
Provide supply and relay to water maker lift pump
Fit new lift pump and strainer to water maker and run pipework
Fit new salt water pump and tap at galley sink and run pipe to existing skin fitting
Fabricate mounting pole, base and struts for wind generator
Hull and under water
Haul out and scrub off
Paint anti-fouling and adjust waterline
Clean and polish the topsides
Renew JJ MOON and DARTMOUTH on stern
Renew zinc anodes to prop, bow-thruster and 2 fridge/freezer keel coolers
Renew skin fittings and cocks to engine sea-water intake, aft heads sea-water inlet, aft heads outlet and port side cockpit drain
Fit new skin fitting and cock forward for water maker inlet
Provide additional packing to the stern gland
Form a new base for the forward W.C.
Ease and adjust sole boards
Renew hinge to freezer top
Renew hinges to saloon fwd. starboard. locker
Repair hinges to saloon port. lower locker
Renew restraints to companionway steps
Sell Zodiac and 3hp Yamaha Malta and purchase Aquapro SMR 860 RIB with Yamaha 8hp 2 stroke outboard
Purchase Mini-Breather scuba diving equipment
Spare parts etc
Purchase numerous spare parts, pilots and charts
Carry out numerous minor repairs, improvements and cleaning operations
Work we did not do
Renew the cooker
Raise the guard rails and fabricate solid s/s in whole or part
Install Electro-Scan sanitation treatment and disposal device
Improvements to large canopy