Thursday 30th October 2014
Well, here we are back in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Scott-Free was waiting patiently for us, looking a little dirty and forlorn but on the face of it all fine. The borrowed dehumidifier (thanks, Sue & Bob) and regime of regularly being opened up and aired out by Neville from the boatyard worked well, and there was no visible mould or mildew. In fact, the headlining over the galley was in the best condition it’s been for a very long time. Further investigation found a small amount of mould on a couple of deck jackets and foul weather gear – presumably the salt hadn’t been rinsed completely out of them and they therefore remained damp. It was soon sorted.
A slightly more serious problem was water ingress, which we didn’t find at first. A dark patch on the wood in the bedroom led us to investigate, and we found a lot of water in the prop and engine bilges. Apparently they had a very wet winter here, and it seems one of our deck drains got blocked, so the rainwater built up on the aft deck and found its way into the aft locker which had not yet been resealed. From there it went behind and under our bed and into the bilges. It took a while to pump out and dry out, but the aft hatch seals went to the top of the list and are now done. The only lasting problem is a couple of damp patches on the wood. We’ll wait and see how they dry out before we decide whether to have anything done to them.
So we have begun the task of working our way through the joblist, and as ever it seems to get longer rather than shorter. For instance, the ‘5-minute job’ (oh how I hate that _expression_!) of replacing some rusty hose clips (Jubilee clips to our Brit friends) in the galley bilge has ended up with replacing the hot water hose which is cracked and hard on the outside and soft on the inside, as well as the valves that control fresh water out of the water tanks. The valves were high quality bronze ball valves, but fitted with plated steel levers and nuts. I suppose, with a 22-year-old boat, one has to expect such things, but we do often wonder who uses non-stainless steel or poor quality stainless steel fittings in a marine environment. On the positive side, if they hadn’t, the clips wouldn’t be rusty, we wouldn’t be replacing them and we wouldn’t have found the perished hose which could have sprung a leak, probably at the most inopportune moment.
The galley bilge is like spaghetti junction with hoses and valves everywhere. New stainless steel valves (above) replace the old (left).
Still, it keeps us off the streets. I’m not going to bore you any more with boat jobs (sorry Frank!) – I’ll let the ship’s engineer do that at some point.
It’s not all work though, and we do take some time out, when the weather lets us, to relax. We enjoyed a visit to the beautiful Whangarei Falls which were in full flow after several days and nights of rain. The local cinema shows a range of recent films (we really enjoyed Pride) and we regularly catch up with Eric and Dee from Sirena of Oare which is currently moored in the Town Basin. On Saturday, we have tickets for NZ Kiwis vs Toa Samoa in the Four Nations rugby. So all is good.
Ferns that grow as tall as trees, and a Kauri tree in A. H. Reed Memorial Kauri Park