So we are half way through the boat jobs,
everything is taken apart and waiting for new/repaired parts to be sea worthy
again. That's kind of half.
1) Our first job was to get hooked up to shore
power, having grown up in the Caribbean Winny runs on 110v shore power, Fiji and
NZ use 240v. A 'plug in' transformer in Fiji we thought a little pricey so
waited until we got to Tauranga. Wrong idea, transformers here were at
least twice the price and required alot more fitting to comply with
regulations. After a week finding and ordering what we needed
cheerful Ian, former super yacht sparky, set us up and there was
2) Prior to the power being connected we had to run
the engine to charge the batteries, hence lovely Geoff couldn't take
bits off to get to the bottom of the cooling system problems. To
clarify.... In Fiji I thought we should sort out once and for all the
leak that filled the engine bay with water way back last Nov on the way to
Virgin Gorda and still raised it's ugly head now and again. Clever Nadeem
came aboard and diagnosed 'back pressure' straight away then set about finding
the cause. He found one or bits of many impellers blocking the system
infront of the oil cooler. I later had a hand full of bits of
At least three more of the large size pieces were
still below when this picture was taken! All in a 3/4'' diameter
The impeller we replaced in Galapagos was hardly
damaged so these bits must be from the days of Moorings
The bits went through the hoses as far as the
narrower bore of the cooler and stopped.... Reducing the water flow
through the rest of the engine and evidently causing 'eddies' on the far end of
the cooler. (How the engine survived the flat out passage through
the Panama Canal I shall never know) The oil cooler and heat exchanger were
cleaned and when the engine was put back together all seemed fine
except a leak on the exit end of the oil cooler. After much angst and loss
of sleep we agreed to patch the cooler and head for NZ, we are a sailing boat
after all and should not need it.
Unfortunately for Winny the weather and
time were not on our side. Having only used 110 gallons of diesel
between BVI and Fiji (8,000 miles over 9 months), we carried extra cans for
the passage between Fiji and NZ luckily, as we burned over 50 gallons!
(1200 miles in 13 days) Hence the
engine had to do a lot more work than we had reckoned
Geoff was shocked when taking the hose off the oil
cooler, the end of the unit came off in his hand with no effort at all he had a
cooler in bits!!! His ''You were lucky it did not blow on the way
here'' I think was very understated.
The brass end is balanced on the frayed edges of
what is left! The white stuff our silicon patch.
The small holes that stopped the rubber bits
passing through further.
Geoff has been doing this job a long time and has
never seen this before..... we have to wait for a cooler to come from Singapore
as it is so unusual there are no spares carried in the country!
3) Charging the batteries should have been the job
of the duogen (you might be thinking), well that had a bad crossing
too! Having installed a new alternator in Fiji it was working
well and quietly.. until one morning as the wind died and we tried to lift
it out of the water. One side of the unit had broken off through the pivot
hole and it was hanging on the other side.
Temporarily lashed on waiting for a concerted
effort to take the heavy alternator out of the yolk.
Unfortunately three of us spent the morning taking
the whole thing apart connecting the old alternator etc. only to find the yolk
that holds the alternator was twisted by the weight being on one side,
hence nothing was straight, we couldn't use the water mode as it did not
track straight and the impeller would not turn. We couldn't use the wind
mode as it would not sit straight in the supporting clamp. We still don't
know how this happened and we are sure nothing hit the trailing impeller.
Hey ho no free power. Both alternators and the yolk are now packed up
ready for shipping back to the UK.
Thank goodness Susan was praying for us every night
- thank you Susan!
So whilst we are waiting for things we are
making ourselves at home here, and today we had early Christmas presents of a
push-bike each, with complimentary helmets. Now we can take off whenever
to the post office, hot pools in Mt Maunganui, or just to the supermarket.
No more waiting for buses that don't stop at the Marina because of the