Life in Savusavu
Life in Savusavu
Repairs, Relaxation and Rescue
Pretty much in that order too. When we arrived the auto pilot was not working and the AIS (Automatic Identification System) spasmodically sounded the antenna alarm.
The auto pilot worked perfectly all the way to North Minerva as I may have mentioned, but as soon as we left, nothing. So we tested the electronics on route and they worked fine. So we thought it must be the connection from the brains to the ram or from the ram to the steering quadrant that moved the rudder.
Zoonie’s stern deck was soon piled high with ‘stuff’ and Rob disappeared into the depths with his ammeter friend and popped his head up “Barb come and see this”. There languishing on the floor was the ‘curvy grip pin’ that was supposed to hold the ram rod onto the metal quadrant plate. We had been mentally preparing ourselves for the cost of a new ram at £3000 when we had already spent £1500 on Barry and Wayne’s ram that we had had serviced in Whangarei. I can tell you it’s not often in our little world that a repair is free and what’s more there was another free repair to come.
Rob took apart the co-ax plug on the AIS to find a single wire looking for a place to go. So Rob found it one and bingo no more antenna fault alarm.
My wizard hubby yesterday serviced the engine finding a large leaf and some barnacles in the cooling water filter which could have presented a problem and together we repaired the dan buoy flag. Using my Pfaff friend I re-stitched the intact outer end onto the nearest sound fabric, ok it’s a little shorter than it was. Then using the sail material from the discarded sail we found at the bins in Whangarei I made a sock for it so it doesn’t flap and Rob attached it back onto the post with two clips.
The port hand of the two big windows at the front of the coach has been leaking so Rob is out there re-sealing it with black sealer having masked the glass first. He had to take the dried sealer out of the nozzle of the tube before he could start and I have kept it in the bosun’s box, a small flexible water-tight plug could well have its uses.
Well of course all this hard work and positive results deserve some celebration and relaxation so we have so far visited two nearby bars. The Planters Club with the nice view from its grounds and silhouetted palm trees was set up by plantation owners over a hundred years ago as somewhere to relax, socialise and do business. Copra, cotton, sandalwood and sugar have all been grown and processed here in the past. The marina building is still called the Copra Shed because that is how it started life. Copra is still an important industry.
The club is a fine building and we sat sipping our beer on the wide veranda but although Curly says the folk there are very helpful and informative we were the only couple there so we came away thinking we’d return maybe at the weekend.
Another evening we sat at the street side of the bar opposite the Marina Offices and said “Bula”to everyone as they passed. Then I looked to the left and there was Zoonie in a haze of yellow evening sunlight and just ready for her photo.
Curly’s morning net on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is what he calls a full net and he gives out lots of information about places of interest, good restaurants, services and activities and he had recommended the Surf and Turf Restaurant at the other end of town. It’s where we attended his seminar. So two nights ago we went with Andreas and Birgit for supper. The sauces on the food were amazing. Rob had Cointreau and orange on his snapper and the butter sauce on my Wahu with its herbs and coconut milk was pure nectar.
Andreas and Birgit had been busy spraying insulation foam in behind their fridge hoping to make it more efficient. The next morning Birgit could not get her usual containers into the fridge. The expanded foam was crushing the fridge. So they have had a tough job taking it all out and re-making the fridge poor things.
Yesterday was our planned car day and we were going to take Betsy and Ken from Alcyone and David and Reka from Pino across to the other side of the island for a look sea, but the day dawned with strong winds and heavy rain so we cancelled all that and witnessed a rescue instead.
There must have been a good weather window in NZ a couple of weeks ago because eight yachts spent the dark hours waiting outside Savusavu Bay ready to make a daytime entry. One, Voila (54 footer), had something around her rudder that was making steering difficult so they radioed for assistance.
It was around 7.00am and there is no coastguard here, they don’t need one as long as Curly is around. He did an excellent job finding a big vessel (see pic of her as she passed) and diver to go out and assist them if they needed it. He kept in touch with them with very friendly and moral boosting comments.
Finally she made it in under her own steam and trundled up river to the yard where she could be lifted out if need be.
I also got a shot of Waipawa, our ‘friend’ from Minerva. Mark tells us he is out of prison now and the two ladies on board had cooked him a cake to celebrate. I wonder if it had a model drone on top like the helicopter on our retirement cake!
So our car day will happen Monday or Tuesday and until then the distant brooding mountains and the friendly locals are enough.