I woke up a few days ago to the news that Barry Cryer had died. He was one funny man. Dave and I once went to see him tell stories at Buxton Opera House. Colin Sell accompanied him on the piano. Another “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue stalwart”. There was no pizzaz or razzmatazz. Just a bloke sat on a stool in his v-necked Marks and Spencer’s jumper, holding the audience in his hand with his impeccable comic timing, straight faced naughtiness and his ability to laugh at himself. It was a good night out.
This morning is not a good morning in. We planned to sail to Harifa from the main village in Fakarava for the coming weekend. Up at 5.30. Ashore to buy bread, dump the rubbish with a view to hauling anchor at 6.30. All good till pressing the engine start button illicited nothing. Nada. Silencio. Poor Dave is now scrabbling for his multimeter and opening the battery box. Troubleshooting here we come.
Jacinda announced yesterday that NZ are planning to open their borders this year. A cause for a small whoop of delight on Grace. A fellow sail-ey friend messaged back….”That is the best news ever. She better stick to it or we’re going to punch her lights out 😀”. I like the raw sentiment but I’m not sure how you can do that if you can’t get in. That’s the pedant in me.
We have started on the paperwork necessary to get west. Fiji entry requires engaging an agent. I contacted one who responded immediately and passed on links to the forms you need to download and fill in. Plus the dosh you need to splash. Prior to Jacinda making the announcement yesterday, I’d also downloaded the necessary forms to get into NZ on the refit exemption. Fingers crossed now, we don’t need to do this any more. Covid is here to stay. The world media bandied the phrase “waiting for the new normal’. Well there is no waiting. The new normal is now. Crack on. Let us in please.
What else have we been up to.
The generator made a strange noise. There’s something about being tuned into noises on the boat. It’s amazing how quickly we pick up on difference. Unusual noises stand out. A rattle, a change in tone, a squeak. They normally mean something is kaput or on its way there.
A quick check and there’s no water coming out of the exhaust. Press the off button forthwith. The problem turned out to be a broken impeller, a little rubber piece which is a bit like a water wheel pushing sea water round the outside of the engine. To change the impeller takes about 15 minutes. Turn the sea cock off. Remove the outer case. Unscrew the face plate on the water pump. Pull the dodgy impeller out. Insert new one and reverse the process.
However, we ended up with a three day job as part of a bigger overhaul. Flushing the sea water cooling system to remove the silty crap took several hours. Remaking the broken rubber feet that support the generator took a chunk of time. And squeezing it back in its case after hauling it out with a block and tackle was tricky. But all is good now.
Plus we’ve had some fun wakeboarding behind our dinghy and Dave had cracked upwind when kiting. Both activities offer the possibility of a Superman. Lurching forward out of control with an outstretched body. Kiting when a squall kicks in gets number one status. Shame I have no piccies of Dave jettisoning forwards then splatting before International Rescue, aka me, turns up on the scene.
And a few bullet points to finish.
- Thankfully we were unaffected by the Tongan tsunami
- There’s been lots of squally weather recently with big lightening storms
- Having hauled out and cleaned the hull in Tahiti, Grace is sailing really well
- We have 4kg of cucumbers to eat. Yes, that is a lot.
- We have written a couple of work proposals recently. That’s a novelty.
- Orange and raisin cake is my current cake of choice.
- We hope to depart for Fiji around May, this year.
- I just read the International Space Station will crash into the Pacific Ocean in 2031. That’s going to be a big splash.