|Rene in the engine.|
|Ren angle-grinding the engine frame.|
Well, we're still in the marina and Rene is still in the engine room. The positive is that today he managed to align the engine to within three thousands of an inch. He is now putting the engine all back together and we hope to be able to leave the day after tomorrow. There were more dramas with even more things going wrong. The short version is: mounts were too high at the front of the engine, Ren had to remove the steel support structure and angle-grind it back to be 3mm shorter (neighbours weren't very happy with the noise), went to install the new flexible coupling only to discover that Polyflex had sent us the wrong one. Have posted it back and installed the old one until new one arrives post Easter. To be honest, I'm a little tired of the whole drama. Rene can write the full story later on.
Rene's mum, Jan, taught me how to use my pressure cooker to can meat. I'll write a special blog post explaining the process soon. Our first attempt had a 50% success rate and I'm hoping that my second attempt will be better (I have to wait until it has cooled down to know). It was nice to see Jan, Mishy and Marsh but I feel bad because we have been so busy with the boat that we were unable to do much with them. We managed to share a few meals and catch up with some relatives and friends. Roger helped out on the boat each day and is now staying onboard. He plans to sail with us all the way up to Horn Island.
This afternoon Roger got the unpleasant job of fixing our danbuoy with fibreglass. He has done a great job and now I just need to paint it and re-sew the brightly coloured flag. I was busy trying to reinstall the green plastic that wraps around our aft. It was quite tricky to get it to fit past all the stuff we have attached to the railing. Rog has had fun meeting and chatting to some of the locals here in the marina. There are so many stories to be told here.
|Rog fixing the danbuoy with fibreglass sheet and resin.|
I'm feeling more positive about our trip now that the engine is looking healthier...tonight Rene put our outboard (freshly painted hot pink by me) onto the fixed dinghy and we took her for a spin around the marina. The outboard started up first try (hoorah!) and it felt great to be motoring on the flat calm water with the reflections of city lights playing on the surface.
|The new air filter.|
Earlier this week (while Rene was slaving away at the engine mounts) I made a new air filter for the engine. Rene's mum started it off and I did finished it. I realised that I've really skilled up this year since taking leave from teaching. I know how to use all sorts of tools and feel confident in ways I'd never dreamed of before. I felt like a little diesel mechanic when I installed my new air filter!
I have continued painting and gluing things. The new Aries windvane blades were given a green treatment while the outboard was painted pink. I glued velcro inside the dinghy to keep the cover on and also repaired the oars which also broke! For a few days there, it just seemed as though things were breaking constantly!
|The broken oar, ready to glue back together.|
|Freshly painted Aries blades.|
We seem to be on the mend now though. We've been able to cross off a bunch of jobs and it's looking more positive for being able to leave in the next couple of days. What a ride this has been lately! We've got so many more experiences to add to our ever-growing basket of tricks and knowledge.