Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Will We Be Ready To Leave In 10 Days????

One of the jobs I had on the list of engine maintenance was to check the engine alignment. We'd never even heard of this before but now know a lot more about it. Ani's engine is seriously out of alignment :( Poor girl!
John helping Rene
Since this discovery, Rene has been contorting himself into the engine trying to remove the old engine mounts (two of which were broken). John has helped out enormously again. He pops in and provides Rene with wisdom and technical know-how so that he can  continue. I'll let Rene tell the full story about the engine alignment in another post. I'll just say that it is a massive job that we didn't factor into our departure time. There's a lot of work to do to make our engine safe again.

I have now successfully installed the cockpit storage bags which have the double purpose of holding the sheets (ropes) when in use and keeping water from getting into the little storage areas behind. I'm looking forward to testing them out when we go sailing again. 
One (of the four) new cockpit bags with another cushion I've recently covered.
 I took apart the battery box that Rene had built so that I could sand and treat the wood. All the wood is now oiled up and protected. There's a bunch of other little jobs like this that get done on a daily basis.. I won't bother listing them all here.

I finished sewing a navigation station cover for one of our neighbours. It was trickier than I had anticipated but I think it looks pretty good. Hopefully it will keep the water out of Sea Temple's instruments! 
Navigation station cover for Sea Temple.
More food shopping - all available storage areas are crammed full now (and there's still more on my lists to get!). I'm still so grateful to our friends from Sula Sula who lent us their car. It has made the stocking up so much easier! I can't imagine having to carry all of this stuff on the bus!
Just one of the many trolley's I've filled lately
The eyelets are finally in place on our cockpit awnings. Josh at the Sewing Trade Centre kindly put them in for me for a great price (only about $1 per eyelet). This saved me loads of money as I didn't have the correct tool for putting them in myself. Now we just need to screw the stayputs into the steel of the cockpit. I think we'll do this later on after we've left. There's just too much to do right now! I realise that Coke zero is pretty bad but it was on special. You know how supermarkets make you go crazy and buy stuff simply because it's 50cents cheaper than usual? aaah!

We made a costly mistake with aluminium. Our Aries autopilot requires a new board and we stupidly thought that instead of using wood (which always breaks) we'd try aluminium which would be stronger and still light. Wrong! 6mm alloy is really heavy! Far too heavy for the wind vane. Bugger. At least Ollie has said he'll have the alloy (he's on an aluminium boat). Back to the drawing board with this job.
Old and new tangs on top of the aluminium mistake.
The replacement tangs were made (thanks to Les for organising this for us) and one of them is now installed (yep, Rene climbed up the mast again!). We've ordered two new stays (metal wires that hold the mast to the boat) to replace some which were really showing their age (they were originals, having been installed back in 1983). Rene will need to install them before we depart.

Dinghy dramas have occurred too! The simple (so I thought) job of unwrapping the dinghy from its cyclone cover to clean it turned out very differently. As Rene and Andy flipped it over, one of the oarlocks fell at my feet. A sign of worse to come. We discovered in horror (poor dinghy!) that all of the handles, the transom and the oarlocks have come away from the body of the dinghy. The glue (not being designed for hot climates) has melted during this hot hot summer. This special glue is very expensive and we had to organise the dinghy to be fixed by the experts. In Townsville, this means one company - I had to beg them to 'work some magic' to squeeze us in to the front of the queue (there are over 30 dinghy's all awaiting repair!). A huge thank you to Andy who helped me get the dinghy over to Wiltrading for the repairs. This repair job is going to cost us about $500. OUCH! But at least our dinghy will be fixed up and ready to take us safely to shore while we're anchoring again.

It has finally stopped raining for a few days in a row and so I've been preparing and painting the booms and lower masts while the sails are still off. The paint was starting to flake off and the aluminium has corroded very slightly in some areas. This job is satisfying but I wish the paint was a more interesting colour like hot pink (instead of grey).
Me sanding back the main boom before painting.
While Rene is waiting for replacement parts to arrive from Brisbane for the engine job, he is retrofitting the electrics board with new switches. He is replacing the old, very outdated switches (which used to blow their fuses regularly) with circuit breakers that we got at a bargain price from West Marine (Nick, we must have channelled your super power for a moment as they were only $2.54 each ~ usually they're about $30).

There are so many more jobs still to do before we are meant to depart in 10 days. I hope we manage to do this!!!!!!!!!!!!

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