Monday, January 21, 2008

January 18, 2008 - Whangarei

Sten spent the early part of Thursday working on reorganizing and reconditioning his tools, as they were conveniently spread all over the salon. We had been thinking about replacing our main anchor, which is currently a CQR, with a Rocna, an anchor made in New Zealand. To see if the Rocna would fit on our bow, Sten borrowed two different sizes from other boats in the yard. The smaller of the two just fits, but we aren't sure if it is big enough to hold our boat. Later in the afternoon, he tucked into a new project - compression testing the generator. On Thursday night, I finished scraping the cap rails and the rub rails.

Friday morning found Sten back working on the generator project, which meant that the companionway ladder was removed to provide access to the generator, making it difficult to get in and out of the boat. And it was a bit overcast, so it was a good day for me to start sanding the bottom of the boat to prep it for its next layer of bottom paint. Last season the bottom paint just below the waterline, which was quite thick with layers of old paint built up below last season's coat, flaked away. So I'm working on removing most of the old bottom paint from that section.

flaking bottom paint

after sanding

Sten's compression tests showed that cylinder 1 had about 1/3 of the compression of cylinder 2, which showed normal pressure, and that cylinder 3 was somewhere between the two. So, cylinder 1 and 3 have likely been the source of the problems that we've been having with the generator not starting well and smoking, which indicate incomplete combustion. We're going to have a local machine shop rebuild the head with new exhaust valves and seats. Sten is also deciding how to investigate whether there is excessive exhaust back pressure, which may have been the root cause of the deterioration of the exhaust valves.

We knocked off a bit early on Friday so that we could go over to Antonia and Peter's house for cocktail hour. For the past two years Antonia and Peter have been cruising on their boat Sereia. They took up temporary residence in Whangarei for the birth of their son Silas just two weeks ago. If you haven't seen it, go check out the Pimp My Ride video on their website.

Trying to find our way to their house, we realized that we were probably too far south of town, so we pulled into the local vineyard to ask directions. The owner had just shut the gate for the night, but he opened it up to walk over to our car and help us out. I'm thinking, "what a friendly guy." A few minutes later, no closer to figuring out where Antonia and Peter's house was, but much enlightened on the demise of Captain Cook and the dangers of syphilis, he climbed into our back seat and insisted that we call Antonia for clarification of her directions, despite the fact that I'd already located their street on the map during the course of his diatribe. Now, in Boston, if a slightly inebriated, shirtless guy had climbed into our car and closed the door, we would have both been apprehensive. However, in New Zealand, it didn't feel threatening at all. We eventually made it to Antonia and Peter's house, where we had a fun visit.

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