Saturday, 21 May 2016

NZ-Fiji Day 7 - Watermaker woes - fixed!

Hello!

It's the wee hours of the morning again - and for the first time in days, we are sailing! We have just "rounded the corner" SE of South Minerva, and have started heading NNW towards the western side of North Minerva. We had reduced our motoring speed from 6 kts to 3 kts for the last few hours, and I was able to shut down the engine as we turned. We actually want to go slowly, as we need daylight to enter the lagoon, so the gentle wind of about 5-6 kts that has filled in is perfect to ghost us along at 3-4 kts. For once, I am grateful for the current against us! It is funny to think of reefing in such light winds, but I may need to do so if it picks up at all. This is one of those moonlit evenings under sail that we dream of when we are ashore. The temperature is comfortable, the sea is flat, and the only sounds are the lapping of the waves against the hull and the hum of the "gnomes" in the lazarette (who gently coax Fluenta to sail in the right direction).

As an aside - I forgot to mention that we had nearly two knots of current helping us yesterday - I only remembered when we had more than a knot against us earlier today. We win some and we lose some.

Today was another motorboat day. Max had hopes of sitting and reading in the cockpit [or doing a celestial class], but some funny bubbles that wouldn't clear in the watermaker had him wearing his sleuthing hat all day, investigating his favourite subject: plumbing! It turned out that the problem *wasn't* caused by the filter bowl where he had just changed a filter, or by the leaky fitting into the filter that he took apart to add some teflon tape (that was part of it, but not the fix). He followed the bubbles back through the system, and found that the input valve that we use for pickling the system had a warped fitting. Bypassing the valve and wrapping the resulting (somewhat ill fitting) joiner with Rescue Tape and two hose clamps did the trick, and we were back in business making water in the afternoon [this is kind of ironic as I commented a few months ago that our watermaker is almost new: I have replaced both feed pumps and the membrane and overhauled the clark pump (twice if you remember the saga from last year) and all that was left was hoses and valves ... Max] This was lovely, since the combination of lots of power and lots of water meant pre-arrival showers (for everyone but Johnathan, who refused on the basis that he had already had one this week; given that he is a ten-year-old boy who will likely be swimming (and therefore showering anyway) by tomorrow, I let him off).

We are hoping to anchor in North Minerva tomorrow morning, and we will spend a few days there (hopefully snorkelling, etc) waiting for favourable winds before heading to Fiji.

Love to all,

Elizabeth
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At 2016-05-14 1:45 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 23°54.40'S 179°00.50'W
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At 2016-05-14 6:36 PM (utc) SV Fluenta's position was 23°39.82'S 179°03.32'W

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