04/09/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
The last couple of days have been full of rain for the most part. Jun took off early on Friday because of a hurt shoulder. We both then took off for town to check the mail and see what groceries we could find. One thing about being out in the middle of no where, you have to check the expiration dates on everything buy. Many, especially cereals and snacks will be out of date. Sometimes the stores will mark them down and sometimes not. We try and check everything we get.
Nothing at the Post Office so we hit a couple more stores and headed back to the boat. Saturday it rained again but there was a bit barbecue again here at the marina. Kumer and Antonia Panuelo were throwing a big barbecue(two roasted pigs) for all the men that are working for him building his new homes. He builds them, then rich foreigners or diplomats rent them and he make a good bit of money because he builds houses like no one else in the island does. They'd do alright on the mainland US. Not palatial by any stretch but he spares little expense to make them a nice place to live. All the cruisers in the harbor and marina(that's just us in the marina)were invited too. It was a great spread of food.
Sunday was another day of rain so not much getting done but we got an invitation from Antonia Panuelo to come to lunch at the "Village". It's been a big attraction here for the last 40 years but when it came time to renew the lease on the property(held by several families) no agreement could be made so they decided to just close it and move back to the US after 40 years. They've lived and raised their family out here. Hope they can blend back in with the folks on the mainland.
Monday, Tracy went to Antonia's house and and did laundry. Started just after 0900 and finally got back at 1700. We had lots of laundry. I meanwhile sat and helped or just sat with Jun and gave him what ever tools or information he needed. Tracy and Antonia showed up just after 1200 and brought me lunch. Nice treat. Other than that, it rained and then it blew big time and then it rained some more.
Today, Jun came just after 0800 and finished the fiber glassing just after 1430. Tracy ahd I spent the next couple of hours putting the stern back together. Restring wires for the fan and replace a lamp that just up and burned it self out. Not the bulb, the entire fixture just up and burned it self out. Fried a circuit board on the main switch. OH well, I pulled out one I'd brought in for a different place and strung the wires and installed it. We rebuilt the mattress(one of those inflatable mattresses) and had a shower to cool off and then dinner. Tracy is taking her shower as I'm typing this so she will be nice and cool for a good night sleep.
Tomorrow, we tackle the exhaust system on Zephyr. We want to make sure what we had never happens again.
04/08/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
A little over a year ago, we had our DuoGen wind power generator rebuilt with we were in Fiji. Had a great guy at Kumar Electronic do the work. Not cheap but the unit made power like it never had before when he was done. A couple of days ago(before all these rains showed up) it started developing a vibration in the long hollow metal shaft that the propeller rides atop of. Today, between downpours and while Tracy was out doing the laundry, I untied the propeller head and tried to get it up and spinning again. Hey, guess what!?!?!?! The bearing appear to be shot all over again!!! So now we need to add that to our list of things to fix before we take off. It's not a necessity as once we have the engine up and running and with our new generator, we will have two other ways of making power for our batteries. It's shining time was when it made just about all the power we needed during the trip up here from Tuvalu. Since then, I guess it's all bee downhill for it all over again. Now we will need to find more bearings and seals and see if we can get it rebuilt all over again. Somehow, I think anything that costs as much as this did should last a good bit longer than a year. Don't you?
Just another brick in the wall I guess.
Meanwhile, as we wait for the engine parts, Jun is finishing up the fiberglass repairs on the stern bulkhead. He should have it done by late tomorrow. With that being said, there are always more thing(add in the DuoGen) that need doing.
04/04/2013, kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
The firberglass work is well underway with half of the stern bulkhead removed. Jun just got here and will be laying in the glass today(if it stays dry enough). Hopefully the last parts are on order for the engine because once it's up and running, we have to break it in before we take off. I'll be off to the post office later to see if we got anything. I only go in on Tuesdays and Fridays as the planes come in on Sundays and Wednesday(and sometimes Thursdays).
Now here is my question--why in this era of a cash strapped government, laying off people during the "Sequester" would we redesign the US Penny?
I went to a store a couple of days ago and in my change was a new penny, minted in 2012. Nice and shiny. I looked at it as it has been a while since I've see such a new penny. THE BACK OF THE PENNY HAS CHANGED!!! Why would we spend all that money to redesign a coin that cost's more to make than it's worth? Many island nations we have visited have stopped using their version of the penny all together. We, on the other hand spent millions redesigning ours!! Years ago, we started redesigning the quarter with each state submitting a design. OK, cool. Everyone rushed out and started collecting them. What are they worth today? Probably the same .25 cents they were then. I can understand redoing the paper money. Lots of people like to make them even if they don't work for the US government. But, why redo the penny? I'd love to hear from anyone that has a reasonable idea why we spent needed US money on such a thing.
OK, I'm off my rant. I promise to be back on target with my next post. It will have something to do with boating, or fiberglassing, or rebuilding engines or some such thing.
04/03/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
This is the third time I've tried to type this entry and we keep loosing internet so I'll keep this brief.
Yesterday, we found that the heat exchanger had blown on the engine. It's like a little round tube that acts as a radiator for the engine. The previous mechanic had left it in Muratic acid to clean it over night instead of the 20 -30 minutes it normally gets and it had eaten away at the copper tubes inside. They lasted about 5 hours of engine time and then collapsed. Now we need to order another one.
We found that the gear mechanism that drives the raw water pump was now vibrating. The same mechanic had destroyed the flange that the raw water pump bolts to and now it was not running straight. We need another one of those too. The engine is off line for at least the next week till the parts get here. I stayed up till midnight so I could get intouch with the parts company and get the parts on order.
We did--I've typed the rest of this post 4 times and keep loosing internet. I' ll put in the rest when it gets more stable. Sorry
We did get the steering up and running so to speak. Zephyr has alway had a problem with being able to turn to starboard at 50 degrees while on 30 to port. We finally found out why. The bolt that connects the hydraulic steering ram to the bracket that goes to the rudder hits the stringer that holds the entire steering assembly. Jun is making a spacer to raise it up enough so it will glide over the stringer and we can steer evenly. Oh, he also installed the hydraulic steering pump that got broken when to previous mechanic took it out. Jun also took it apart and reassembled it since it wouldn't turn after the last mechanic "fixed" it. Now you can turn it by hand with no preoblems.
Today, finish the steering and start on the fiberglass on the stern.
The fun just keeps on coming.
04/01/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
Work continues on Zephyrs engine. We finally got it started late Thursday afternoon and with it being a holiday weekend, not much was going to get done. All the stores were closed on Good Friday and again on Easter so I got a taxi to town on Saturday and headed for Napa to get the replacement 1" hose we needed. It took some digging on my part(help is a four letter word here in Pohnpei) going through the boxes till I found what I needed. Four feet at $7.50 per foot(not cheap)and I picked up a gallon of gear oil since I know we will be needing it once we get the hydraulic steering back on line.
Tracy and I worked all weekend getting other things done. I fixed the roller furling that I broke a short time ago. Word to the wise: When you want the stainless steel cover to slide down the aluminum shaft that holds the line you are trying to replace, strike carefully or you will strike the aluminum spool and break it. It took we a while to figure out how to fix it but with the help of JB Weld and a bit of flat steel rod, I got it all fixed and the new line installed. The previous line was probably from 1998 when the sail was made. We wanted to replace the line before it snapped at a time when it would be tough to replace it. Now that job is done.
Tracy dragged out here big sewing machine(from Sailrite)and started in on the mainsail. We carried it over to the palapa and stretched it out on the tables and off she went. Now Tracy doesn't get along well with her machine and today was not much different. The thread kept shreding and breaking but she just kept on doing repairs. One of our battons had ripped a hole in the main and it needed to be covered and repaired. We already had the replacement batten shipped in from Hawaii. Leslie from Carina came over and stitched on some new nylon webbing at the outhaul corner as it was starting to fray also. Several hours later, the job was done.
Yesterday, since the machine was still out, she made a sun cloth to cover the front windows of the dodger and bimini. Now we can see out instead of having the windows covered in dark blue cloth. Now it much more open and airy. I grabbed some of my tools and put on all the snaps and fasteners so it attaches to the frame just fine. While she was at it, she took down both the dodger and bimini and restitched all the broken threads and there were a bunch of them. Sometimes the machine would work and other times not. It took hours but she got it all restitched.
Today, Monday, Jun showed up all smiles and continued refining the engine so it would be even better. A tweak here and a twist of a screw there and she was coming along just fine. Jun stepped out to go to the store to get a couple of screws we needed and that's when it happened. The engine started to sputter and cough. I headed into the cockpit and gave it more diesel but in the end, we shout it off. It ended up being air in the fuel lines. Once bled, all was well. The exhaust was throwing out some diesel into the water and Jun finally figured out that the pistons weren't burning all the fuel. So out comes the injectors and Jun drove to the shop to get the testing machine. He took out all the injectors and tested them. Now we have a set of 4 injectors. Some were set at 185 pressure and some were set at 205 pressure. Jun made them all uniform at 185 which is what the engine specs call for. Back in they went and with a turn of the key, she started right up. Jun re bled the system and she just sat there and ran. She still has a ways to go but we are well on the way to a full recovery.
Tomorrow--finish the installation of the hydraulic steering(pump went in today) with a complete bleed of all the lines. To do that, we have to deflate our bed and drag it out of the stern where the lines attach to the rudder. Since the bed will be out, once Jun is done with the steering, he's going to start in on the fiberglass work that is right behind the bed. I guess we will be sleeping in the main salon for a couple of days.
Stay tuned. More coming
03/29/2013, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
It started yesterday at 1640!!! Jun worked on it and worked on it checking everything. Then he double checked it all over again. I think the realy problem was that the injector pump was set 180 degrees off what is was supposed to be. We have a hose or two to replace and a connection or two to tighten but we are there.
I have to keep this short as internet suck down here right now.
After 90+ days, we are back up and running.