Our Ever-Changing Backyard--Sailing with Scoots

06 May 2019 | Paradise Taveuni Resort
04 March 2019 | Koro Island
05 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
01 December 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
30 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
29 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
28 November 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
26 November 2018 | Port Denarau Marina, near Nadi, Fiji
18 November 2018 | Makogai Island, Fiji
27 October 2018 | Rukuruku, Fiji
22 October 2018 | On passage from Fiji to NZ
21 September 2018 | Leleuvia Island, Fiji
23 August 2018 | Levuka, Ovalau Island, Fiji
20 August 2018 | Nukobuco Island, Fiji

Trees, birds, waterfalls and a Tarzan swing; Fiji beer; Sally Sue Sunshine goes off the rails, and some Fun Facts

07 August 2018 | Suva Harbour
Vandy
SCOOTS has been anchored in Suva Harbour for a month now, and Eric and I have been dividing our time between fun and work.

First the fun....

Along with our friends, Alison and Randall from s/v Tregoning, and Judy and Steve from s/v Code Blue, we took a bus over the hill to Colo-i-Suva Forest Park. It's a lovely refuge, set amidst leafy pandanus, fragrant pines and towering mahogany trees among many others, everything green and vine-covered, filled with birds and orchids. A creek runs through the forest, tumbling down waterfalls and into pools, in which visitors are invited to swim.


One of the waterfalls and its pool

The last pool even has a “Tarzan” swing over it. We saw lots of birds, including a fluorescent green, masked shining-parrot, who thrilled us by sitting still for a long time, gazing at us calmly with its bright orange eyes.


A sketchy bridge

Alison's account of this trip is excellent, so I'm going to suggest that you pop over to her blog for the full story and some great photos https://www.sailblogs.com/member/tregoning/448427 . (If this link doesn't take you to Forest Birds and Pools directly, click on that blog post in the sidebar.)

Fun Fact: the pines and mahoganies were planted to reduce erosion after many of the native trees in the Colo-i-Suva forest were cut down for lumber.

Steve arranged a tour of the local brewery, which was eagerly attended by about half a dozen yachties. Paradise Beverages brews all the common Fijian beer varieties (Fiji Bitter, Fiji Gold, Fiji Premium, and Vonu) as well as producing some blended cane alcohol products (rum-and-Coke type drinks). After having us suit up in fluorescent vests, and arming us with safety glasses and ear plugs, Yogi led us on an interesting tour of the surprisingly modern facility. (From the outside, the brewery looks a bit antiquated.) While in the brewery's control room, surrounded by screens displaying real-time monitoring of the facility that would be worthy of a nuclear reactor control room, we learned that the staff – for quality control purposes, of course – tastes many different samples each morning. We were invited to sample about a dozen different drinks: three of the beer brands at different stages of their brewing process, as well as some of the cane liquor drinks. Unlike Sheryl Crow, I don't like a good beer buzz early in the morning, so I only took a small sip of each. Each sample was interesting, and slightly different from the others, and all were tasty. Fiji Bitter is my favorite; Eric prefers Vonu.


The beer group

Fun Fact: Empty beer bottles are collected in Fiji and rather than being recycled, are returned to Paradise Beverages, where they are washed and reused.

But it hasn't been all fun and games. Since arriving in Suva, we've been dealing with a stupefying number of boat repairs. So many that it almost seems like an organized assault. I'd say they were coming out of the woodwork, but so far the woodwork seems to be one of the few things we haven't had to deal with – though we will eventually, I'm sure.

To summarize: We discovered that water was leaking into our main cabin and forward hanging locker through the seals around the heater chimney and the diesel deck fill. Our generator, which has had a slow, manageable oil leak for awhile, hemorrhaged, spraying oil in an arc across the engine room walls, ceiling, and floor. Twice. We've spent days diagnosing and testing the problem, even changing the head gasket. It's still leaking a lot of oil. Now the alternator on the generator is acting up.


Still life with generator parts

Though describing each of these projects takes only a few seconds, dealing with them takes quite a bit longer; days or weeks, IF we can get them done at all. We have to find the source and the cause of the problem; figure out how to fix it; determine whether we have the necessary parts on board and if not, figure out where we can get them in Suva, or whether we'll need to have them shipped here. At least we ARE in Suva...this would be even more problematic if we were someplace remote.

Early on, we repaired some leaks that we'd discovered in SCOOTS' deck. Small leaks, mind you, but pesky, sneaky, insistent ones, that had apparently been present for awhile: one near the place where the diesel heater chimney exits, and another around the starboard deck fill for the diesel. The repair of these reads like one of those “Fortunately-Unfortunately” stories....

Unfortunately – after removing the diesel fill seal and the chimney seal, we discovered that the chimney fitting had been leaking for long enough that the insulation around the chimney and the asbestos pad on top of the heater were soaked and would need to dry thoroughly before being replaced; and the leak from the diesel fill seal in the hanging locker had made its contents smell musty...
Fortunately – we had two sunny days to air out the contents of the hanging locker, and the heater insulation...
Unfortunately – when extracted, the metal deck fill broke so we needed a new one...
Fortunately – Eric found a new one at the local Yacht Shop...
Unfortunately – it had a smaller diameter than the old one, which meant that we'd have to reduce the size of the hole in the deck before we could insert the deck fill...
Fortunately – we had epoxy and filling material for the deck fill, and enough butyl tape to reseal the chimney hole, AND the rain held off long enough for us to accomplish both...
Unfortunately – when it did rain, we noticed that the asbestos pad in the cabin was wet; the deck seal around the chimney was leaking again, so we took it apart, and spent the afternoon removing gooey butyl tape from the area around the chimney seal and all the associated hardware, so we could reseal it again using a different sealant...
Fortunately – we had lots of turpentine to help with the job...
Unfortunately – when we were replacing the chimney in the hole, we noticed that it had rusted through in a few places, so we needed a new one...
Fortunately – we located a shop in town that would make us a new stainless steel chimney...
Unfortunately – upon installing the new diesel deck fill in the new hole, we discovered that half of our sealant had solidified in the tube...
Fortunately – we had just enough sealant to finish the deck seal...
Unfortunately – but not the chimney seal; and both of the Yacht Shops on this part of the island are out of sealant...
Fortunately – they plan to get some more sealant “sometime soon, maybe next week”...

My sister Tara has, over the years, (lovingly, of course) called me “Sally Sue Sunshine,” in recognition of my attempt to always find and focus on something positive in any situation. And I really do try to be that way. But even Sally Sue Sunshine has her limits....

When things first began to leak or break on SCOOTS this month, it was easy to look on the bright side: “Wow, this sucks, but I'm so glad that we don't have to do this at sea, in boisterous conditions.”

The next time something leaked or broke, I was still able to remain somewhat philosophical: “Hmm, this sucks, but you know cruising is all about “fixing your boat in lovely places,” and all that.

But as time went on and the list of things to repair or clean or seal continued to grow, I became much less zen about it – “Man, this really, really sucks!” I grumbled. Sailor words were spoken. Yes, Sally Sue Sunshine even dropped the F-bomb once or twice. The grumbling and expletives usually erupted on occasions when I was folded into a pretzel-like pose in a tight space in the engine room (again), covered in gritty oil (again), reaching as far as I could, trying to remove a recalcitrant screw on an almost-inaccessible part of the generator (again). Or, cleaning up the arc of spewed oil in the engine room (again). To be fair, Eric has done the lion's share of the actual mechanical work; I'm in charge of finding and handing him tools, but when someone the size of a Hobbit is required for a job, I fold, squeeze, stretch or otherwise insinuate myself into position and follow his instructions.

On the bright side (Sally Sue Sunshine is down but not defeated), I gave up being upset about our galley becoming a garage bench, the faint (sometimes not) odor of coolant and oil and Simple Green pervading our home, having to excavate yet another doodad from the bottom of one of the parts kit boxes buried in the recesses of our parts cabinet, having to step over or around tools or parts that now festoon our living space. Because, you know, you can't be upset about everything; and there's only so much you can do, when your home is also your conveyance.

Knowing that we'd be hanging out here for at least a month, waiting for Yanmar the Magnificent's intercooler to arrive, we decided to have some work done (by someone else!) on our headsails. As the UV panels were looking pretty tatty, after the hard miles and copious sunshine they'd seen in the past couple of years, we decided to have new ones sewn on by the guys in a little shop near the marina. Then, since the guys also do upholstery, and our cockpit cushions and covers are beyond worn out, we took those over and got an estimate for replacing them. It's amazing how quickly we can choose a fabric when there aren't that many choices: five minutes later, the fabric for the new cushions was ordered.

So when SCOOTS finally leaves Suva Harbour, she will be sporting bright new UV covers on her headsails; stylish new seat cushions and covers for her cockpit; a shiny new, custom, Fijian-made chimney for her diesel heater; a new, functioning intercooler; an unobstructed raw water system; water tight seals around her starboard diesel fill and heater chimney; a fresh-smelling hanging locker; a fully-functional alternator; a less-leaky generator; and an interior that no longer resembles a garage. Sally Sue Sunshine is back on track!
Comments
Vessel Name: SCOOTS
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: San Francisco, CA
Crew: Eric and Vandy Shrader
About: We've been living aboard full time since September 2014. We sailed to Mexico with the 2014 Baja Haha and had fun exploring Mexico until April 2016, when we turned SCOOTS west and headed to the South Pacific. As of late Nov. 2016, SCOOTS and her crew are exploring New Zealand.
Social:
SCOOTS's Photos - Main
3 Photos
Created 6 May 2019
13 Photos
Created 4 March 2019
2 Photos
Created 26 November 2018
16 Photos
Created 18 November 2018
11 Photos
Created 27 October 2018
12 Photos
Created 1 October 2018
6 Photos
Created 21 September 2018
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2018
7 Photos
Created 19 June 2018
No Photos
Created 19 June 2018
11 Photos
Created 18 October 2017
7 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 July 2017
14 Photos
Created 12 April 2017
35 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 20 March 2017
18 Photos
Created 2 March 2017
19 Photos
Created 16 February 2017
4 Photos
Created 18 January 2017
30 Photos
Created 14 December 2016
29 Photos
Created 5 November 2016
52 Photos
Created 23 October 2016
24 Photos
Created 12 October 2016
49 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 15 September 2016
43 Photos
Created 2 September 2016
46 Photos
Created 4 August 2016
32 Photos
Created 21 July 2016
12 Photos
Created 1 July 2016
15 Photos
Created 20 June 2016
17 Photos
Created 5 June 2016
1 Photo
Created 3 June 2016
45 Photos
Created 11 May 2016
10 Photos
Created 2 May 2016
2 Photos
Created 1 April 2016
13 Photos
Created 22 March 2016
12 Photos
Created 14 March 2016
2 Photos
Created 9 March 2016
5 Photos
Created 19 January 2016
7 Photos
Created 27 December 2015
6 Photos
Created 16 December 2015
No Photos
Created 27 November 2015
4 Photos
Created 1 November 2015
19 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
4 Photos
Created 23 July 2015
6 Photos
Created 11 July 2015
13 Photos
Created 21 June 2015
9 Photos
Created 15 June 2015
12 Photos
Created 28 May 2015
No Photos
Created 28 May 2015
17 Photos
Created 5 May 2015
2 Photos
Created 30 April 2015
35 Photos
Created 24 April 2015
8 Photos
Created 25 March 2015
8 Photos
Created 10 March 2015
49 Photos
Created 14 February 2015
7 Photos
Created 10 February 2015
20 Photos
Created 26 January 2015
24 Photos
Created 20 December 2014
No Photos
Created 20 December 2014
10 Photos
Created 11 December 2014
5 Photos
Created 3 December 2014
11 Photos
Created 14 November 2014
34 Photos
Created 10 November 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 October 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 October 2014
8 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
16 Photos
Created 1 October 2014
6 Photos
Created 24 September 2014
9 Photos
Created 23 September 2014
8 Photos
Created 21 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 20 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 18 September 2014
5 Photos
Created 10 September 2014
4 Photos
Created 26 August 2014
1 Photo
Created 25 July 2014
2 Photos
Created 14 May 2014
49 Photos
Created 3 November 2013
32 Photos
Created 8 August 2013
Pics from our trip time aboard Scoots in July 2013.
23 Photos
Created 7 July 2013