Back on the Water

We are back on the water! Since leaving X-Pat in the Bay of Islands Marina in Opua at the end of August, we have been away doing other things (on land). With the exception of a one week visit by Pat in November to check things were all ok, X-Pat has been looking after herself.

Pat arrived back on Sunday 13th January to start getting things back in order. This has included cleaning out the diesel tanks, fixing broken bits and pieces following our boisterous trip back from Tonga and updating the software and charts on the navigation systems.

Debi arrived back on Wednesday and we hired a car to go and get all the provisions and sort out the all-important internet contract. We also filled the gas bottles and so are now well and truly provisioned for some time away from civilisation.

On Thursday our long awaited new mainsail arrived. Fitting took a bit longer than we anticipated and so we delayed our departure until Saturday. This allowed us to get the sail fitted but unfortunately the new sail bag wasn’t ready so we had to return again on Monday afternoon to get this done.

Fitting the new mainsail
Shakedown of the new sail

We are now bobbing around in very light conditions in the Bay of Islands trying to get everything recommissioned. We have had a short trip with the new sail, which all went well and the reefing system is certainly greatly improved. We also got the water maker back up and working and the dinghy is back in the water. We had one small fright when, after a short break, Pat went to jump in the dinghy and found it wasn’t there! A quick scan of the horizon revealed nothing.  However, a walk to the bow revealed that the dinghy had somehow got itself around the bow of the boat and was now off the starboard side rather than the port side where it was tied up. Phew!!

Fitting the new sail bag

Job done!

Unfortunately recommissioning the outboard motor has not gone so well. Although normally reliable we can’t get the thing to start. This is despite taking what we thought were precautions before the winter to flush the cooling and fuel systems. We have now put in new fuel, changed the fuel filter and replaced the spark plug all to no avail.  After sleeping on the problem we were just on the brink of removing the carburettor (gulp) when Pat had one more go at starting it and detected some signs of life. After some frantic cranking it finally started. Pat gave it a good blast around the bay and all seems to be fine now. It was probably some dirty fuel in the system. A lesson for next time we lay it up for the winter.


Time for some relaxation …

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