Unfortunately we spoke too soon in the last blog! Graham spent 3 hours refitting the pump (and all the ancillaries that had to be removed to make space for it) yesterday morning
with Mark the mechanic. It was very frustrating, fiddly work trying to fit nuts with the
tips of fingers, by feel only at times, so Graham's longer arms were useful and it was good to have two heads thinking about the problems. Most owners would walk away to leave the professionals to it (and usually most professional mechanics like to work without an audience) but Mark was very glad to have the help. Anyway at lunchtime we fired up the
engine and, hurrah, it ran strongly on all four cylinders. For about 5 minutes. Then the revs started oscillating by about 600 rpm and it stalled every time we dropped the revs to tick-over.
Mark and Graham exchanged puzzled expressions and phone calls to the expert who rebuilt the pump followed. It seems that the pump had developed another fault and would have to come off to be sent back for further work. Bruce, Mark's boss at Seapower here in Opua, was hugely apologetic (thought the
fault isn't due to his part of the operation) and assures us that it won't be at our cost but, of course, it'll mean more days of delay. To speed thing up Graham did most of the disassembly in the afternoon and Mark returned this morning to complete the removal of the pump (in only 40 minutes rather than the 4 hours it took the first time). It's all very frustrating but Graham say he has learnt a lot
about the engine in the past few days!
So our plans to dry the boat out
against the pier have been scrapped and we are rearranging other
plans to sail south. The good news is that Kiapa arrived here last night after a spectacularly quick and comfortable 5 and a half day passage
from Fiji (why didn't we get those kind of conditions on her last year?!) so
it'll be great to catch up with Lionel
and Irene tonight over supper.