What a morning.
Pasha threw himself into our engine problem with quiet confidence. He took out the one section of copper pipe in the external coolant circuit which I have not yet examined closely (but had every intention of doing!). It is an inaccessible length of thick-walled copper tubing with no sign of corrosion or damage but the only segment outside the engine capable of undetected leak. Lo and behold, he found a tiny pinhole which may be the cause of all our problems. If that is the case, the loss would be very difficult to detect because of the piping anatomy.
Anyway, splendid Pasha cleaned, acid-washed and soldered the suspicious section and covered it with a length of clamped coolant hose. All this was done to a wonderful recording of Rachmaninov’s Vespers, which the boys hummed along to. Maxine is off having a manicure. I sat in the cockpit, sipping coffee and enjoying the rare pleasure allowing someone competent to do the work.
Across the river the golden domes of Archangel’sk cathedral glowed in the sun and the carillon pealed for Sunday service. With Rachmaninov at full volume and good coffee I felt very mellow, as Ian would say.
Now the system has been reassembled and we are ready for a beer. The final test will not come until we have motored for 8 hours. If the system still leaks, I will be no more disappointed than on each of the last 4 occasions when we suppposedly found and fixed the problem.