Life’s Rich Tapestry

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It is snowing and there is a good layer of the cold stuff on the decks. The gale force winds have abated but it is grey and very cold. At least, for an Australian! I expect the view across the fjord to the mountains is quite grand – if there were not a power outage here at the marina I would admire it. It is very chilly in the cabin however, and as things stand, I would happily exchange Life’s Rich Tapestry for a warm blanket.


We have pressure tested the engine to within an inch of its life. There was initially a leak as predicted, but with no apparent external loss. I went round and re-tightened all the hose clamps and – blow me down – the pressure no longer drops. By my calculation the loss would have been of the order of 4-5mls/min. It should have been visible but wasn’t.

As with all things boat, whenever you look for problems you find them. In the course of my coolant loss detective work I discovered a worn shaft bearing in the coolant pump. It hasn’t failed but probably will, so I will install another here in Tromso. This one was only 3 years old – Martin brought it across to Patagonia from Nelson – and I am suprised it has failed after perhaps 2,500 hours. I am surprised also that Sentrum Diesel has been able to locate a replacement so quickly. Mind you, it will cost the odd peanut or two.

I have charged our propane tanks with 25 kg of the smelly stuff, which should see us through the summer. The MaxProp has had its annual grease packing, Tainui’s bottom has been painted and shiny new anodes are attached. These are zinc, of course, but I believe I should be considering sacrificial aluminium for the 3 month fresh water trip, but I probably won’t do anything about it, knowing me.

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