Nuku Hiva

Ashore the little town of Nuku Hiva is extremely relaxed, to say the least. Everyone is large and type 2 diabetes must be thriving here. Cockerels crow, large Polynesian women with flowers in their hair flash broad smiles, cheerful blokes with excellent voices sing to guitar and ukelele accompaniment while surf crashes on black sand beaches. Baguettes are fresh daily. The breeze is gentle and there is mist on the crags. Hibiscus, rhododendron, frangipani and bougainvillea abound. Strange, ancient ceremonial sites lie silent high in the mountains.

On the trip out to Galapagos from Ecuador our elderly Ford diesel quite suddenly developed a voracious appetite for lubricating oil. There is no smoke and  the engine runs smoothly, as always. The experts say that it is the piston rings and a bottom end rebuild is necessary. I am not convinced. The suddenness of onset of the problem doesn’t seem to fit. If a rebuild is necessary, it will have to wait until Australia, I think. A new engine is the cheaper option in any case. The cost ($20,000 for the engine, plus the same again for installation) is nightmarish. Either way – new engine or rebuild of this one – means cutting out the cockpit floor to remove and replace. Heaven forbid! I am hoping it is a problem with one or more of the valve guide seals, which is a do-able repair. We will see. For now, I am waiting for a drum of lube oil to arrive from Tahiti – that will allow us to run the engine for recharge and landfall approaches, if nothing else. 

Meanwhile, this is the loveliest place to sit.


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9 thoughts on “Nuku Hiva

  1. Axel Frazier
    April 26, 2016 at 15:25

    Go re-check that cockpit John,I think a bit of stuff was dropped the last time we rigged the Ares. ;)

    1. May 1, 2016 at 16:31

      Done, mate. How are things going in those icy northern wastes?

  2. Stefan
    April 16, 2016 at 03:37

    Hi Sailor – cant help you with oil – but if you need a good scotch …. or similar ….. :-)
    Seems you having a great time – apart from the old Mr Ford. Hope it’s fixed soon.

    1. April 17, 2016 at 07:48

      Stefan, how Mike would have loved that Laphroaig. Re oil – it’s not getting any worse, but could it?? We’ve loaded 65 litres of heavy oil here in Papeete, and we’ll see how far that takes us.

  3. nigel
    April 7, 2016 at 14:03

    make sure the engine breather and its pipes are clear so there is no crankcase pressure building up

  4. Chris Penny
    April 4, 2016 at 05:15

    I am currently reviewing Cruiser’s Websites on Noonsite – your entry is – Tainui: the slowest circumnavigation imaginable
    Posted 2 June, 2014
    Australian yacht Tainui is 10 years into the slowest circumnavigation imaginable. Her route has been unusual – Sydney to Macquarie Island, NZ, Patagonia, then north to Haiti and Cuba. Then via Labrador, Iceland and Svalbard to Norway. She was the first foreign-flagged vessel to be given permission to sail Russia’s inland waterways down the Volga and Don Rivers from the White Sea to Crimea. Tainui is currently heading for Venice, en route Gibraltar, Canaries and back to Brazil. John Vallentine.
    I am wondering if you would like this updated/added to/altered – if so get back to me and I will alter your entry on Noonsite.
    Many thanks – Chris Penny

    1. April 15, 2016 at 03:56

      Thanks Chris. Venice is far behind us now. We are in Tahiti, en route Suvarov and Apia. All else is as was, mate.

  5. GMcDonald
    March 31, 2016 at 22:43

    Hello John.Our old ford was using one litre of oil per 50 miles.Had it rebuilt here in Malaysia at a cost of $5000 Aus.including parts and labour.Dissassembled motor on the boat took it to KL rebuilt it then reassembled it back on the boat,runs like a charm.No need to pull cockpit apart.Brian Smith of American Diesel is the original Marinizer of the fords and a wealth of information on them.Good luck Grant

    1. April 15, 2016 at 03:58

      If love to avoid dismantling the cockpit Grant, and I will remeasure the stripped engine. As I recall, it will not slide forward into the saloon because of side passage timber work, but I will re-check.

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