Monday, 22 October 2012

Maintenance or Mishap Month ….. Oct 2012

PA160059 09 – 15 October 2012

The Saga continues

With the return to Washington of our incorrect new MaxProp, along with vital parts of our existing propeller we were feeling well and truly high and dry.  While I read a borrowed guide book on Panama eagerly searching for ideas for a mini sanity break either into the jungle or up to the highlands, Mark decided to proceed with a couple of “5 minute jobs”.    I knew it wouldn’t be a 5 minute job, they NEVER are, but changing the impellor on the raw water pump, especially while out of the water is straightforward enough – usually.  Off the cover came, the impellor was prised out and checked, it didn’t need changing so it was put back in, the water pump cover went back on, the screws went back in and off snapped not one but two off them – what!

Although our tool collection has grown significantly over the last 9 years we did not have the required gadgets to repair this.  PA160062 However the onsite workshop did so it was just another “5 minute job” to take the pump off the engine block and drop it down to the workshop.  It was all repaired and returned to us promptly the next morning, so while I was off grocery shopping, skipper reattached the pump to the block – not so easy to do alone as it needs some help with alignment, but he ‘carried on regardless’- big mistake - and that was when one of the big bolts became cross threaded and sheared off….bugger!!  He was not in the best of humour when I returned laden with groceries. There was skipper sitting on the saloon floor… knee deep in sweat and grease…surrounded by pieces of pump and other engine bits…..  oh dear.  Another trip back to the workshop and yes they could source another bolt and retap the thread. Oh well we weren’t in a hurry as the prop had only just landed in Washington.  Maybe we really could escape for a minibreak??PA120058

Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse

The afternoon brought torrential rain and thunderstorms, I retreated to the cool of the cruisers lounge while Mark went to the gym – to let off some steam!!!  Unfortunately a 25 pound dumbell somehow got knocked off the end of a weight bar instead, and landed dead centre on the top of Marks right foot.  He somehow managed to get back the 200 or so metres to the boat in driving rain and dodging lightening strikes, climbed the ladder then grabbed some ice before he collapsed in a heap of excruciating pain.  Meanwhile I was enjoying the cool calmness of the cruisers lounge watching the storm unfold around us.  When I eventually returned I found Mark “flat out” - beaten, bruised and bleeding looking somewhat worse for wear, but he had successfully made his way to the liquor cabinet for a medicinal rum or two.  IMG_0344

So the minibreak will be on Balvenie it seems, as we wait for the return of the MaxProp “Take II” and for some signs of improvement to Marks foot, he is currently very immobile and Balvenie bound.  Excursion plans are on hold, another reason for this is our lack of guide book. While home we ordered a Lonely Planet Central America online 18 days before our departure, it never arrived before we left so I asked my sister Denise to post it onto the Marina address when it eventually arrived in NZ.  So I have been going up to office to see if it’s in, eagerly awaiting its arrival, and they have been rather vague up there regarding the post and where it gets put.  Now I have finally ascertained that post never gets delivered here, their address is for courier deliveries only, the mailed post gets left at the Post Office in ColonP9250030 (where one must don a bullet proof vest and helmet to get in and out alive) and gets collected by the marina a couple of times A YEAR!!!!!  I actually wondered if they were filming a modern day version of Candid Camera and I had the lead role.

Oh! .... and then there was the incident of being debited for US$500.00 from the Supermarket ATM  that failed to spit out any money, happy to say that one has been resolved.  I probably forgot to mention too that when the propeller shaft got pulled out, the flexible coupling that sits between the shaft and transmission was fractured in a couple of places and there is no replacement in Panama so we are looking further afield.   

All in all ….. it really hasn’t been a good week

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