It was good to be back with Sea Bear in New Zealand, welcomed by warmth and sunshine, even though the 44 hours of travel involved was somewhat draining. I needed to acclimatize to the weather, leaving a cold and damp UK to here with the temperature up to the 30’s, Nice to be back to shorts and vest for everyday wear.
The boat was was as I had left her although looking a little grubby and neglected. At first work on the boat was on hold as I had to get the camper van back on the road.It had sat neglected in the car park for all those months but at least it started once some petrol had been put in the fuel tank. It need some work doing before passing its WOF and then I could hand it over to my son Ged and Haley who were borrowing it for a holiday in NZ.
Attention back to the boat. Time to get to work and bring her back to full cruising trim. I sat and compiled a list of things to do, all the maintenance plus some improvements that I had been pondering. It was long list but I could set an order of works as it were.
A small problem with the stove prompted me to fit the new burner I had purchased and I was pleased that this burned nice and clean.
Christmas came early for Sea Bear in the form of a big cardboard box containing a new windlass.
Before I have had to haul the anchor & chain by hand so hopefully no more “way hey heave ho my hearties put your back into it”. Of course fitting it will be tricky but Thom on “Fathom” who has the same set up has given guidance and photos by email. From the flimsy paper template supplied I made a plywood template which will help with the positioning – rather crucial in view of the position of the forward bulkhead. It will also act as a template for the teak plinth needed for mounting and for a backing plate too.
An unwelcome discovery was that the fuel tap for the fuel tank had been leaking whilst I was away. dripping diesel onto the propshaft and so along it to the stern gland and cutlass bearing. This means more more that I had not anticipated. Oh well nothing for it but to empty the fuel tank of its 120 litres of diesel into some borrowed jerry cans and replace the fuel tap. That job went better than expected but still leaves me with the stern gland and cutlass bearing to deal with.
The through bolts for the hull anode were looking dodgy. Crawling into the port side locker revealed their true nastyness. Just mild steel bolts had been used yuk. I got some new SS studs made up and fitted them. Not a fun job in the confines of the locker.
One great thing about Whangarei is the weekly growers market. A visit to this, early Sat morning saw me stocked up with delicious fresh fruit and veg so I will be eating well and healthfully.