Yesterday I completed the engine oil and filter change.  The new vacuum pump worked a treat.  For once, the first time ever. there was no mess to clean up.  The right tool for the job makes all the difference.  Why has it taken so long for me to figure this out?

Feeling pleased with myself I went to the sportsground and watched the local team playing the team from Picton.  Unfortunately, the local boys were not at their best.

The few days in Havelock have been good.  I have not stressed about the weather forecast, the warm days have been relaxing, I have walked, visited both pubs, visited the museum, done some shopping and eaten my fill of green Lipped Mussels.

Sunday morning and all very quiet in the marina, no wind just calm and chilly cold.  There are a few hardy souls launching their runabouts to fish or have a day out.  Tomorrow is Anzac Day meaning no work on Monday and a long weekend.  Truce is ready to depart, fuel and water have been topped up, lose items stowed and everything shipshape.

The weather forecast is unsettled for the next five days with multiple fronts embedded in a S’Wly flow.  The wind is the right direction for us, just need to sort out where the fronts are and try and avoid them if possible.

First visit this morning was to the Four-Square store for some fresh bread and vegetables.  Then down to the marina office to pay my dues, five days worth.  That knocked a hole in the budget.  But it’s only the fourth marina visit this trip so not too bad. With the chores and administration out of the way I returned to Truce and fired up Mr. Yanmar in preparation for departure.  The engine started first time and seems to sound better after the oil change, maybe it’s just my imagination.

I let go the headlines and springs and was just about to slip the stern line when I noticed cooling water had stopped coming out from the exhaust.  I shut the engine down and jumped ashore to put another line out and hold us alongside the dock.  I checked the sea strainer, it was clear, I checked the seawater pump belt, it was ok.  I removed the pipe from the seacock and saw a fish tail type thing sticking out the spigot from the seacock.  I could not tell what type of fish it was, I think it could have been an eel.  Whatever it was, it was firmly stuck in place.  It was a devil of a job to clear it, bits if fish and water came out and water got into the bilge again.  I connected a flexible pipe and blew the remaining obstruction back out into the sea.  This is the second time this trip that animal matter has blocked the raw water inlet, it has never happened before.

Once everything was connected back up we departed from Havelock.  The ebb tide was now in full flow and we made excellent time down the channel and headed outbound along Pelorus Sound.  As we headed up the sound a fresh and gusty westerly breeze set in.  Soon Truce was covered in saltwater spray again.  We passed another yacht going in the opposite direction, turned out to be Cristabelle, we first met up in Port Chalmers, then again in Stewart Island and later in Fiordland.  It’s a small world.

The afternoon weather forecast came with a gale warning.  If I had known that I maybe would have stayed another night in Havelock.  This changes my plan for an evening anchorage.  After a bit of head scratching, I decided to duck into Ketu Bay instead of continuing further north.  This turned out to be a good idea as it blew a bit during the night, but we were sheltered and secure.  The next day was also upgraded with a gale warning so I stayed for another night and let the thunderstorm pass overhead.   In the evening I made a large pot of stew for the upcoming trip north.  Should be off tomorrow.


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