Another early start and full day in the shipyard. The body was a bit stiff this morning and it took a while to up to full speed. Wonderful weather for painting, nice cloud cover, not too hot and no rain. By four this afternoon the antifouling was complete, just the patches to touch up when she comes off the blocks.
I also fitted a new seawater inlet pipe, a coastguard approved thing with a wire core. It was a bastard to get fitted, I had to curse loudly and get really angry before it would bend to shape. I hope I don’t have to take it off in a hurry.
The stern gland has been dripping a bit too frequently so I replaced the flax packing this morning. A simple job but the stern gland is a bit tricky to access. Next time it needs doing I will look out for a midget or contortionist to assist.
After such good progress today I don’t have much work to do tomorrow. Wrangell is a nice little place and I will do the tourist thing. Now I am off for a shower and a beer or two
The rain woke me up at five this morning, it was pouring cats and dogs. So funny there is a water shortage in Wrangell.
I took Truce around to the travel lift and got hauled out. The hull fouling was pretty surprising, lots of crustaceans stuck limpet style to the hull. Apparently the spat for these creatures is released in late June and they go crazy, clinging and invading anything in the water. I pressure washed for an hour and got most of the critters off. Then it was onto the stand and out with the scrapper to finish off.
I was interested to check the stern gear as I suspected the stern bearing was worn. Sometimes in cross currents and tide rips there is a knocking noise. On inspection the bearing looked fine, no play and shaft turning easily. I had earlier checked the engine mounts and they were OK. What could it be? As I was cleaning paint off the shaft strut I noticed some pitting.
Further cleaning and a close look revealed what looked like a crack in the strut. The application of a bit of brute force showed the strut was flexing at the crack. This explains the occasional knocking and is now a big problem looking for a solution. The strut is a bronze casting, not easy to fix. Like Kay in Men in Black I will have to eat pie and wait for a solution to appear. I suppose I should be thankful I found it now.
After nine days of no sun – sunshine. For a couple of hours at midday we had bright sunshine, everything dried up and it was warm. Beautiful. By six in the evening we are back to overcast and drizzle. The forecast for the weekend is optimistic, good news for me doing antifouling. I can’t find pie in Wrangell so will try and get a strut fix inspiration for a strut fix from beer at Rayme’s bar.
Last night I sampled the night life of Wrangell. Friendly people and extreme casual dress code. I was intent on Pizza but the topping options were too difficult so I opted for Halibut and chips instead, a good choice.
This morning the newscaster on the local radio forecast a ninety percent of rain. A pretty sure bet really and its rained on and off all day. Not a glimpse of sun today, its now nine days since I have seen the sun. The weather systems are just not moving at the moment, low over the Gulf of Alaska is just stuck.
Today I caught up with some maintenance, changed the oil and fuel filters on the engine and refilled Yanmar with fresh oil. I had to bleed the fuel system on the engine after changing the filter, something I don’t like doing, the bleed screws are so delicate and easy to break.
Tomorrow Truce will be lifted onto the hard for a wash down and antifoul. The travel lift was broken but the guys fixed it today. We are all ready, this afternoon I hired a pressure washer for the wash down. After a week of rain, I need a break in the weather for the antifouling painting.
The Bear Fest starts in Wrangell today. I went into town to see what was happening – nothing. Maybe this evening there will be some action. They have a chef flying up from Seattle to demonstrate how to cook salmon. I hope it’s not another version of the deep fat fryer that everything seems to be subjected to in Alaska.