30 July 2011

Restoration of order begins...

Stove Project: Day 12
After rushing about for 3 days to get all the gasfitting and certification done during the working week, we decide it's time to relax a bit - we laze in the early morning, writing emails, phoning friends. Then we start on the restoration of Nahani to her proper shipshape self. Mate puts all the stuff back in the lazarette hatch while engineer finishes off the galley area. Mate then puts all the stuff back in the galley cupboards. Earlier in the week the huge cookware cupboard was emptied in order to run sensor wires through it, but that lot got put back as soon as the wires were in place. Today it's all the plates back into the plate rack and all the myriad bottles, jars, packets, containers of this and that, that live in the pantry cupboard behind the stove. Much of this has been resident in the small fridge so once it's out, the fridge is filled with more appropriate substances (wine, bubbly, beer) and turned on. Meanwhile the engineer is on the subproject of putting more insulation material around the big fridge, shedding small fragments of polystyrene foam everywhere as he works. No doubt they will gradually spread across the boat and we will be finding them for weeks.

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In which we are certified

Stove Project: Day 11
No, not certified insane (although it might happen any time soon). Engineer works all day to complete all the wiring of alarms and sensors. Mate assists as required, but spends most of the time taking advantage of the fact that the mattress is out of the guest cabin to hand sew a large tuck in the cover so that it fits smoothly instead of having to be tucked under by hand during bed-making as has been happening for the last 7 years.
We decide we need to keep the hire car we have for another couple of days so that we can get provisions, but find that the hire people are happy to give us an alternative car, but need ours back. So we have to juggle getting Bryan the gas man back for the final check and certification with doing the car swap. We get the timing all wrong and finish up driving down the coast and back up in Friday night traffic, and poor Bryan has to wait about three quarters of an hour for us to return. But then he gives the whole installation the big tick, and we have the excitement of lighting the stove for the first time (engineer took a break to get the gas bottle filled during his day's work). It looks wonderful. We each make a trip to the ATM to get some cash, pay Bryan and thank him profusely, especially for waiting so long, then return to the chaos. Decide to start on that tomorrow. We have a ceremonial boiling of the kettle as we have nothing else to cook, and after a cup of tea we head to the Yacht Club for fish and chips, then collapse in front of the telly in our jim-jams. Early night.

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Stove Project: Day 10
We start the day with one more attempt to force a piece of electrical flex up from inside the lazarette up the inside of the jungle gym post to the small hole already drilled for its exit near the gas bottle. After a while we give up and accept that the jungle gym will have to be dismounted, at least on one side, and raised up. This all takes time to undo all the things that hold up or are held up by the jungle gym, then the topping lift is attached to the cross rail for a careful raising, preferably without damaging the newly installed gas pipe, which has been carefully unbolted and moved out of danger. Even with a gap between the exit from the lazarette and the entry into the jungle gym pole visible, it still isn't an easy job, but eventually we succeed, then lower the jungle gym equally carefully back into place, and redo/mount/tie everything that was undone/dismounted/untied. Once the pole is bolted back in place, and while the engineer does the rest, the mate retires below to feed the other end of the flex back from the lazarette into and through the guest cabin. Engineer then removes the panel above the fridge to get the flex through the last section of the guest cabin, then across the top of the galley cupboard and finally to its target, the gas alarm. He gets started on the wiring, including the underfloor sensors, only to find that the instructions for the alarm have gone missing. We ring the manufacturer, who promises to email them, but doesn't, so engineer has to call him for assistance whenever it isn't obvious what to connect to what. Meanwhile, the mate attacks the bird poo problem - while we were in Melbourne it seems some largeish bird trapped itself under the doghouse, flapped about mightily dropping feathers and excrement everywhere before finding its way out again.
The previous day a big Hanse yacht called Coorain berthed opposite and we were greeted by Peter Watson, whom we met sailing his yacht Ankira four years ago. At about 5 he appears to invite us for drinks at 6, by which time the idea seems most welcome. We clean up and join the Coorain skipper Howard and crew where we play the "who do you know that I know" game as we are all from Melbourne and of an age. After several hours and two bottles of red, we adjourn to an Indian restaurant in Tedder Street for a feed. Mate thinks it is a serendipitously pleasant way to spend her birthday.

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27 July 2011

The Gasman cometh again, and does great work

Stove Project: Day 9
Returning to Nahani on Tuesday evening, we fall into bed after the flight to Coolangatta, picking up a hire car and driving to Southport Yacht Club, where the boat has been for the last month. Bryan the gasman is due in the morning. He hasn't given us a time, so we set the alarm for 7:30, thinking he might arrive around 8am. We are awoken at 7:15 by a call to say he is at the gate! We fling ourselves out of the bunk and into our clothes and the captain goes to let him in. After a very productive morning of Bryan working with assistance from the crew, we have the regulator mounted on the jungle gym pole at the back, the gas line going down through the deck, through the lazarette, into and through the guest cabin, through the cupboard, behind the fridge, through the bulkhead and along the side of the stove cavity, where it attaches to a tap and the stove hose. It isn't quite as elegant at the stove as we were hoping: we planned to have the tap mounted discreetly at the back, but regulations require it to be at the front. At least it will be obvious if we forget to turn it off. To make room for the tap we have to dismount the stove, change the gimbal mountings and remount (that was the exercise that did the engineer's back last time, but we manage it without further injury).
In the afternoon we go out for an overdue lunch, and buy some polystyrene foam - we are taking the opportunity of increasing the insulation round the fridge while it is demounted. The engineer then spends a rather fruitless afternoon trying to poke the wire for the regulator cut-off switch up from the lazarette through the hollow pole of the jungle gym to the exit hole he has drilled, but with no success. The cook, who is suffering from a badly strained foot, lay down on the job and has an afternoon sleep while he toils. Tomorrow we hope to succeed working on the problem together.

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01 July 2011

Order out of chaos

Stove Project: Day 8
Engineer's back is slowly recovering. Through heroic efforts, he manages to tidy up most of the chaos, storing the content of the galley cupboards in various receptacles, re-mounting the cup and plate racks and restoring their contents, doing the washing, even shifting the old stove off the boat and taking it to the rubbish area. He is then ready to catch his taxi to the Gold Coast airport and fly back to Melbourne, where the cook is waiting to collect him and make sympathetic noises about his back.
And so the great Stove Project goes on hold until we return to the Gold Coast on 26 July. Watch this space.

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The Gasman cometh

Stove Project: Day 7
Engineer severely debilitated by back injury from the previous day. But he is up and ready to meet Bryan the gasfitter, who seems to think that the exercise of running the gas line from the rear of the deck down into the lazarette, through the guest cabin and into the galley is all possible. An appointment is made for Bryan to return to do the work on 27 July, by which time the crew will have returned from a spell back in Melbourne.

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Engineer does his back

Stove Project: Day 6
In the cook's absence, the engineer goes on with the Stove Project single-handed. The new stove was left sitting on the floor of the stove area when the mate left the previous evening. At some stage it needs to be mounted on its gimbals, and the engineer decides that this is a job he can get on with while waiting for an appointment with a gasfitter. He does some clever things to adapt the brackets for the old stove to suit the new one, which is a little wider and has its own system of gimbals and brackets. Unfortunately the actual process of mounting the stove in the new arrangement involves some rather awkward manoeuvring, and there is a nasty moment when he feels something give in his lower back. He is immobilised and in considerable pain for the rest of the day.

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