Friday 4 June Pt Vila

Can you imagine how you would change the engine mounts on a boat engine in a far away place? We have been imagining on this subject for about a week. Today was the day to do it. Imagination has now been replaced with deeply etched experience. Let me say straight away that the job has been completely successful. But what a job it was. Basically Carl hung upside down for about 6 hours spread over 8 hours. He was allowed to have little rests now and then!. Christine made cups of tea but was otherwise banished from the galley when all the floors were removed. Christine quietly spent the day off the boat getting provisions ready and visiting the market. At the end of the job she prepared a magnificent meal of stir fried chicken and island vegetables.

Paul, Martin and I hovered around the legs sticking up from the engine, handing things and taking things and finding things. All the time Carl was giving a running commentary on how things were going in the bilge. “I think I’ve got this one”…..”the bolts off can you pass me the new mount”….” I just dropped the spanner in the bilge”….”can you lift the engine a bit higher?” We removed the ceiling to reveal a lifting point, then using the boom vang we lifted the engine high enough to get the new mounts under the mounting brackets.

At lunch time Carl had two engine mounts installed and we had a system going. So we decided a good lunch was earned. Carl was asked to only eat what would stay down when he went upside down again. So Carl, Paul and Andrew headed off to Jills Café. We looked out for the others but didn’t see them. But after sitting down at the tables in came Don, Meg and Richard (organizers of the medical program), followed by Martin who had found Grant and Christine. We had a wonderful lunch together at that gravitational place.

Back on the boat, the next 2 mounts were installed and the engine tested. So far everything looks good. A test under load will wait till Monday. In the meantime there are a few other jobs to do to get the boat ready for the second medical tour. Hopefully everything will come together by the end of Sunday.

After our wonderful dinner this evening we sat on the dock having a few drinks and thinking of home and wondering what our love ones were doing. All the crew send their love and best wishes to everyone back home. Chris sends a special greeting to her Blackbutt friends. I’m sure they know who they are!
We also thought of the departing team from the first tour and learned they all arrived home safely. We are also very thankful for they work they did to get things ready before our arrival, making our job more do-able. Allowing us to concentrate on engine mounts for instance.

Fair winds, smooth seas and new engine mounts

Andrew