No more leaking!

The last three months were quite tough. Remember? In April we caught a line in the prop in the Gambier, the shaft was pulled out several centimetres by the force and the thrust bearing was damaged (cracked housing) so that we could no longer use the engine. We had to sail straight to Tahiti to haul out there and spent two weeks repairing and waiting for spare parts in Technimarine Papeete (unfriendly staff, they sanded a rusty fishing boat next to us and we still have the rust particles everywhere…).
Back in the water we had to find out that the shaft seal which had to be taken off and reassambled during the repairs was now leaking while the prop was turning. Hopes that the leaking would stop after a while did not come true and in the end we decided to haul out yet again to change the shaft seal.

On Tuesday we had an appointment for the travel lift in Raiatea Carenage. The organisation of carenage seems quite chaotic, they told us to be ready at 8, didn’t get back to us until 10, then ordered us to come in immediately. When we were half into the narrow, concrete bay some workers strolled along and told us to get out again without explaining why and what they wanted. Getting Pitufa out again and turning her around in the narrow channel with rocks on one side and an iron rail on the other was a risky manouever. We had to take up a mooring with the depthsounder announcing 0.0 under the keel while two other boats were splashed and hauled out. When it was finally our turn the workers declared a lunch break (no stress, you good, ok?) and we were left waiting for another hour. When we finally got out at 2 o’clock Christian and Adrian (yes, our ‘private mechanic’ sailed to Raiatea as well for the haul out) started work immediately. This time everything went smoothly as they had already practiced for days in Technimarine… They finished yesterday at noon and we got back into the water. We were more than nervous at that point. What if the shaft started leaking again??? Fortunately everything stayed dry and it seems that we can start enjoying cruising again without constantly worrying and having to mop up the bilge after every sailing day.
What a relief.

We spent the rest of the day cleaning off the filth of the boatyard, rinsing the bilge with fresh water and drying it again and hunting for mosquitoes that had hitched a ride from the Carenage.
Today we’ll head up to Tahaa for some holidays :-)

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