Sundays, the day to relax…
Usually I am an early riser. When the sun is up, it’s time for me to do the same. There is a little adjustment I am still getting used to in Queensland and that is no day light savings. I understand why, but still I find it hard to comprehend. The sun rises at 5 in the morning, why should there be light when you are trying to sleep. I also understand this is a concept only for Australia, as places like Sweeden have extreme day light hours in the summer and darkness in the winter, but I think if the sun is up, so should I. With the sun rising so early in the morning, means it sets at 6:30pm in the evening. Why wouldn’t you adjust the hours of light to a little later in the day… Anyway, this Sunday I decided I would try and sleep in.
We just uploaded our latest episode and felt that we had earned a little extra sleep and a morning of relaxing. How silly I was…
Of course I woke at 5 in the morning as the sun rose. No matter how hard I tried, I was wide-awake and had to face the fact that it was time to get up. Climbing out of bed to see Marley’s little nose at the end of the bed, I dragged him out of bed aswell. Since Bonita has no problems having a little sleep in, I decided to take Marley over to the sandbar for a run. Maybe I would do some tender maintenance whilst there.
I packed a shifter to loosen the engine clamps and remove the outboard off the transom. A scrubbing scorer, as it was time to flip the tender and remove the slime that had decided to call the bottom of the tender home. Everything packed up; we putted over to the sand bar.
I had scrubbed for an hour or two and the bottom of ‘la diva’ the tender now looked almost newish. Having to walk the tender to the edge of bar, as the tide had dropped considerably. I proceeded to pace back and forth carrying items to put back into ‘la diva.’ With Marley run ragged, a clean tender and loaded up, it was time to return to the mothership for breakfast.
The outboard started with out a worry and I pushed us into the deeper water where the current of the tide runs at an average of 4-5 knots. We started drifting rapidly with the current, as the engine would not click into forward. No matter how hard I struggled, this was not happening. It would go in reverse with no dilemma, but the forward gear. Not a chance. Realising the current was too strong and I was getting sucked towards the mouth of the creek rapidly, I tried to reverse ‘la diva’ into the current. We only managed to stay in the one place… This was not working so I reversed us back to the edge of the sandbar and threw out the anchor.
Pulling the top off the outboard, I began to evaluate the problem. Not knowing much about outboards, I felt that my shifter and I were extremely out gunned. After playing around for ten minutes and being to proud to accept a lift from a passing tinny, it became clear. Unless I had some tools, I could not fix this issue. I tried the forward’s gear again and noticed if I held the gear down, the prop would rotate. This was my solution and I held that gear down and slowly limped ‘la diva’ back to Nandji.
Watching a few YouTube tutorials on outboards, I was now qualified enough to tackle this problem. Removing the outboard off the transom once again, I prepared for the memory tester of pulling apart this bad boy and trying to remember where everything goes. I flicked the gears once more and discovered they were working fine… “What is going on here” I believe I said out loud.
Replacing the outboard onto ‘la diva’s’ transom once again, I accidently left the motor at half trim. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. While it is harder to pull start the engine and make it fire, it turns out this was the problem all along. The gearshift has a piece that was getting snagged on the back of the tender when trimmed all the way down. This was not allowing the engine to click into gear. A simple fix after all. Being happy this was the only obvious reason for my troubles, I tightened up the engine clamps so the motor was firmly positioned into place once more.
Happy with the problem only being minor, I went for a quick fang around in ‘la diva’ to double check everything was fine. During my little fang, I got a little worried that the engine clamps were not tight enough, so once back at Nandji, I grabbed the shifter and gave the bolts a little more turn. Thinking I would give it just more turn… I break it.
Over tightening the cast metal clamp, I snap the clamp in two. So now our outboard is fixed and broken. Fixed as it goes forwards and backwards, but broken as it hangs off the transom with one clamp instead of two.
A great Sunday morning… Guess it is time to fix the toilet, the salt-water pump, the windlass, the port light switch and the saloon fluro light… There is always something to do on a yacht.