Open heart surgery (part II)

Magic happens when I’m out dancing!

In the last few weeks, while I was indulging my parallel life as a dance addict (3 classes and 3 social dancing events of salsa, bachata, kizomba, tango and african dance in the last week alone), Thomas has been hard at work, coordinating and finalising the install of our new marinised Lister Petter engine. And on Sunday, when I was out (needless to say dancing, to wrap up a frustrating week-end of domestic chores, and witnessing a couple of failed attempts at adjusting the throttle control which took almost a day each), he texted me saying “it’s done!”. Of course I shared his excitement from a distance, nevertheless I had to hear it for myself, so, when I got back at 10:30pm, I didn’t wait for the morning and switched it on to check. Then we could celebrate.

I feel guilt and shame (emotions I now know to be on the lowest end of the spectrum of human consciousness according to Dr. Hawkins, as quoted in a workshop at NZ Spirit Fest) for my lack of involvement, but hey, at least I wasn’t much in the way, and nor were the kids who were at a holiday camp for the best part of last week.

Here is the new engine arriving a couple of days before Thomas’ birthday all suitably wrapped up, and all the action I missed as I was snorkeling in Kelly Tarlton’s fish tank in an attempt to tame my fear of sharks:

It took a few extra weeks to find time between the mechanics and us to:

  • adjust the mounts to fix it to the boat
  • connect the new dashboard
  • change the fuel lines entirely (which involved cutting new paths for the bigger pipes and switching to two returns instead of one, allowing us to run on one tank only should the need arise)
  • clean the hardly accessible fuel tanks (an entire Wednesday night squatting on the floor equipped with a dish brush circlipped to a wooden stick, a funnel, a bottle of kerosene and a Alemlube pump, and head torches, transferring all the fuel from one tank to the other, trying to dilute and ‘vacuum’ all the dirt at the bottom, and repeating the operation for the second tank)
  • get new fuel filters, from a friend who, bless serendipity, happens to be one of the biggest clients for this brand of engines and add some spares
  • manufacture and install a bracket to mount the new fuel filters
  • fix the electricity (the first time they tried to start the engine the engine battery wouldn’t work while the switch to emergency paralleling blew a fuse)
  • switch and adjust the two alternators
  • manufacture and install a new exhaust
  • add priming pumps on each fuel line
  • adjust the throttle control (final tweaks done last night while I was out dancing, again, to make sure the idle position was at reasonable low rev)
Overview of the mess when working on the fuel lines…

It’s been a long time coming, but after three months of forced sedentary life, the gaping hole in the engine room is no longer, and Obelix is all set to go out to sea again!!!

Who’s keen for a celebration sail on Sunday?