Wednesday, 7 August 2013


David Martin Patty and Ivy

The beautiful Indian summer weather of last week saw us out and about to admire the beginning of the wild flower season around Saldanha. Ivy picked us up on Tuesday for a spin north to Aurora via Port Owen. Patty and Martin in Aurora hosted us to a splendid and unexpectedly delightful afternoon in their amazing 100 year old home. We managed to spot two rare blue crane, national emblem of South Africa. The flamingos were everywhere on the wetlands just near Port Owen and what pretty birds they are. Ive never seen them before live and wild so it was a pretty good avian and floral  trip!

On Thursday we were again gathered up by Ivy and taken to the Military base Reserve for a 2 hour walk around the spectacular coast just across the bay. So like Albany. There is a rocky outcrop with the abandoned buildings of the Reckys. A specialized Military Unit of South Africa which has now been abandoned. The Island would have been a pretty formidable fortress in its day. Now it just begs to be painted.

Remote rocky island once the home of the Recky's.
On Sunday we had a surprise visit by Manolo who has done such a sterling job for us on all our welding, shaft and tank jobs. He is a delightful man and had mentioned taking us to Spar for breakfast one Sunday. Well he came... and he picked us up and whisked us off to Spar and it was a great breakfast. Even the Latte was good. Then we were chauffeured to the national Park near Langerbaan to see the flowers there before going to the waterfront for lunch. We then went to visit his sons and their families in their home at Langebaan. Fantastic day. Such a lot of good friends weve made here it will be hard to leave. Add to that the fact that the marina is only $15 per day inclusive and why would we want to go??? 
Wild flowers at Langerbaan

Work hasn't stopped although it may sound like it has from all the tripping about we've done. 
David with Manolo
The two 100Lt Diesel tanks came back from Manolo's with an extra inspection port in each so we can now get to the insides of the whole tank including behind all the baffles which had been harboring an alarming amount of disgusting filter clogging gunge!

A new Facet Diesel Pump arrived via Fedex from the US... no thanks to the South African capacity to double the cost on arrival.... another story... it has a 200Lt per hour capacity and has been installed in the fuel cleaning system. It does not pump quite up to spec when its forcing fuel through a 10 micron Racor filter but it is managing a respectable 120 Lt per hour so fuel should be shiny!. 

There is another new water pump on the Mase Gen-set. Its a 12V Johnson flexible impeller pump rated at 25Lt per min. It is rated for continuous use by Johnson, so we will see! The last pump was also rated for continuous use by Jabsco for fresh water and sea water, in their website... but when the pump failed after only 6 hours David phoned Jabsco and they said that it was only continuously rated to pump Diesel! It was also a 12 V impeller pump with a bronze impeller. Very OVER Jabsco! Darn gen-set also melted a capacitor and had an oil pressure switch failure. Almost all these things happened at once so David was in his element with his detective amp meter running hot all over the place. Hes become a Hz-aphobic too since the capacitor event.. The unit has done 3000 hours. It is just a little 1 cylinder Yanmar air cooled diesel motor. It has a radiator inside the  acoustic case, which is sea water cooled. Apart from ongoing impeller failures and wireing issues its been a pretty good little unit. We hope the new pump will fix the impeller problem.

The Fuel tanks have had two coats of Carbomastic 15 protective epoxy paint to inhibit salt water corrosion of the aluminum. They should be ready to reinstall on Friday. THEN we should be ready to leave. We have to go south to Cape Town to clear out of the country as Suldahna is not an entry port any longer. ITs a big pain having to go backwards but we will just wait for a good northerly wind and duck out for the 60nm run back. It will be a good chance to sea trial all the new systems I guess.
Aurora is a little north east of Velddrif. Port Owen is at the mouth of the  Owen river which runs through Veldrdrif. Vredenberg has a big mall with all the supermarkets etc.