Friday, 21 September 2012

segment 20: Abel Point Marina and quick trip home


After we arrived at Abel Point marina , Airlie Beach , we cleaned the boat and Capt Barry spent the next day organising a service on LAST WORD'S engines whilst we returned to Sydney for a family visit and small break.

Capt Barry organised a quote for a service through Hastings Deering , the Cat agents in Qld.
The work specifically requested  involved MORE oil samples, oil changes for both engines,  valve lash inspection and adjustment , if required, changing the crank case vent filters ( CCVFs to those like me that needed to work it out), inspecting (and more likely changing) the two raw water pump impellers and the several anodes , checking the fan belts  and a general look around and report.

After giving LAST WORD a wash so she would present well whilst we were away , Capt Barry  visited the marina office to hand over the keys and authorise the service fellow to access the keys and specifically organise to have the boat  and power checked, daily, whilst we were in Sydney. 

The rear admiral , Julie , and Capt Barry then hoped on the ferry (from the finger wharf behind where LAST WORD  was moored ) and set off for Hamilton Island for our connecting flight. 

The ferry drops airport passengers at the airport marina, which is 70m walk  from the airport checkin, and  takes about 50 mins to 75 mins to make the ferry trip, depending upon whether there is a stop over at Daydream Island on route.

Back in Sydney, Julie ( who is only a rear admiral when doing something connected with LAST WORD ) worked like a ........worker bee,  ( sorry for the stutter  there , but I had to think of some  now more socially acceptable  description ). In fact Julie went direct from the airport, on arrival in Sydney, to her place of work at BEAD THEM UP, and did not return home until about 8.00pm ( after Capt Barry and Graeme (Capt Barry's brother , who flew in from Surfers Paradise at the same time ) had cleaned the house and organised dinner.

That is right folks, after being away for 6 weeks , we organised a family night BBQ for about 8 all was back to normal.

The week at home allowed Capt Barry to procure some spare parts and hard to find bits and pieces, catch up with family and friends, go through the mail, pay some bills , top up the house account ( for Shelly to administer ), reassure the cat we were still alive ,  try out Capt Barry's 4 month old  rotator cuff/shoulder  repair with a round of golf with a dear  friend, Jim Gale,  and  WASTE TIME (EARLY)  VOTING IN TWO COUNCIL ELECTIONS.

Meanwhile Julie worked....worked.....and worked....and worked  some more , and was even  late for her own birthday and fathers day dinner at mum and dads place.  Ohhh know what they say....happy wife....happy life.

We said our good byes.... again, and flew back to Hamilton Island on the 5th Sept and ferried across to Airlie Beach, and  rear admiral Julie let out a big sigh of relief when we boarded the ferry, at leaving behind 12 hour days,  and was looking forward to just 5 hour days of beading by phone and internet and cataloging product for the website.

On arrival at Airlie Beach , Capt Barry telephoned Hastings Deering (HD) and discovered that there were some issues with the service ( which had been carried out the day earlier), and organised further rectification work ( under warranty ) to be carried out the next day.
welcomed back by a sting ray in the berth next to LAST WORD 

HD said that the dip sticks were incorrectly calibrated as there was only  about 23 L of oil in each engine , including the oil filters and residue in the sump and lines, ( and there should be 31L , according to them ), the air filters needed oiling, one of the valves was open way to far (2.5mm instead of 30 thou - and they were amazed that the push rod had not fallen off)  and a water pump locating bolt was missing.
the old unoiled or insufficiently oiled air filter in the box , the new pre-oiled filter to show as a comparison. You can see where the service fellow oiled two ribs of the old air filter ie where it is pink.

According to them , LAST WORD has  just done 280 engine hours approx. 7 to 8 L short on the starboard engine oil. Luckily,I had organised three oil changes in the first 130 hours, including the first one at 20 hours, so this should help with the viscosity issue  of the oil .

The HD service fellow turned up the next day and did all the warranty work required,and removed the oil ( only changed 2 days previously ), added new oil as per their recommendation ie  31 L,  and  re-calibrated the dip sticks to 31 L  during this process.

I queried ,  the dip sticks  re-calibration when it was being done  ,  (and several times by telephone and email since ) ie what was the correct amount of oil , pointing out that the Cat service and maintenance book said  28 L on page 55, and describes the calibration procedure on page 80 saying 24.6 L is full (which is about what Cat in China did when they installed and commissioned the engines - which included marking the dip sticks)  , and that HD  are saying and re-calibrating to 31 L.

I still have not received any answers to my queries  from HD (in two weeks ) , but note that WesTrac ( Cat's NSW agent ) has responded in a timely fashion and said that according to CAT ( media number SEBU7599)  the correct quantity of oil is 28.4 L and includes the sump and oil filter.

If WesTrac  is correct , LAST WORD , now has its dip sticks incorrectly calibrated for approx 31L of oil and too much oil in the engine.... which is just as bad as too little....??????..... 

Well moving on , the rear admiral discovered that the power had gone off while we were away, and must have been off for several days , as the quiche , which was sitting on top of the ice cubes was now at the bottom of a solid 20mm deep block of ice.
something is not quite right with what i am looking at.....what could it be????

We bagged the off food , and called the marina office with advance warning  of the complaint and left  the bagged food  for the marina manager to see , but he was not there that afternoon - which was probably a good thing, so  went shopping that evening , and restocked. 

The next morning Capt Barry ironed and put on his cleanest board shorts and paid a visit to the marina manager. The marina manager was very professional, lunch was enjoyed, and an acceptable arrangement agreed.

That afternoon I had a visit from the Whitsunday Electronics rep. about my less than satisfactory Raymarine radar performance ( ie it does not display all targets on the screen - and we play "find the rock at night").

I was given a clean bill of health on the radar settings ( and my use of the radar) , and he said he would report to Raymarine , and come back to me re the next step.

The next morning  the Whitsunday electronics fellow paid us a flying visit before we departed for Hamilton Island and upgraded the software. Alas the software upgrade did nothing for the radar and the missing targets.

We arrived at Hamilton Island, on a slightly windy trade wind day ( 10 kt SE ) , and found our allocated berth GN09, and tucked LAST WORD  into her new home for the next several weeks. The berths are  a little  tight with no center pole between boats and only about 4 m of swing room back and front when pivoting to slip in to the stern first berth, which LAST WORD  has to do , so we can get on and off the 18m finger.
looking down on the harbour at Hamilton Island from the hill that goes to the airport. LAST WORD is the first boat you would come to if you drew a line down  from the middle of the entrance to the harbour. 

After arrival, we did  a G arm walk ( to  renew some new acquaintances)  then  settled into a glass of wine,  or two, as the sun set,  and sent massages to confirm who is coming north to join  LAST WORD,  so we could  reschedule visits and LAST WORD'S passage,  further north, to Hinchinbrook Island.
pic from the bow of LAST WORD looking towards Hamilton Island  harbour entrance with Dent Island in the background. A good spot for a glass of wine.

Trip 20 NM , 2.6 hours ( including playing with radar ) , total fuel 80 L ( av 9 kts and 30.7 L per hour total fuel burn ).

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