Hell IV

Gotcha, Gotcha, Gotcha.

I’ve started to put the new motor in. The old is out, the new in the engine room and I’ve begun. But before I get very far I discover some changes that have been made between the two engines.

First, I try to put the power take off hub on the new one. Three bolts, should be no problem. The bolt holes are the same and the flywheel looks to be the same. NOT!  While the bolts fit, the hub will not sit down on the flywheel. Upon closer inspection I discover the Kubota has a larger nut on the wheel than my earlier engine ensuring that the hub will not sit flush. Ok, I need to get to a machine shop and have the opening lathed out to match the nut size.

Since I’m greasy I might as well continue. Next I attempt to change the oil pressure switch. This switch senses the oil pressure and also turns on the raw water pump when the engine comes on.  This engine came with an adapter. I take out the adapter and test the switch to see if it fits. It doesn’t fit.  Upon closer inspection I notice that the port on the engine is straight thread and my switch is pipe thread. Now if I was crazy I could just tap the straight thread that is in the block out to pipe thread but I don’t want to risk getting any even small metal particles in to the oil so I choose to add another part to the list. Take the port to the machine shop and have them tap it out to pipe thread female and leave the straight male thread alone. There is a squash washer with the male thread. That should work.

The last item I knew I was going to have need a machine shop for. A new plate for the coolant tank and on that would be the connection to attach the compressor to.  Time for a meeting of the minds. W/ and I talk and since we don’t know the area well we figure to call in the pro; Sanjay.  He has worked on some cruising friends boats and everyone has been satisfied with his work and his fair price. Everyone! We’ve used him for a couple of really, really small jobs and they were done on time and reasonably.  However; as it seems most things on the boat happen on Sunday, and Sunday is when most islands shut down and today was Sunday all we might be able to do is get an appointment with him for Monday.  Early afternoon I call and arrange a time.

Monday am he calls back; he’s at the marina and wants to know which boat we are on.  We talk about what I need; I’m also paying him to remove the other engine and he can do with it what he wants.  After discussing the 3 needs we head to the nearest machinist shop about 5 km away.  There we discovered that they could do the work but they don’t have any stainless steel and their machinist is out till Thursday.  Sanjay exchanges numbers with the owner / manager/ boss, and he tells me he will look for some SS and expect a call Thursday from the machine shop.  As in many non western countries I don’t receive a call on Thursday. To cover my bases, I call Curley.

Curley is the SSCA contact for Savusavu and also runs the am cruisers net.  He’s lived here 40 years and tells me of a good machinist in Labasa  (pronounced Lambassa). I call Ibrahim and get directions to his place. Ibrahim informs me

Our Savusavu Taxi Guy
Our Savusavu Taxi Guy

his son or employee is currently out sick and while he’ll be able to look at the job and most likely be able to do it, it will take a few days. We also call Mahendra for a taxi ride to Labasa.  For the day taxi the cost is $150 F. But the alternatives are to take a mini van for $20 F per person,  they arrive at 10 am and leave at 2pm. If something goes wrong and we need to stay later we would have to take the local bus; and while many say that is a Disney Land adventure it’s not one we would look forward to while attempting to get the boat back in ship – shape.

While we wait W/ finds this an opportune time to break off a chunk of her tooth. Oh! Oh!  Luckily she has no pain. Luckily because living with her and a constant pain is not my idea of adventures in paradise – if you know what I mean.  It is one of the knuckles on a molar and we take pictures and she looks at it and she’s worried. Again we call Curley and he tells  us of a great Dentist in; you guessed it Labasa.  Now we get to kill two birds with one stone and W/ makes an appointment for Friday.

Mahendra picks us up at 8 am and we drive to Labasa. He knows right where Ibrahim’s is and we go there as we are 30 minutes early. I explain to Ibrahim what we need. Three things, the power take off lathed out to 4.5 cm, the straight thread in the adapter re threaded to pipe and the plate made. I took the coolant top which had the exact bolt holes to match up and explained it to him, also I took the pattern with bolt holes off but the size and placement of the bracket for the compressor. After a few minutes he marked the pattern and everyone seemed to understand. He told me it would be ready by Wednesday. Next we drop W/ off at the dentist and I go in search of some new metric studs to attach the new coolant cover.  After stopping at about 5 places we find one where they have bolts but no studs. There is no place here like in Panama which has every size and type of bolt you need.  But the bolts will work. I’ll get some longer ones and cut the ends off, clean up the cuts and then I’ll have studs the length I need. With those supplies purchased Mahendra drops me off at the dentist and I wait while he runs some of his own errands.

W/ comes out all smiles. After paying the $50 F for the repair we head out to the street looking for Mahendra and

Advertising in the Hindo Templ
Advertising in the Hindo Templ

thinking about food.  Fortunately Mahendra knows Labasa and we head a couple of blocks away to a Chinese place. There we have wonderful luck with good food and some cool refreshments. With the afternoon free we figure to visit the

Labasa Market
Labasa Market

Hindu Temple and see one of the local tourist religious attractions.   The drive is only about 15 minutes away and we wander the grounds; no tour, but we still find it interesting.  From there we head back to Savusavu looking forward to some stops along the way for pictures.

Fiji is comprised of two large islands. Savusavu is on a S finger of Viti Lenua and Labasa is on the N. It is roughly a 2 hour trip by car covering about 80 km over the mountains. And they are mountains!  Our ears continue to equalize as we traverse the terrain and wonder at the lives of people living in land, from small farm, to large ones, harvesting cane or growing fruits and vegetable for export. Fiji is a fascinating place with only the resort tourist industry built up. Ironically; as much as they encourage tourism, there are no hostels that I know of here, no camp grounds and few if any trails for the weekend adventures of either Fijians or international tourist. Maybe some day but not now.  We pass a couple of waterfalls that shoot out to the middle of the mountains, we pass the National Park which is huge and all rainforest. We pass though rain, into sun shine and into rain again.  The road is in quite good shape and while some grades are steep and winding it is nothing like the adventures traveling in Guatemala or the back roads of Panama. We feel quite safe and Mahendra is an excellent driver.

Pano Vanua-Levu, Fiji
Pano Vanua-Levu, Fiji

With W/’s tooth back in working order her spirits followed suit we arrived back at Elysium before night fall. Mostly now we get to wait, clean up a bit, have a massage from Una 🙂 , and call Wednesday to see if the part is completed. Once we know then we will again contract with Mahendra and travel the mountains to pick up what is needed for our boat to be ship shape.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long