The Serious Burns Unit

The Serious Burns Unit

Serious Burns Unit

Will I give in to temptation, and like all the other bloggers out there in the ether, blog about Christmas and the New Year? Aye, of course I will – “Nae man can tether time or tide”. As a public servant in the State of New South Wales, we get a two week shutdown every year over the Christmas period. Despite being forced to take annual leave, the break is very welcome, especially as my job gets very hectic in the lead up to Christmas. I had lots of jobs planned for La Mouette and also planned to spend a lot of time just being on the boat and even spend a few nights aboard, albeit at the Marina (well we can’t go anywhere else until the engine is sorted). However, “The best laid schemes o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley”.

Mostly the weather was just too hot to get anything done – I was going to put a few more licks of Bilgekote into the engine bay but with the heat – the paint would have dried while still on the brush, plus crawling into the engine bay in the heat isn’t all that much fun. The engine bay is just about finished. All the hoses have been replaced, the bay itself has been cleaned and painted, with just a few touch ups required and all that remains is to clean and paint the propeller shaft flange. I still need to clean up the exhaust box and get another fuel tank as the old one just isn’t up to the job, so “And adieu forevermore!”.

The engine mount brackets are almost complete and just need a couple of coats of enamel paint on them now. Everything is ready for the engine! The good news is that the boys up at Minards were able to combine our old engine along with the spare, and we have now got a rebuilt motor all ready to go in. The spare crankshaft turned out to be good after all – “John Barleycorn got up again, And sore surprised them all”

Ideally, I would have liked to put in a new, shiny red Beta 14 hp engine, but the finances won’t allow that just at the moment. Instead we have gone with the cheaper option of a full rebuild, and ended up with a solid unit that should last us another 4 or 5 years (fingers crossed) by which time we will be able to put in a new engine. It would be safe to assume that this is the last rebuild that this engine will see – spare parts are getting hard to get these days. Especially crankshafts, we were so lucky with this one. By the time it is worn out, there probably won’t be any more left. However, that’s not too bad a run for engines that are now 40 years old. The only drawback with a rebuilt engine is that the old Yanmar has only 8 ponies so we will have to be especially careful in waters with tricky tides and currents.

The estimated date for the installation will most likely be early February. It’s a long time to wait especially as we want to get out there sailing but it’s that time of the year and everybody seems to be on holidays. This is never a good time to get things done, down here in the Southern hemisphere it’s too hot, and up in the northern latitudes it’s freezing cold.  Don’t know which climate I would rather live in, suffice to say I don’t fancy winterising the boat against snow and ice, but would much rather be out on the water sitting in some lovely bay sipping on a gin and tonic rather than stuck indoors with the central heating going. At least out on the water you get a bit of a breeze to cool things down. It’s just being stuck down below in the stifling heat that’s a problem.

Once the holidays are over, things will have to begin in earnest. The festivities aren’t over year. Following on the from the Yuletide season and the New Year, comes the Burns nights, or Haggis Nights as they are affectionately known. “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!”  There are always a few to go to each year and inevitably, I end up playing the pipes at one or more. This year will be no different. Then there is the Wollangambe weekend every year in early January, where we camp out at Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains and go canyoning down the Wollongambe River along with the famous Camp Curry Cook Off on the Saturday night. December and January are always full months. Once is it is safe for the haggis to return to the woods and valleys, it will be time to get back to the boat. There are still a few big ticket items due very soon also – new batteries are required as well as the annual haul-out and anti-foul. But we all know what boats are about – “Chains and slaverie!”

Source of quotes

“Nae man can tether time or tide” – Tam O’Shanter, R Burns 1790

“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men Gang aft a-gley” – To a Mouse, R Burns 1785

“And adieu forevermore!” – It Was A’ for Our Rightfu’ King” R Burns

“John Barleycorn got up again, And sore surprised them all.” John Barleycorn, R Burns 1787

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,  Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!” Ode to a Haggis, R Burns

“Chains and slaverie!” Scots Wha Hae, R Burns 1794




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