FROM 1-30. To abeam Cape Leeuwin

Dec 01, 2005 - 0415hrs UTC │Salute to John Witchard

0415hrs 01 Dec 2005 UTC 45’42”S 113’33”E Ref 605

It seems that my dissertation on the extraction method of excretion has aroused some happy and some less than happy memories. Apparently, it is well known to most sailors as ‘pump as you dump’ – is there a Latin scholar out there who could translate that into a nice pithy motto to go with Titan Uranus – sort of Pumpe dumpere ut T.U. – a possible masthead for The BOG Paper, perhaps?

We are now south of the Australian continent. Wooohooo! And only three hours behind Sydney time. No contact yet with Derek’s dulcet tones on the long range Penta sked. I understand he will be retiring at the end of next year – huge vacuum – what will we all do? I’m really going to miss him.

Still doing it easy. The gale warning was cancelled and we lolled through the night going towards the corner at about 5 knots and that’s more or less what’s happening now but a smidgin faster. Next big milestone probably later today as we duck under Cape Leeuwin in about 70 miles. then 1000 to go in about three days, at which point we will break out two of our last four Dr Wendy’s specials. The last two we will keep for the Iron Pot. The next ten days or so will go excruciatingly slowly and yet far too fast. This is going to be a hard act to follow. There’s another gale warning around a front out past 80 E and moving at 25 kts so at least a day away.

There are three more salutes in my list – our communication problems have put me off my game a bit. The first is to John Witchard for his little gems of marine engines. John has a workshop up near Pittwater on Sydney’s northern beaches where he imports Kubota tractor engines of various sizes and marinises them with his own heat exchanger and other fittings and sells and installs them himself. He sailed in one of the early Hobarts with us and he looked at our reconditioned Bukh which was leaking oil and generally misbehaving and we talked trade-ins and the result was a WM Diesel 22hp 3 cylinder donk that we’ve had now for about 7 years and it hasn’t hiccupped or missed a beat. The engine is sealed fresh water cooled with a big Jabsco pump pushing salt water through a cupro-bronze heat exchange, so salt water never goes through the engine itself and it won’t corrode the exchange. We have fitted a truck fuel filter as the primary – it has a very efficient little priming pump in the top, so we don’t have the hassle of banging away at the lift pump after maintenance and it will almost always push any air through the system without a bleed. A real delight – always starts, easy to maintain – the water pump impeller housing, for instance, is smack in front of your face when you take the engine box off; there is a special fitting and a little pump to do an easy oil change and the bleed valves and all the filters are easily accessible. The alternator belt can be changed in a few minutes. Oh joy! There are fittings to allow the circulation of fresh water for showers etc around the heat exchanger and – best of all – if you need spares, you go to the tractor shop, not the marine retailer so you pay about half as much. We’ve never yet needed to do this. John has his own website at Onya Mate and a big lid dip!

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