2016-09-01 to 2016-09-10
Robert Anderson, Robyn Anderson.
Robyn and Robert, accompanied by the new water system components (tank, piping, etc), arrived via water taxi from Picton late in the afternoon of Thursday 1st September. Bruce, Marilyn and Stuart Anderson (adult son) (all from Australia) arrived via the mail boat on Saturday 3rd September. We all departed for Picton via water taxi on Saturday 10th September.
1. Water. It was very windy on arrival. Fortunately, we had arranged to have David and Sarah Jane Cunliffe meet us at the jetty to assist with the ‘landing’ of the tank. David kindly transported the tank and piping up to the waterfall fence. A few days later, Bruce, Stuart and Robert laid 200m of the new piping down the stream to the existing filters. The tank was ‘carted’ through the bush up to the vicinity of the waterfall, Thus, all is now in place for the water ‘connection’ process. (We double-checked that we have the required amount of piping.)
NOW TO THE TRICKY PART – installing the water catcher. I will send a photograph to help clarify the following thoughts. The idea of channelling the water across the face of the waterfall needs re-visiting, primarily because it will be nigh on impossible to operate an electric drill for drilling into the top of the rock ‘ledge’. In addition, there isn’t a particularly ‘smooth’ surface to channel the water across to the side of the waterfall as we had originally discussed. I enlisted David’s advice. His view is that we should ‘bury’ a ‘sealed’ 60 litre plastic drum (with perforated upper part) in the base of the waterfall – a system he has used without incident for the past 30 years. This would mean that our tank would need to be located further downstream, but he considers that there will still be ‘plenty’ of head in the system. I remain keen to use our new water catcher – for a variety of reasons. In order to do so, I suggest that we channel the waterfall into the middle member of the 3 (main) streams that descend from the rock ledge above. I am confident that we can place the catcher and undertake the rock drilling safely if we choose that particular ‘stream’. Once the catcher is installed, I suggest we use hessian filled sacks (socks?) of ready-mixed concrete to re-direct the flow of the two outer streams into the direction of the ‘centred’ catcher. I make this suggestion because I believe that we will be able to ‘mould’ the sacks into existing rock crevices and, once solidified, achieve the necessary leverage to keep them in position, even at times of severe ‘storming’.
Issues / questions:
- David Cunliffe will be out at sea at the time of Labour w/e so neither he, nor any of his equipment, will be available.
- We will need to bring our generator up to the waterfall site. I will bring my hammer drill and an additional extension cord to enable the drilling exercise to be undertaken.
- Much of the ‘heavy lifting’ work for the water system instillation has been done already so I don’t think that Simon will be required given David’s absence. We will have some digging to undertake to create a ‘smooth’ base for the water tank, but I’m sure that the rest of us are ‘up to the task’.
- As an insurance, should we bring a (food standard) plastic drum in case we are unable to install our catcher? Should we locate the tank further downstream anyway so that we could use David’s system as a back-up for the future?
- Should we link up via the telephone soon?
2. Lawns mowed and the mower serviced. All seems to be in order. It will be 3 years in January since the fuel filters were changed, but I note that, according to the mower counter there are still 20+ hours remaining until the next service is due.
3. The mystery of the bach toilet. You will have noticed the dark stains on the toilet seat. I’d always assumed that the stains ‘appeared’ at the time of the building alterations, but now I agree with Robyn that the ‘crud’ on the underside of the lid, together with the ‘fuzz’ at the bottom of the basin when we arrived for this visit suggest that a rat might have spent its ‘last days’ trapped in our toilet. If so, how did it gain entry? The plastic ‘caps’ on the air vent of both toilets are partly decayed and the air vents could be a possible entry site. Accordingly, I climbed onto the roof of both buildings and installed a chicken wire ‘cover’ over both vents. Let’s see what happens. In the meantime, I suggest that we purchase a new stock-standard toilet seat as a replacement.
4. Pest control – good news. The new rat trap (when located in the mower shed) registered 8 kills which is 4 more than at the time of the last visit. The DOC trap caught a rat some time ago and again during our most recent visit. The new trap is now located under the back deck. There is definitely a rat nest underneath the old bach.
5. Mower shed. Brother Bruce and I burnt 2 trailer loads of rubbish from the shed and, subsequently re-located the old fridge/freezer (and other bits and pieces) to the far end on the shed, thereby creating a fully-covered wood shed beside the mower ‘bay’.
6. Quad bike. At Bruce K’s suggestion I cleaned the spark plug to see if that might improve the running of the motor. There wasn’t noticeable improvement I have to say. I suggest we ‘have a go’ at tuning it at Labour w/e. I learned how to tune a motor ‘by ear’ in my youth – so that might be useful.
7. Boat. The propeller protector was re-installed. We used the boat for a single afternoon – everything worked well. We need a ‘team talk’ re the pontoon patch. Re-inflation is only required after a couple of days, so it is a slow leak. Unfortunately, the current patch doesn’t completely butt up against the mid-rib of the pontoon (runs the length of the pontoon) which means it will be impossible to seal that particular leak with another over-patch. (The leak on the opposite side doesn’t present the same issue.)
8. Fuel stack. We sent 1 gas cylinder (ex BBQ) and 1 petrol canister to Picton via the Mail Boat for return on the water taxi that came to collect us on departure. (These are now all under the house.) We now have 4 (full) gas cylinders in reserve, 1.5 diesel canisters and 4.75 petrol canisters – nearly a full stack.
9. Firewood. We paid David Cunliffe $50 for him to deliver another load of wood at some stage. Given the amount of time that we have been in residence this year compared to others, we will bear the cost of that load.
Another great time was had!
Look forward to catching up at Labour w/e.
R & R