2018-10-06 to 2018-10-17
Robyn and Robert arrived by way of the Mail Boat on the 6th and departed by water taxi on the 17th October.
Except for a couple of stormy days, the weather was excellent. There were days when the sea in the Bay was the calmest that we have ever seen.
Lawns Mowed twice, the second time with the deck locked down. (No real challenge for the mower.)
External Electric Socket (Double) Installed in the breezeway to power the water heater and the gas cylinder heating collar. The original plan was to run a cable from the power point in the hallway of the new building but that wasn’t possible. Robyn came up with a brilliant suggestion, namely; run the cable under the breezeway deck from the bedside power point in the ‘first’ bedroom of that building – made the task far easier. (Anything to avoid having to crawl under either building!!) PLEASE NOTE: The electric circuits for the 2 buildings are separate and accordingly, switching the power off in the bach will not ‘cut the power’ to the socket that has been installed – that has to be done via the switchboard in the hall of the new building.
Garden Now completely surrounded by a protective (weather and birds) mesh fence. Access to any part of the garden can be achieved by un-latching the ‘Taranaki gate’ at the front. Several new plant types were added to the garden.
Log fire flue Having suspected for some while that the chimney was blocked – fire hard to light, unbelievable amount of smoke billowing into the room – an investigation (by climbing on the roof) revealed that the flue is ‘capped’ with an adjustable ‘collar’ (slides up and down). There is a plate inside the collar (no doubt to keep birds and the rain out, etc.) It turned out that the collar (plate) was sitting ‘hard down’ on the top of the flue, thereby severely limiting smoke escape. Adjusting the collar upwards by about 100mm completely transformed the situation – easy to light, ‘no’ smoke, and much more heat. We took the opportunity to clean the flue with a makeshift brush (bird netting lashed to a pole). The problem was probably caused by the collar gradually sliding downwards over time as a consequence of ‘constant’ wind-driven wiggling, combined with the weight of the collar. It is suggested that the sliding be prevented by the insertion of two screws through the collar and into the flue.
Mice and rats We caught one big rat in the ‘Doc’ trap. Several baits were consumed in the 2 bait boxes that we have provided. We strongly suspect that there is a mouse nest inside the bach under the bath.
Mower servicing The mower ‘clock’ indicates that we have operated the machine for 22 hours since its last service. What is the recommended servicing schedule? Removal of the mower deck to gain access to all grease nipples could suffice this year? Thoughts?
Boat trailer left wheel The tyre has a slow leak. It was completely flat thereby necessitating removal of the wheel to inflate the tyre. (Bit of a pain.) Checking the air pressure of both tyres each time one of us visits can avoid the problem.
Boat servicing Minimal use of the boat again this year casts doubt on the need for a service anytime soon, notwithstanding the fact that the service was ‘skipped’ last year. Thoughts?
Jetty The need for some ‘bolt tightening’ for a couple of bollards and one of the jetty ‘grills’ is becoming essential. This is more than a ‘home handyman’ project? Specialist equipment such as an oxy-acetylene torch might be required to extract some of the rusted bolts, for example. Presumably there are jetty maintenance services offered in the Sounds?
Fire wood A sizable stack of wood remains. Several dead Manuka trees have been located. A discussion with neighbours to source a dead pine tree (or macrocarpa) will be needed as well.
Fuel stack Diesel & Petrol 1.6 and 2.2 canisters, respectively. Gas tanks 3.3. (Plentiful supply all round.)
Finally, the solar system, combined with a reliable water supply and heating unit, now make the stay at Umukuri so much more convenient and comfortable.
R & R