2019-06-15 to 2019-06-27
Robert and Robyn.
Remarkably fine with minimal wind throughout, a couple of wet / overcast days.
Solar System Where to start! On arrival (wet day) the solar alarm was ‘full on’ – signalling that the battery power was too low. After several failed attempts to iron out the problem (including connection to the generator), we abandoned (disconnected) the solar system and reverted to the generator directly for a couple of hours night and morning for 2 days. After the two days the inverter decided to ‘cooperate’ and normal operations were restored.
Lessons: The batteries drop about 10% charge per day. This means that over several overcast days – even when no-one is in residence – there is a risk of depletion to the extent of ‘tripping out’. (Which is what we believed happened on this occasion.) Accordingly, we recommend that the electric power be shut down at the end of each visit. We have turned off the orange RCD switch on the board in the container.(No point running the risk of breaching the operating minima when we are not present.) We will pen some further points in a separate note.
Vermin Also on arrival we were confronted with an invasion. Clearly for some while there had been nest building in the couch, to the extent that 4 blankets and the mattress protector were chewed to the point of ruination. In addition the critters had invaded the small chest of draws and chewed the vac packs to bits. A couple of hours to clean up.
Lessons: We need to be extra vigilant re the rats and mice. We regularly caught rats and mice during our stay. In addition, we sealed off 2 floor holes – one quite large. We experimented with a new type of trap – a slippery bottle suspended over a bucket of water. Reasonably promising, but preventing the Weka from steeling the lure is a challenge! The Good Earth trap doesn’t seem to work. Interestingly, the new electronic monitoring cap does work – within minutes of test triggering the trap, Simon (in Auckland) received an email to say that the trap had fired! Because the small cabinet doesn’t have a back board, we swapped it with the white counterpart from the new building. We sprayed the furniture with a soft fabric cleanser, but didn’t get around to shampooing the carpets.
Water System The ‘trick’ of purging the system at the first filter for 5 minutes works well. (Amazing how much sludge finally emerges.) Cleaning the filters works wonders as well. I have taken photographs of the filters because we need a tool for un-screwing the caps. (My wrists are no longer strong enough!) As agreed, we have turned the water off (blue valve at the filters).
Lawns Mowed as per usual. Note: I needed to use my new jumper leads to jump-start the mower off the quad bike.
Puffin Delivered via the barge that Steve had organised, along with a gas bottle and a petrol container.
Outboard motor Delivered via the mail boat. When discussing the different options we were strongly advised for reasons of safety to purchase a motor with a minimum of 5 HP – which we have done. However, I am worried about its weight. The Puffin is designed to accommodate up to 5 HP. Launching the boat (which we didn’t do) may prove more difficult than we would prefer. I have installed a beam on the inside of the container for storing the motor in an upright position. Will send a photograph.
Fuel stack As planned we arrived with a new gas bottle and petrol container. With the prospect of needing the generator for the duration of our stay we paid Trevor $100 to refill 2 containers. In the event, the solar system ‘came good’. We now have 3 petrol, 3 gas and 1.5 diesel containers in stock – more than we need but until a new fuel transport system surfaces, may be an advantage.
Storage cupboard (Bach bedroom) We ‘picked up’ and installed a tall clothes storage cabinet for the bach bedroom.
Peter Abel Peter and Lois spent a couple of days tidying up the section behind our property.
Steve and Michelle New neighbours making great progress in re-modelling Peter Abel’s former house.
Property values It is rumoured that a house with 6 acres / ha attached somewhere in East Bay sold for $750K.
Crow bar Gone missing somehow.
Hot water especially in Winter. We need a ‘smart’ solution. While the heating belt is effective it uses a lot of power which is less affordable in Winter. As we know the current heater was designed for systems involving larger gas bottles than which we have – of can ever have. Is there a smart way of increasing gas supply capacity by having more than one gas bottle on line? Should we trade the current heater for a model that draws less gas? (It is not as though we need a ‘huge’ supply of hot water at any one time.) Thoughts?
Bach toilet Working as if brand new.