15 August 2015

Waiting on Parts in Carnarvon, Australia

We are in the harbor of Carnarvon, on Australia’s western coast and waiting on an engine part for Katmai. An exhaust water leak developed in an elbow on the engine as we approached Carnarvon last week. Not a big drama, but when you have a Perkins engine that was built in England, and you are on the remote west coast of Australia, you are about as far away as you can be from a specialized part. Which means it will take some time, and expense to get a replacement part shipped to us.  Our stock list of spare parts that we carry is very long, but a new exhaust elbow was not in storage in the bilge, so we are WOP, waiting on parts.  We anticipate delivery mid week.  We can’t complain though, in fact just the opposite.  We have had really no significant failures in any of our systems, and we are safe in a nice harbor in a wonderful town.

Thumbs down for an exhaust flange with a pin hole sea water leak underneath. 
Note hose clamp holding a 'duct tape band-aid' so we could motor in to the harbor.
Carnarvon is a delightful spot and as always we make new friends in each new harbor.  Having a sailboat with a hailing port of Anchorage, Alaska while sailing in Australia is sort of like having a new friendly puppy in tow…many people stop by just to chat and ask about our adventure.   Often people will see our mast some distance off, while driving perhaps even a mile away and then come by and seek us out to chat and look at the boat.  Commonly, people ask if they can help and offer transportation, local knowledge and of course good sea yarns!  It is a small world, and we often meet the same people unexpectedly over and over. 

For instance, we meet a delightful man from Switzerland on the beach near Exmouth while exploring the tide pools one afternoon a couple weeks ago.  As Eric is from Switzerland, anytime we meet another ‘Swissie’, well it is instant conversation…in Swiss-German of course!  Wouldn’t you know it, as we were motoring around in the harbor with our dingy trying to determine where we could put Katmai (she was on a tug boat mooring about a mile out of the harbor), we are hailed from the roadside in Swiss-German!  Here was Danny and his wife, 250 miles and 4 days from where we last saw them.  None of us knew where the other was headed after Exmouth, and now we are in the same harbor at the same time.  Danny and Bente travelled by road in their caravan (RV) and us by sailboat.  What a coincidence!
New friend Danny was kind enough to take us to the hardware store so we could
purchase two fender boards to help secure Katmai to the seawall. 
That is Katmai's boom in front of the truck; she is tied to the seawall.
Danny was kind enough to help us get two large timbers to use as fender boards the next morning from the hardware store.  It would have been a long walk with a heavy load without his truck!

We are using the time tied to the seawall to do some chores, such as changing oil in the engine and generator, polishing stainless and the routine systems checks we perform (steering, hydraulics, electronics, engine, batteries, rigging)….the list is long.
Once again in a cockpit locker, Eric changing the oil in the generator.

The weather of course is gorgeous while we wait, and we very much wish we were on the sail to Geraldton.  Geraldton is our last planned stop before Fremantle, it is about 290 miles south and will be another two days or so of direct sailing.    

Slave to the stainless, Laurie polishes boat bits while Katmai is tied to the seawall.

We are just hoping the weather gods are in a good mood and that we do not have to wait long for a fine weather window once we get the part and get it installed.  Until then, there is more stainless to polish and other routine things to do.


  1. Does the pin hole on the elbow squirt seawater/exhaust vapors into the engine compartment?

  2. The hole was definitely allowing a lot of seawater in to the engine area. Not really exhaust vapors. Glad to have it fixed...Fixing was easy once we had the replacement part.