Friday, June 2, 2017

So we were all set to leave the Solomons...

Mark chilling at Lola with his pals Pepi and Culi
We went to Noro and Munda to get our final diesel and other provisions so that we could check out by June 1. Before we stocked up on frozen meat from the fabulous Muzi Boko (a store made up exclusively of shipping containers and packed with reasonably priced goodies shipped from Australia), we decided to defrost the nearly-empty freezer. The thing hadn't been defrosted since leaving New Zealand over a year ago and had built up a good coating of ice.

When we turned the freezer on again after a few days, it was drawing excessively high amps--enough to blow the fuse a couple of times. Eventually, it settled down a bit (to where we weren't worried about wires melting) but was still way too high to keep it running. Indel-Webasto in Australia told us it was a bad compressor and quoted us a stomach-churning number for a new compressor (and accessories) as well as a possible four-week wait for the parts from Italy. The entire freezer system has been a thorn in our side ever since we installed it a little over 4 years ago and this was just icing on the cake.

As it turns out, it may be a blessing in disguise. Our roller furling had been cranky lately and kept getting stuck (requiring some extra muscle to bring in and out). The bearings probably need replacement. Pro Furl really pushes hard to have the bearings replaced by an authorized technician because installing them requires some "mad skillz" (okay, perhaps not a direct quote). Of course, the nearest authorized tech is over a thousand miles away in Oz.  We were reluctant to wait around to ship the furling unit to Australia to be worked on. Matt injected a bunch of grease as a workaround until we could figure out where to deal with the issue properly. The freezer issue provided the perfect excuse to do the right thing.

We have extended our visas and are hanging out at Lola for the next month or so (less if we're lucky and longer if we're not). All things considered, it's a nice place to be stuck. Hopefully we can get in some surfing and snorkeling/diving in between the gusts signaling the end of the wet season and nudging us towards Papua New Guinea.

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