A handful of other yachts have arrived over the last few days also from New Zealand and it's been interesting comparing trips and weather. Universally it seems to have been a hard trip for everyone with a variety of repairs being undertaken, ranging from torn sails to broken rigging. It's straightforward to identify a recently arrived yacht by the quantity of washing hanging out to dry, everyone trying to rid their clothes, saloon cushions, bedding etc from salt. I guess it's the modern day equivalent of a square rigger's canvas drying after a passage.
I was feeling relatively smug that we'd come through some bad weather without any major damage, however as we slowed down to enter the marina, I noticed the engine was idling very unevenly. After a day of rest I duly set to work on changing the fuel filter to discover the filter half full of salt water. I soon exhausted my increasing, but still limited troubleshooting ability and sort help from Patrick, a friendly French mechanic.
He admired my experiments in trying to build a water fueled engine and asked me to let him know when I've perfected it. The result was an expensive bill for new injector nozzles - which had recently been replaced in New Zealand - an expensive lesson. It seems while Kika was being drenched by the large seas, salt water worked it's way in through the fuel tank vent. Moving the vents to a less exposed position had been on my list of things to do since we left the UK, I've belated moved them.
We're off today to explore the lagoon and take a break from boat repairs... I probably won't have access to shore based email for a while, thanks for all the good-luck messages and apologies for running out of time to reply to you all.