Travel.P #18 – Will Flo loose his foot?

“Laughter is a sunbeam of the soul.”

Thomas Mann

Happy to leave Gisborne accompanied by good wind we parted towards Napier. My nauseousness lasted this time for a day and the night. I had to throw up around 15 time, but was used to it and did not really feel sick, despite the fact of the throwing up. It hit me in waves, so that I had times to relax as well. I remember that I puked during the calm sunrise and which was fun , because it felt almost too ironic to the calm, peaceful sunrise.

The next two days went by accompanied by just a gentle breeze, so that we lay around and drove by the engine. We caught a couple tunas and had calm relaxing days. Yes, I would even describe them as boring, because there was not a lot to do. I couldn’t read, the sun was super strong, no sea life to see. All we could do was endure the peaceful, boring beauty of our prison on the water. Action came when we realized that the engine temperature raise from usually around 50 degrees to 150 degrees, or maybe even more because we it hit the maximum of the engine heat information display. We immediately panicked and shut everything down. It was super hot under deck, I would say around 45 degrees, with around 35 degrees outside of the boat. After the engine cooled down we tried to find the cause of the problem, but had no idea. The running engine absorbs water from the Ocean and this water cooled the temperature of the water in the engine.

We had to top up the water of the engine, which Ced randomly did after 1 whole day of trying to figure out a solution. Before we jumped over board, thinking the pump is blocked, we cleaned the hull were the water is absorbed. It is amazing how much sea-life is getting attached during couple month of the boat living in the Ocean. It was also amazing to dive under your own boat. We stopped in a marine reservoir, so fishing is not allowed, and all we saw underneath us was blue, fading deep deep into dark and finally into black. Our minds draw scenarios of sharks and other weird water creatures chasing us. When the engine was turned on, I was surprised how loud the engine was even under water. After trying these and trying that and cool-down breaks for the engine, between 5 minute runs. When finally Ced randomly put water in the tank attached to the engine and a following drop of the temperature we couldn’t believe what was happening and shouted in excitement of the fixing of the overheating of the engine!

From there we realized that a gummy was broken and we had to look for a new water pump. Lucky we had a lot of drinking water with us that we could pour into the engine, because it was loosing a lot of water. With the leaking water-pump, we approached the the harbor entrance of Napier. 2 miles of the harbor a fish bit into on of the baits of the fishing rod. It was so strong that the wood handle snapped in two and the fishing rod was pulled out of its attachment into the ocean.

Immediately we turned the boat. A boat turn, even in a 9 meters yacht like ours, takes a lot of space and time. But because I kept my eyes focused on the rod, we were able to pull it out the water, luckily it floated on top of the water. When Merv pulled the rod in he realized that the fish was still attached to the fishing rod. And even better, the reel of the other fishing rods started n to wind out noisy. Wow, lucky two fish, perfect for the dinner when we reach Napier. But after we pulled both of the fish in and throw the rods back we immediately caught new fish. Flo and Ced even caught fish with a small fishing wheel for the hand. After we caught 6 fish, we called friends and prepared a BBQ or the next evening at the free BBQs of Napier just at the beach facing the Ocean.

In Napier we put the boat near the commerce harbor, where the big ships stop. We found a sheltered spot and let the boat there for most of the time we spend in Napier. After all the sails were pulled in, the anchor secured, dinner eaten outside, watching the sunset, we all went to bed exited to explore Napier and full with hope to find parts for our water pump.

After a couple days in Napier and a nice BBQ at the Ocean with friends we had to move the boat onto the visitor bay because there was a storm coming and we needed shelter from the Ocean. We stayed around 3 days at the bay, exploring Napier and asking everywhere about the parts for our water pump. No one could help, that is one annoying part if New Zealand. If you need parts for engines, tools or even electric parts to repair or upgrade you will have to search everywhere or order it online from China, which was in my experience the best way. Mitre Ten and Bunnings are way overpriced and don’t really carry a wide rage of ‘useful’ things, but sometimes those shops are the faster way than the courier and do the for repairing a few things. Just next to the port was a kite bay, where we tried to kite a bit where Flo got a 1 cm deep cut from a shell, that was bleeding a bit but we didn’t think of much more. Also he jumped with a couple Maories from a small bridge, just two or three meters above the water, where he landed on his back and coughed blood. Lucky that again Marie was with us so we could drive him straight away into the hospital. But because his foot was swollen as well he came back with a big shoe around his foot.

The next morning Flo couldn’t move or even talk. He was in a bad fever and his foot was swollen to the double of its size. Together Ced and me carried him carefully out of the boat into the car, from where he was brought back into the hospital. We all were shocked and surprised by the stage of Flo, put in just by a small cut on top of his foot. Because it was infected so badly the doctors had problems cleaning the cut and we were scared that they might have to take of the leg, because it was so bad. It got infected by pollution of factories, that bad bacteria was able to grow in the water. After the accident with Flo they closed the whole big area and no one was allowed to even swim there. While Flo was cured Ced and me left towards some friends on a hostel, after we put the boat back on its free place. Merv left us and preferred to continue travelling by bicycle, while Ced and me started working to pick Blueberries.

But more about that in my next blog update. You will read about the picking life, drinking, party and surprisingly good work conditions and a lot of fun. You will read about Flo and his health, going down and we receiving a horrible information about Flo. You will read about meeting a bunch of awesome people, a weird hostel and car races and our own beer brewing.

our beer brew container on the left

I am still with my Workaway host, here in the outback of Australia. I might stay two more weeks, since I learn a lot. We finally did our own cobbing and hopefully set up a new building. I am happy that I am with another really nice backpacker from Spain. Also I am shocked about how less is known, not only by my host, I mean in general in Australia about healthy nutrition and the completely overproportional meat consumption. People think they know what is good for them, but they have completely no clue what is going in nutritional health. Also it is very shocking about how much fast food and soft drinks are consumed by the Australians. Of course there are a lot of people, that are the opposite, but so far my experience is shocking for me. This country is pretty fucked. A big amount of the fruit and vegetables are imported, the mines are owned by oversea countries and so far all I saw was cattle, eating very dry grass. Even that there is so much space to grow food, no one does it. It is really weird and hard to understand.

Why don’t you fast TV for a week. Instead of turning your TV on grab an interesting book, a nice cup of tea with some dark low sugar chocolate and enjoy yourself.

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