Lu and Delph just made me watch Bad Teacher. After spending the movie trying to place which teacher I’ll be, they found it at the end. Lynn, the frumpy sidekick of the main character played by the amazing and underrated Cameron Diaz. How come? Lynn spends most of her summer vacation weekends going to zoo. Dammit.

Today meanwhile, was the first day of the rest of Lu’s life. Her last exam done and dusted. Should’ve been a good day too. Except you know when you’ve spent two years doing something important almost everyday and suddenly you’re not doing it anymore? And now that lockdown seems well and truly over in Wales, Lu watched her peers hang out and celebrate the end of exams (officially in-house assessments) – on social media. Hmm. Social media really is a fickle bitch. Anyway, soon we are crossing an ocean.

With this, Patrick the mechanic came back to Quest. We’ve been waiting for Patrick to come back for a long time. To be honest, I think that freaked him out a bit. Someone has been waiting over six months to see you again? ‘Well, you could have just called. It’s a small island.’

We wanted to wait until we were close to our departure to finally change the propellor shaft o-ring seal. No point changing it and then just sitting around, not using it for another three months. We wanted to change it and go.

With this, Patrick cut the o-ring off and slid the new one on which was already sitting on the shaft, in a protective housing. We were expecting the bilge to get a good flooding. Instead, luckily it only had a trickle. It helped perhaps that Jack had used the putty stuff he got from Jildert the electrician to plug the propellor seal as much as he could from the outside. When Patrick did remove the old o-ring, very little sea water came through.

Patrick also sandpapered the calcification off the exposed shaft. The state of the old o-ring was telling. A pool of calcification sat where the o-ring was exposed to the water. It was a casualty of sitting still during lockdown. Turns out there’s an reason boats are meant to be used!

We went for a sea trial after. I made sandwiches and we ate them, while chugging up and down the mooring field, checking on the propellor shaft – accessed through Delph’s hanging closet.

The new seal still drips – about one drip every 20 seconds. Not sure why. We do have some vibration in our shaft, Patrick noted. When we lift Quest up finally, we need to check the shaft for any bends in it. In the meantime, we can live with this. One drip every 20 seconds is a huge improvement on 20 drips per second. Jack and Patrick also finished the service they’d started on Quest’s engine and generator six months ago. They changed the impellers and fuel filters.

‘Now call us if you need us,’ Patrick said carefully as he was leaving. ‘I only live over there.’

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