Tuesday July 12th No Rush in Russe

Written by Jack van Ommen on July 12th, 2011

I just lost an hour’s work on the blog, just went “Poof”. It is 9 p.m. and it has been a long day so I will try again in the cool of the morning.

But I wanted to try and see if I can get some more counseling on my stuffing box problems. Iemand in Holland, Schinkelaars, Paul Boosman?

You can read the comments from my friends  Hilmi and Matthias Klemm. The shaft is as old as the boat, 32 years. At one time I did have some electrolysis/corrosion problems, I filled the cavities with epoxy and I never had any more problems. But the shaft has worn slightly in the area of the packing.

The stuffing box that I had on the boat for the last 3 to 4 years ( after the breaking of the gland off Celebes/Sulawesi in 2006) required 1/4″ packing whereas the original one, which I have now replaced with the brand new VETUS stuffing box tube/gland uses 3/16″ packing.  The VETUS gland fits perfectly on the stern tube whereas the American gland is slightly larger in diameter and I used an insert over the stern tube.

But possibly I’d be better of going back to the larger 1/4″ packing and the Algonquin stuffing box. It did work fine for the last 4 years. But that means pulling the shaft out and I wonder if any one has any experience doing this in the water, without lifting the boat above the water. If I use a crane it will require a couple hours because the 6 nuts on the flexible coupling have to be very carefully released and tightened in the right order and pressure.

I am on a second breath and it has cooled off. It reached between 35 and 40 degrees again today.

This morning I went exploring the town of 175,00 plus inhabitants. Has always been an important river port and fortified city. After the 500 year Ottoman occupation, in 1884, the city bloomed and was the origin of most of the still very attractive neo-rococo/baroque style. Rousse/Ruse/Russe often called the Vienna of Bulgaria. Wide boulevards, parks, tree shaded streets. In the late afternoon I had a young lady from the tourist office give me a private tour to the St. Dimitrii Bassarbovski rock monastery. This location was established by Greek Neolithic priests in the period 2000/1000 before Christ. St. Dimitrii, born in the 17th century was a local farm boy who became a monk here. He attained saint hood and several miracles were attributed to him. The next stop was the Holy Virgin’s Rock Church. The murals from the 14th century are the main attraction.

I had a discussion with the monk of the St. Dimitrii monastery about my disappointment in trying to find some inspiration in the Orthodox services in Romania. I learned a lot about the history, the importance of Bulgaria with the patriarchs in Constantinople, Jerusalem, Macedonia.

Last year from leaving Holland in late July till my arrival in Calafat, Romania, in September I had little bright sunny warm summer weather. I’d look in the guide I used with the pictures of people sitting in side walk cafes, swimming in the Danube and I’d wonder what went wrong. I slept every night in my sleeping bag. Now it is truly a Mediterranean summer here. I sleep under the mosquito net on top of a sheet and cover my self  with it beyond mid night.

 

 

 

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