Finally the time has come. The tugboat turns on its engine and the people on deck all jump up. Shortly afterwards we are tied up alongside the tugboat and are heading slowly towards the shipyard. The lines are adjusted time and time again to prevent the two ships from rubbing together too much. In the shipyard the experienced shipyard workers take over.
Inch by inch we are brought into the right position to the pier and then pulled up on the trolley. The Dagmar may not be the smallest ship, but she seems tiny among the fishing vessels. Arved leans over the railing on board to get a look at the propeller. “We will be right with you”, he calls to her. We are all anxious about what will happen next!
The workers get us a ladder, a small makeshift work platform is put under the propeller and the necessary tools are placed at hand. Removing the bolts on the propeller is very difficult, but after a few attempts, force and spit they are finally loosened. Finally part for part is taken off, cleaned and sorted. Then the moment we had been waiting for finally arrives: the pull rod for adjusting the setting angle of the propeller blades is broken – just as we had thought. And not only once but three times. We assume that the propeller got caught in a massive obstacle we must have sailed over. Deep scratches on the hull seem to point to this as well. Two of the three broken pieces are stuck in the so-called segment – the connecting piece between the pull rod and the propeller blades. Removing the broken pieces is the greater challenge. Holes are drilled and screws and bolts are welded. Only through the enormous willingness to help and skill on part of one of the workers – who stayed on at least three hours after his finishing time and helped us – could all of the pieces be removed. Thanks to the midnight sun and the perfect weather which allowed us to work until midnight.
The next morning Arved, Krischan and Thomas began very early to put the propeller back together again. Unfortunately the wind had changed direction and they had to work in the rain the whole day. And another difficulty was the fine adjustment of the new pull rod and the old segment which was only possible with the help of a pressurized air file from the shipyard. The decision to return to Iceland and to wait however long for repairs proved itself to be the absolutely correct one - only here in the shipyard was it possible to solve this complex problem.
In the end, and this wasn’t expected, the rudder blade which weighs a few hundred kilos, has to be hung out to get the pull rod back into the shaft. No sooner said than done. Pulley, lifting platform, bolts loosened everything secured and built back together again – the pull rod, propeller blades, segment and bolts. And all this in the pouring rain and wind. Wet down to our underwear and freezing, we enjoy a warm meal in the mess at noon. Then the grease. A well-greased shaft is essential, so buckets of grease are sprayed into the shaft in order to fit the pull rod well. Tomorrow is the test run in the bay of Reykjavik. We are anxious of the outcome and will report.
Lauren und Justus