With Major Sprite now on site we are spared both the task of setting up camp each time we visit Tane's Rest and travelling to and from Tolaga Bay each day for our work programme.
Being on site 24 hours a day also allows us to do more, especially tasks that take more than one day, like settling fire to Marie's enormous pile of heaped up pine branches and wood debris that she has systematically cleared from where our living space now stands.
To beat the start of the summer controlled fire season we returned to Tane's Rest with a fire permit in hand to remove the massive heap with probably the oldest land management tool known to humans. Once the fire was lit in the morning it burned all day before dying down to flickering flames after nightfall. By the second morning the giant pile of ash and embers was a smoldering hotbed that continued to smoke and flame up all day.
It wasn't until the third day that the fire could be said to be out and by then it had consumed everything leaving nothing but fine grey ash. Never having set fire to such a large pile of timber before it was a salutary lesson in the potentially destructive power of fire in a production forest setting and the need to carefully manage burn-offs to prevent huge losses. It was also good practice for when we burn-off even bigger piles, as we will need to do.
Our return to Tane's Rest also revealed half empty water tanks that should have been full.
Our inspection showed that on all the tanks the same fitting had failed and was leaking water drip by drip. The failure occurred where two different types of pipe had been joined using a screwed fitting wound into a threaded socket that tuned out to have a tapered thread. Just like driving a wedge the tapered fitting had split open the socket, a tricky repair when the socket was glued onto its pipe.
Using a rasp and some heat we found that the wall of the cracked socket could be thinned out and then split away from the pipe without damage. Gluing on a new socket and replacing the tapered thread fitting with a parallel threaded fitting solved the problem while some late spring rain successfully refilled the tanks before summer.
Thank goodness the problem showed itself before summer, and thank goodness for YouTube that seems to have a video showing you how to fix anything.
This blog is the ongoing story of our piece of paradise on the East Cape we have named Tāne's Rest. Visit our About pages to read more about our project, and feel free to leave a comment on any of our posts.
Uawa County existed for 45 years from 1 December 1918 to 1 April 1964 before merging with Cook County. Click on the map to download a copy.