Scotland Shakedown welcome
Hamble to Bangor - A shakedown cruise indeed, overheating engine, jammed main (why did we have go for inmast furling!!), snapped jib car and a generator leaking coolent... Top this with freezing northerly F8 (35kts) head wind within 30 min of entering Scottish waters - Shakedown cruise it was.
After fueling up in Hamble we headed down the Solent and for 24 hours made our way west along the south coast of England. As we settled into a good watch routine, enjoying some night sailing, the nav station has become a comfortable place to orchestrate plans, monitor progress and learn more about the various systems on board and to constantly think about plan B.
All going well so far, then as the wind looked great approaching the Lizard we tried to pop the main out - stupidly because the winds were light and we were motoring we tried to do this down wind - never again. That awful straining noise - I will remember it of some time. What followed was three very uncomfortable hours up the mast um jamming the blooming thing and alot of very large bruises as evidence it was not an easy task. Thank you to brotherin law Simon who provided me with a climbing harness and some instruction which made it safe.(ish)
The following day was like heaven - crossing the Bristol channel escorted by Dolphins who kept returning to play in our bow wave for several hours.
Then it was back down to earth with a bump - we noticed very little water coming out the exhaust and alot of white smoke. After changing the impeller, trying to play with the seawater filter for several hours and making no improvement - we resolved to sail only.
This went well until we entered Scotland. Having enjoyed a gentle following wind for three days, within 40 min of crossing the Scottish border we were experiencing a freezing headwind of Force 7 gusting force F 8 ( 35 kts) and a large sea. Umm Chris thought he had found sailing hell, I wasn't sure what his problem was- is this not normal??. However, after snapping the jib car, and struggling to point into wind in a unfamilar boat we decided to head for Bangor. This is a real gem - a lovely small harbour just outside Belfast. Great Irish hospitality and a lovely engineer Philip who came on board and put us in a new seawater filter. Bliss.