Thursday 7th June Our total despair is very slowly starting to subside, (this means Emma only bursts into tears 2 or 3 times a day!) but after 3 days of trying to get the engine going, a task which until we go out and try it we will not know if we have succeeded, we are consoling ourselves with the fact the we did the right thing by retiring. If we could have fixed it quickly we would have been on our way but without power we would have had to hand steer 24/7 with no lights, no AIS, no radar enhancer, no GPS, no VHF, a task to foolish to contemplate.
It’s blowing old boots today and we will have to stay in Falmouth, packed in like sardines, with other boats that have diverted to avoid the severe gale 9 which is now blowing, but we still keep saying if only……….
Friday 15th June After six days using my limited knowledge and two mechanics, we have finally found the problem with the engine. Our earlier problems had led us to replace the fuel line from the first filter to the lift pump, as a matter of course we replaced all the filters, all the aluminium and copper washers and bled it until it emptied the tank or at least it seemed that way! Then enter mechanic number one who replaced the fuel pump, we left Falmouth full of apprehension and sure enough it failed, to be honest, when it failed we were relieved as it at least removed the anxiety and we knew where we were. This left us with a 35mile sail in a leftover slop with 5knots of wind, lovely! We arrived back in Plymouth at midnight and picked up a mooring buoy for the night, before being towed into Queen Anne’s Battery the following morning. We had the injectors serviced and replacing them, still no joy! Enter mechanic number two who after asking what we had done said he still thought that the lift pump wasn’t as efficient as it should be and after stripping it, replacing it, casting a few magic spells, found a partial blockage in the fuel line from the tank to the first filter, problem solved. We motored from Plymouth to Torquay and she never missed a beat.It had cost us the race though, the gut wrenching act of retiring, an awful lot of expense and the end of a dream, well at least for this year!
One door closes and another one opens as they say and after a few calls from friends, who suggested we enter the Triangle race which starts in Torquay on the 17th of June, we have again arrived at the start