Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Friday, 30 May 2008

Fish and Pesky Problems

We made a relaxed start in sunshine to investigate Plymouth Harbour, and see Drake’s Island. Offshore the battle ships were again letting loose with machine guns.

Without yesterday’s brisk northeasterly breeze we motored slowly down the coast to Fowey, and set out fishing lines with the new lures that I'd bought in Dartmouth, with which we quickly caught two mackerel of very different sizes for supper.

As we came through the narrow headlands, we met the Pilot cutter leading a large commercial cargo vessel out. Fowey competes strongly to ship out much of the China Clay mined nearby in St Austell.

Fuel is to be had at a dock to starboard inside the harbour, alongside a towering fishing vessel hauled out and freshly painted blue and red, dwarfing the houses of the village. In contrast the dock was dirty, rusty and rather decrepit. We almost forgot to hang out the ready-prepared fenders, but fortunately a bystander shouted to us as we came alongside, and they were kicked off the deck in time, saving our shiny blue paint. The bystander turned out to be an experience yacht finisher, who was very impressed with our new AwlGrip finish applied last year in St. Martin. We took 125 litres of diesel , which cost 77p a litre and I had to head round the little harbour to the post office shop and queue to get some cash out.

From there we headed across to the very clean new Town Quay pontoon which allowed us a couple of hours alongside to fill with water and get provisions.

Once ashore we augmented our David and Goliath mackerel with a visit to Fowey Fish to get some crevettes grises and fresh crab for a feast of a meal. I was amazed at their wine range, which included Cornish regional wine (2005) at 12 quid a bottle. I was tempted to try, but didn't feeling like lashing out that much on an experiment!

However that night we had to make a serious decision about whether to go on or turn back. The rudder gland was again seeping water at about 15 litres a day, and the generator now refused to function, claiming “oil pressure low”. Since the latter had been removed, serviced and replaced and rewired in Portsmouth this was a serious blow as we needed it to continue round Britain later this summer. If we put back to Portsmouth we could get the engineers to fix it. Going forward meant that someone else would have to deal with the problem, but at least we might get a second opinion. After a tense hour mulling this over the decision was made to continue west and the awful sick feeling of handling another time critical problem subsided. However i tightened teh ruddder gland again and the flow stopped completely.

We resolved to be in St. Mawes by 0900 and to contact Mylor to get their engineer to look at the problem. I set the alarm for 05:15.

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