Thursday 26th May 2016
I planned to catch an early tide and sail round to Westerly or round to Kirkwall. A big Farr 65 moored near us left at 06:00 but ran aground. As we prepared to leave we were quite smug that we would have no problem with our lifting keel. I reversed out of the berth into the space between the moored boats but then, to my horror, found that I couldn't make the engine work. The throttle cable had snapped!
We were drifting down onto the sterns of moored boats, when Mark had the bright idea of diving into the engine room and controlling engine speed manually. Just before we hit anything I was able to manoeuvre out and around the boat that was aground into the harbour, where we dropped anchor out of the way of shipping. We tried to diagnose and fix the problem ourselves but it soon became apparent that we needed professional help. The Harbour Master kindly put us in touch with Hamnavoe Engineering, and Ralph put aside his other jobs and met us back on the dock. There followed a frustrating time trying to fit a new cable, complicated by the difficulty in gaining access to the binnacle, because of the amount of cable squeezed into the small space. This was clearly going to take some time, so Colin and Sue sensibly left us to it, and hired bikes to cycle to Skara Brae - a not insignificant journey!