Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Tracking Tin Tin

I have set up a tracking map on a web page, which you can find on the blog.  Click on the link "Tin Tin's Progress" on the right to see our track, and last reported position.  This is sent from our Iridium GO! satellite communicator.  Don't panic if our position doesn't move - the GO! might not have been switched on, or can't catch a passing satellite..

Initially you will find us in the Bight of Benin at 0 degrees longitude and 0 degrees latitude !

Tin Tin of St Mawes

The boat is now officially Tin Tin of St Mawes as her unique name registered under Part 1 with the Marine Coastguard Agency.  It has taken a long time to get this accepted as they kept demanding new documents which were hard to acquire from the ageing previous owner, and eventually I had to have documents translated and notarised from French and Latvian.

A carving and marking note has been issued, and now a brass plate is being manufactured in Manchester which must be permanently fixed to the boat.

New Engine delivered

The new engine is in!  Launch will be on Friday and with luck we will be doing sea trials on Monday!   If all goes well ( and why would I expect that?!) we could set off on Tuesday, subject to weather, of course.

Meanwhile Anne and Paul did a huge shop at Sainsbury's to fill up with dozens of cans of long date meats and vegetables - the check out manager wanted to know if we were preparing for the Apocalypse!

My to do list keeps getting longer despite being ticked off rapidly.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Engine update

The new engine will apparently be delivered on Friday next week, and by the time that is all fitted in and we have done sea trials, cleaned and loaded the boat  I hope we can finally set sail on the weekend of 1st October.  

Unfortunately this is past the window of availability of our first brave crew member, Niall Gallacher.    Meanwhile the delay also badly affects our next crew, Peter Eatherley and Antony Wheatley, who had booked flights to meet us on 23rd September in A Coruña, and we are not likely to be there now until 6/7 October.

So does anyone fancy a sail south to Spain in a couple of weeks time?

Meanwhile Mark & I are booked on an offshore medical course on 26-29 November, and I enjoyed my first of three rabies jabs yesterday, advised because one might meet rabid dogs, cats, monkeys and bats.....  Meanwhile Mark is due to get his yellow fever jabs topped up on Monday.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Frustrating delays - but valuable time to finish off the jobs in hand

Wednesday 14th September 2016

Tomorrow was meant to be our departure date, but after conversations with the engineers I find that the new engine I have ordered has already been put on display at the Southampton Boat Show, and it's going to take longer to get one delivered than I thought.  ten days delay could be  realistic now :-(

At the same time the service of the hydraulic pump for the centre-plate reveals a faulty valve that cannot be replaced.  Guess what....... a new pump is needed!

Meanwhile I keep ordering things that are on the to do list, and friends keep giving me wonderful things to take. Rosalind Ranson sent us a magnificent pressure cooker, Tony Gourlay has lent a hand held GPS, Antony Wheatley has sent a magnificent Overseas Pro fishing rod (I can see self sufficiency fishing ahead), Peter & Cherril West brought Rum, William and Elizabeth Stephens brought Port, and Kate, Beccy, Alice and Emily have produced elegant tin espresso coffee cups, a ukulele and song book and a lovely photo album to remind me who my family is!

Then I got rather a strange surprise when Googling for this blog.  What do I find?  TinTin already in Mayotte which is on our list of places to go http://tintinsailingadventures.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/mayotte-blend-of-africa-and-france.html   Somehow it all seems less of an adventure into the unknown......

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Just when it was all going so well.....

Sadly we have a problem with the engine on Tin Tin....

Fortunately it can be dealt with in about a week.  

Coming back from Southampton there was a lot of blue smoke and suddenly the engine lost power and produced black smoke...

Today's investigation indicates that piston rings need to be replaced.  This means the engine must be lifted out.  Fortunately Tim Newell's team at Endeavour Quay are able to collect and lift Tin Tin out immediately "after our tea break"

Then John Dew, Andy and Ashley (next week's holiday cancelled I fear!) at MarineTech will lift out the engine, and rebuild it in "about a week".

So Thursday 15th September may not be our actual departure date, but there is still a faint hope.  

On the positive side the engine problem has been identified whilst still in the UK, and can be fixed before it fails in a critical situation.....  one less thing to worry about!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Launch Day

Launch Day

Anne, Paul and Mark set off early to get down to Saxon Wharf in time to launch Tin Tin at 9 a.m.  the team already had Tin Tin in the slings when we arrived towing the new tender.

We tested the bow thruster with its new sealing plate, which worked well and had reassuringly large bolts holding it in place.

While Tin Tin was dropped in the water by the big boat lift, our little tender was hoisted by a gigantic fork lift truck and lowered in alongside a pontoon. Mark and Paul both have forklift  licences and really fancied a go!

The new bimini seems just right, and I hope it will do a good job of keeping the crew on watch cool and dry.

Anne kindly delivered the trailer back to its owner while Mark & Paul set off down river to slip under the bridge before the tide rose too high, and sailed down the Solent to Gosport.

On route the engine was very smoky and ran oddly, and so we had a couple of engineers from MarineTech Engineering to meet us join the dock in Gosport to look it over and service it.  We were also met by Marine Electronics to get the Navtex going again - it had been disabled all round Britain denying us automatic reception of weather forecasts.  The cause turned out to be a tiny stray wire in the antenna cable which had occurred when the SSB radio was installed.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Last lap before leaving

Sunday 4th September

I have started looking ahead at Biscay weather using PredictWind, hoping that the recent bad weather ther doesn't set in. This evening we had a dinner party with 6 sailing friends, highlighting how much there is to explore in the Mediterranean. We then pored over maps of the world sketching out the proposed route and talking about where we might next meet. It's beginning to feel very exciting.

Last week I met an Australian couple in their yacht Taipan, who have been circumnavigating since 2004 from Australia to Africa, and up to Europe.  It was good to discuss all sorts of practical experiences including whether one should stow a RIB on condition or on the davit when passage making.  Turns out that Davits were safer for them than on deck.  I think I could also have chosen a larger 3.5m RIB too.      Other useful experience is that it's best not to pre ok airline tickets, as its stressful trying to meet the deadline imposed.  Kris and David explained that  their research showed it was usually cheaper to wait until arrival and then buy one.