What happened in 2018

13th May to 17th May

Picture of portside winch

Monday. So its just Bob and I. The weather is set to steadily improve which is good as I forgot my rain jacket. The bluebells are starting to appear, the wild garlic is out. The canada geese have chicks. I bought some t-cut, and car wax.

Tuesday. Started cleaning the cockpit with the t-cut to remove the teak oil stains, and also going round the hull. There are quite a few wee dings and nicks that probably need patched with epoxy. Walked the dog, went to the pub. The "boys" Nick and Davie are puting in a power of work launching boats, and attaching addition "fingers" to the pontoon.

Wednesday Decided to phone and postpone my doctor's appointment, the weather is just glorious, dry and sunny. Although there were a couple of light showers around lunchtime. In the morning I got the power drill out and using the power socket on the toilet/shower block drilled out the bolt holding the tiller onto the outboard. Started with a fine drill bit and stepped up. After lunch I got some help from Paul and his tools to tap a new thread into the engine, with a "new" bolt from the box of bits. All sorted by about 15:30. Just need to be gentle with it. Removed the 'leisure' radio, as the SoundJam works fine. Then thought the wire running to the port speaker could be repurposed to power the final light in the saloon. That works. The over all effect is great in that the old ugly speakers are away and the cludge that was the radio is gone.

Thursday. The weather is glorious again. A bit more polishing a coat of the demon white paint on the gas box, a quick varnishing of the tiller to clean it up a bit. Then down the road back of lunchtime. Bob is a bit on the lame side, had to increase his dose to threequarters of a tablet. BB display tomorrow night. Totals for awards, video to do etc. However, just the mainsail to sort out and the boat is in fine fettle for the season... until something else breaks ;-)

4th May to 9th May

Panorama of Port Ramsay Saturday. Arrived at the boat around lunchtime and there was Helene. She'd managed to get aboard, find the keys, get the electricity on work the lights etc. AND find the wine. Decided to top up the water and someone managed to fill the bilges!!! After pumping out we set sail across to Loch Corrie where we had a table booked at the Boathouse. Two bottles of red wine, a meat platter to start, a venison steak and a rack of lamb. Superb at £75. With a view to die for. Back to the boat which had run out of gas.

Sunday. Back to Linnhe Marine... no wind to speak of. On the hunt for gas, Gunn's garage (Appin) was shut, the campsite office at Barcaldine was shut, but the camping shop/garage at Benderloch was open. Bacon roll at Ben Lora Cafe & Bookshop, then a wee stop off at Sutherland's Grove at Barcaldine to let Bob stretch his legs. Lovely spring woodland and the burn was high due to work up at the reservoir. Back at the boat we decided to motor down to Port Ramsay on Lismore. There are two old mooring buoys there so we tied up to one. Somehow Tom ended up drifting off in the dinghy... literally without a paddle or outboard. Rescued by a passing dinghy as they were heading back to their anchored boat. A lesson learned? Pork chops for tea. A lot of seals.

Monday. Very still, no wind a lot of fog and mist. Went for a walk ashore, what a beautiful place, loads of primroses, a few bluebells starting to show... very "Katie Morag". After a late lunch headed back to Linnhe Marine. Moored up... Helene on the engine, then off to the Creagan Inn for tea as the Old Inn's kitchen is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday. The weather forecast isn't so good so Helene decides to head down the road, a lazy morning and nothing much done. The Jam Bluetooth speaker seems to work well and as the mobile signal has vastly improved in the area, it might be possible to ditch the old car radio weather forecasts are available from the NavText and VHF, so that might be a plan.

Wednesday. Windy getting and then the rain came about 11:00. Tidied up the boat and decided to head down the road myself. More pictures here.

30th April to 3rd May

Monday. Arrived at the boat around lunchtime... a glorious day. Cold but, dry and sunny. Got a coat of oil on the toe rail and various other surfaces. Launched the dinghy. Walked the dog, went for a pint..

Tuesday. What a difference a day makes, cloudy cold but dry in the morning, squally and wet in the afternoon. When going ashore stopped to talk to Ryan, after a chat re-starting the outboard the starter chord snapped. Ryan towed me in and I set about using the tools in Linnhe marine's shed to remove the engine covers and retrieve the end of the chord. An hour later and all was fixed, the cord is a bit short, but hopefully long enough.

Wednesday. The weather's not so nice went down to Creran Marine to get someone to look at my diesel (with the oil pressure light problem) The suggestion was that I buy a new Beta Marine Oil filter and see if that fixes the problem. At £14.99 this seems fair. Also called in at the Alba Sailing at Dunstaffnage to buy a new bailing pump (ours went missing) and a replacement bucket for the one I lost. Supermarket in Oban... Liver and Onions for tea. Fitted the new oil filter... no difference. Contacted Creran again and they recommended Robert De Sadeleer as an engineer. Texted Robert who said he'd be up at Linnhe anyway and would get back to me tomorrow (Thursday). The handle for the outboard broke off the bolt had sheered, a drilling out and replacement required.

Thursday. A bit milder but, still wet and squally. Gaffer taped up the tiller on the outboard... it'll do just now. Robert texted to say he'd visit after lunch, if I brough Shard to the end of the pontoon. The boys are busy adding in two more branches to the pontoon, and Nick broke off from the work to catch my ropes after my aborted first attempt. The amount of wind makes it a challenge (my excuse). After lunch Robert arrives. We take off the engine cover and as he goes to fit an oil pressure meter to the engine asks if I'd removed the connector. So the bit where the oil pressure meter would be attached and was open. Hence the low oil pressure! Robert had the necessary in his van, and fitted it problem solved. (£30!) Headed down the road leaving Shard on the pontoon for Helene who's on Mull, and would be coming to the boat on Friday evening.

Start of season blues (I hope) Thinking about the leisure radio, I might just go for a bluetooth speaker instead. Draws less current, and all the radio I'd listen too is available on the phone... There's a thought.

24th-25th April

So a quick trip with Sarah and Bob. On the road up Sarah needed a wee comfort stop. 10 minutes to the Green Welly stop we got caught at road works, out jumps the bold lass to find a suitable bush... the lights change... of I go catching a glimpse of Sarah walking up the road (through the road works) ... she disappears only to turn up at the end of the works. She'd only hitched a lift from the convoy van. We arrived at Linnhe Marine at the back of lunchtime and we got a lift out to the boat. We set off in showery weather with a nice SW breeze to Balnagowan, saw 5 or 6 porpoise on the way, borrowed a mooring in the NE bay for a cup of tea and to watch 2 playful seals.
Wind not helpful for getting back, popped the engine on and motored back to the marina. Oil pressure warning light flickering! Plenty of oil, wondering whats going on? Arrived back in time for a glass of white wine then a dinghy trip to shore for dinner at the Old inn... steak of course. It was nice to see the old faces again. Back to the boat and more drink was taken.

The following morning it was WET cold and WET! So we pottered about fixing the cockpit bumpers, fiddling with the knackered radio and so on. Down the road just after lunch arriving back in Glenmavis just after 4 pm. Sarah has now fulfilled all the criteria to earn a much coveted Shard T-shirt.

The Launch

We put Shard in the water from the Loch Nell boat storage facility at 08:00. Magnus was epic (as always) on the hoist and we were assisted by Sarah and Colin T. The lift in went well the tide being nice and high. Engine started ,but not much water coming out the exhaust. Made it to the mooring buoy, and then investigated. The impeller was still disconnected. A couple of minutes with the screwdriver and jubilee clips and it seemed fixed. I let the impeller cool down while we inflated the dinghy an launched it. Engine restarted first time and a healthy flow of water was noted.
We motored out of Ardmucknish Bay rounding the point we popped out the foresail in the breeze, and shut down the engine. Good progress was made in a pleasant Southerly. On reaching Appin Point we had a bit of wind over tide lumpishness and our speed dropped to 2 knots, time for the engine. This took us to the entrance to the channel and into Linnhe Marine. A wee spot of cleaning up and re-arranging, the deck light and leisure radio are not working a job for an electrician?
Heading back down the road at 15:00, big thanks to Magnus and Graeme (the shipwright) for all their work.