Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 16 Sep 2012 11:32
It turned out to be quite a day.
Jim led the way up the forestay and after one or two miss-moves and changes of plan we achieved a workmanlike repair of the foil before a very late breakfast. Mags started to sew patches on both sides of the sail.
While this was going on the generator failed and refused to run longer than a few seconds. Dirty fuel was suspected and the diesel pre-filter and filter were changed before over-heating was correctly diagnosed and a totally wrecked pump impeller changed in a nearly-new engine. While considering the generator problem I decided to look at the pre-filter on the Volvo and change it. Inexcusably, I left a small loop of rubber gasket protruding from the “blind” side. The engine refused to run on air mixed with a smattering of diesel and it was a long time, after a very late lunch, before we spotted the problem and sorted it out. Then I had to tighten one of the alternator belts; always rather a pain because there is no safe place to apply leverage. Still, the engineer was finished and cleared away in time to provide tea and home-made fruit cake for the sailmakers in the cockpit well before they completed the patches just as daylight failed them.
Supper and early to bed.
The following morning we hoisted and rolled the sail after dis-entangling an inexplicable snarl-up in the reefing line, breakfasted, weighed anchor, made a final, final call to “Cocos Police” and motored out towards the ocean.
Since then we have been rolling WSW in 10 to 15 knots of wind making 5 to 6 knots. Not really as much wind as we should like, our big genoa has been collapsing and filling, but Mags has been baking bread, Jim is fishing and all things considered conditions could be a lot worse for the first day of the passage.