logo Yellsound of Lerwick
Date: 16 Dec 2010 15:29:32
Title: Snowy Glasgow and diesel bug-gered

We returned to Yellsound on Sunday the 12th September after changing our normal travel plans by sailing from Portsmouth to Caen. More expensive but much less driving and we were delighted to be back on board for early evening.  Tuesday saw us en route east to the Gofle de Morbihan with overnight stops at Groix and our favorite anchorage at Houat where we stayed for an additional night.
Next day we deceided to cross Quiberon Bay and visit the Yachting centre of La Trinite. Absolute delightful yotty centre and as now off season, we were able to lie alongside pontoon for two nights whilst we explored the town and visited the standing stones of Carnac. - A mega version of Dunadd/Kilmartin.  We took the little roadtrain from the village for 6 euros each straight to the stones and walked two miles to view the various areas of Megalithic stone plus a stop for Coffee and Crepe of course.
On Tuesday 21st, away from the Pontoon and down to Port Navarro and the entrance to the Morbihan.  Tides were right as we entered on slack water as currents can reach between 6-9 knots at the entrance. We found  a very nice anchorage at Gored on the ile aux moins, one of the two public islands in the golfe.Still fantastic weather with winds between 5 and 12 knots and sunshine all the way.  Celebrated with some Muscadet and Langoustine  bought earlier in the fish market at La Trinite and considered ourselves so fortunate to be enjoying this lifestyle.
So Sods Law- Next day Stuart very unwell with severe Vomiting and distended stomach, unable to keep down any food or water- a situation which continued for the next three days. However by day 3, decided ought to seek assistance and therefore left the mooring and headed to le crouesty a mega Marina in Quiberon Bay two hours away. Slight mistiming of the tides saw us leave on the ebb and making 9.8 knots through the entrance- Cuan sound all over again.
Once in Crouesty, Stuart went to Local GP who prescribed medication and letter of referral to local Hospital. Also visited Yellsound on two successive nights to see how he was but fortunately, medicines were working and recovery was in progress and hospital visit not necessary.     
 By Monday as i was beginning to feel normal again, we looked at the weeks forecast to discover that the tailend of a hurricane was going to cause havoc in bay of biscay etc and that by thursday night  through the next week winds would be from 20 to 45 knots- and as most of it was coming from the west not what we wanted to hear. So we upped from the mooring at Port Crouesty at first light for the two day passage back to PLF aiming to be back by Wednesday night. Great start -light winds  and motor sailing through the Teignhouse passage out of Quiberon Bay when the Engine failed again!  So up with Genoa and Linda ghosted at 2 knots towards  our anchorage at ile Groix some 20 miles away whilst I down on haunches in engine room changing fuel filter etc- full of crap!  I stupidly had opened the fuel tap on the port tank which is the cause of the problem.  Also the level of fuel in the starboard tank was low so there was no gravity feed to the filter so had to suck it through - to find water.   Anyhow got some diesel- system primed through to injection pump but still no engine so think that pump and injector are compromised so have to go off to Preston to be reconditioned when we return to the UK.
So Sailing it was- the wind picked up and we were able to hold 3/3.5 knots through to the anchorage and anchored under sail.  The forecast overnight was for 5 knots wind building to 12 knots by early morning so at 05.45, up we were anchor  up and on our way.  The wind held the whole passage until we were 1 mile from the harbour entrance when the heavens opened  and we got thoroughly soaked- first rain of the summer we have encountered sailing. Problem wind died- we were able to ghost to a quarter mile from the entrance and then no wind. We had radioed ahead to the Marina for the workboat to meet us but because of the torrential rain, they were holding back until the it passed through.  Meanwhile the light wind came back in from the North so we could not make any more progress and were just discussing holding on anchor when workboat appeared. So for the second time this year, Yellsound was towed in to PLF.  We were alongside at 16.00 so felt very relieved. Linda  was a great helsman, keeping the boat moving in very light airs - very impressive.
The fuel tank that is contaminated lies under the engine room workbench and has never been cleaned out since new- the Starboard was at Dunstaffnage- so that is our winter job. It was this that caused our engine problems at Morgat and a couple of times since. I opened the filter today to find it full of black slime yuk so no wonder it keeps blocking after a few weeks especially if we have been in a swell etc.  
The Forecast was spot on  and since Thursday, we must have had at least three inches of rain, force 8/9 gusts and  generally horrible weather- we had a slight lull today with some sun but forecast for next week is more rain but lighter winds. As we can't go anywhere, we are  winterising the boat  and aim to be back in London by the 16th as I have arranged a check up scan the beginning of the following week just to make sure that my vomiting was not symptomatic of something more serious.      
Life here has been non stop- we only did 400 miles this summer but the maintenance goes on and on. Because of the blocked filters and engine still not starting, I stripped out the injectors- think they are blocked- and also the injection pump and fuel pump to take up to Diesel Bob in Preston- the expert in 55 year old tractor engines!
I was going to leave the cleaning of the port fuel tank to the Winter  but Linda- being Linda - thought that it would be better sooner so one does not argue- so on Tuesday, we started the task of stripping the engine room- Generator header tank- stainless steel work top, Ply work top and then opened up the two inspection hatches -34 bolts to each. Only had 120 litres of diesel in it but the sides of the tank were covered in black slime!   So on Wednesday morning, up to the Engineers at the Marina for them to clean the tank and dispose of the diesel. They came at 16.30 and by 18.30 tank had been emptied and pressure washed. At the base of the tank by the fuel outlet was the most incredible 1 inch of black slime- like liquid mud- had to scrape it up- yuk  16 years of bacteria/algae- no wonder the filters kept blocking.
Next day two hours further work with chemicals etc had the tank pristtine and job done.- So by Thursday night, we had rebuilt workshop back as normal with one empty tank.  The Starboard tank was cleaned 5 years ago at Dunstaffnage and all that fuel is still good so hope we dont have to clean that in the coming years.
Then ,Replaced the water filter in the cold water supply and the Anode in the immerser unit -  completely eaten away by the electrolysis - all good.
Tomorrow sees me back on the Loo.  Our Loo waste pump packed up a couple of months ago and we have just got the replacement. Fitted it and it doesnt work properly!  Not enough power to pump out so back to find out why etc. Finally sorted problem by pressure jetting outlet hose to clear out the muck that had solidified in the bottom of the hose.  So now, we are very happy!.  to leave the boat winterised and all systems working as we write apart from Engine.
So back to Glasgow for Stuart's medical checks and to visit Mum.   Stuart through with flying colours and should be good for another season or two. Mum reaching the stage where living on her own is becoming difficult without daily/resident help, so we wont be going too far, I suspect. especially as the view outside is one of Snow and the last three weeks below freezing!
 So  Have a great Christmas and very best wishes from us both for 2011.    xxx

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