Tuesday, 27 May 2014
It's been a while since the last update, almost a year, but not much has happened in the meantime, at least not sailing-wise. In the summer I hired a little day-sailer, a Beneteau First 21 in Lefkas, Greece and had a great time sailing in beautiful weather and waters, but that was only for a day. I was quite impressed with how easy it was to handle that boat.
Back in the UK now; last week I went to check up on Ting-a-Ling. I was hoping that a friend could join but no luck so on I was on my own. I had installed a new float switch a few months ago, which seemed to be doing a good job as the boat was relatively dry. However this time there was water in the bilge - one of the wires had corroded so there was no power through the float switch. I fixed that, started the engine and took off.
The tide was coming in so I headed up the river towards Fambridge. I tried to hoist the mainsail but I couldn't - it seems that the halyard has stuck somewhere. This means that a trip up the mast is probably due. Nevermind, I thought, and I unfurled the genoa.
The wind was not very strong but good enough for a pleasant sail, facilitated by the incoming tide. At some point I decided to head back towards Burnham and having failed to tack, against the wind and the tide and with only the genoa, I started the engine.
The engine started fine but it was doing nothing! I was not grounded as I was drifting with the tide but there was obviously something wrong with the engine. I revved up but no luck - I was dead in the water. When I revved there was black water coming out of the exhaust - not a good sign. Luckily a speedboat was passing by and they offered to help and started towing me towards Burnham. Meanwhile I furled in the genoa but at some point it got stuck - I had caught what I think is the spinnaker halyard and could not furl it any more. Finally I managed to wrap it around by hand but it's a mess.
At some point on the way back I was handed over to another sailboat that was heading towards Burnham to continue the journey back home.. Many thanks to both people that helped me out there - not sure what I would've done if it wasn't for them. I had no radio so not easy to call assistance - I guess I could call 999 on the mobile but not sure how that would pan out.
In any case, I got back to my mooring and tied up. The engine is a big concern now as it was the one thing that I relied on in case something went wrong. Need to fix that immediately. I'm pretty sure it's related to the head gasket which I believe I blew a while back. However, I read somewhere that the black water coming out may be due to exhaust corrosion, and cooling water being mixed up with exhaust fumes. I probably need to spend some money getting someone to look at it.
Posted by Andreas at 19:03