Engine trouble revisited

We sorted out our engine again. This time the starter motor and a small gasket on the water impeller. We also found out the plans for the new marina and the proposed schedule of works.

We had lights flickering and we were really worried as all the electrics had died on the boat. This was why we were contacting Holyhead coast guard every hour, giving our Latitude and Longitude. We had a great sail, but neither of us could really enjoy it, as we were worried too much. We were worried about going through the tidal gate at South stack on time and we were worried about the engine starting. After sailing most of the way, the wind died and the only thing to do was start the engine. The engine started straight away and this time there was no flickering from the lights which I was relieved about.

As the wind had died the over falls at South stack were between 1 and 2meters, which was not too bad, They were however building as we went around the point at just after slack. It did mean that the tide was against us as we crossed the bay, so we were only going at one or two knots.

My challenge for that day was to go into a marina that I had never gone into before. We had discussed all the great places that you can get information. Navionics, Our Paper Charts, Our Pilotage notes but none of this was of any good as they were all wrong, so I had to use the mark one eyeball. It was very difficult to choose a good path, as there was a lot of small buoys around. I later learned that each of these small buoys marked the location of a sunken mast. I did however secure us to the last of the pontoons without too much trouble.

It was quite late getting in, and on a Sunday, so nothing was open, so we just crashed out that day, with plans to get it all sorted the next day.

We contacted a guy called Stuarts, who was an excellent engineer, being the substitute engineer for the local RNLI station. He looked at our electrics and said that they were fine. However he said the starter motor itself had a problem and that that would need to be serviced. On top of the starter motor issue, we found a small leak coming from the sea water pump. We used talcum powder to identify where the leak was and we found it to be at the back of the pump, so we asked the engineer to get that sorted as well.

While we got the engine sorted we explored the local area, and looked at the remains of the devastation caused by storm Emma in March 2018. I also found out the plans for rebuilding the Marina, which they hope to start in 2020, with the pontoons going in in 2021. There is certainly a lot of work to be dome, just finishing the clean up and clearing the sea bed, so some really busy times ahead.

We also went for a walk up to Holyhead coastguard to say thank-you for all their hard work. We think it is really important to say thank-you, it may well be their job, but it was still good of them to monitor us as we came up to Holyhead and to coordinate the RNLI at Beaumaris.

When we came back, we found Isle of Man III, which we had sailed last year. It was great talking to the guys and talking to them about their adventures. This was a great surprise when we came back, but our other surprise was not so welcome as the fender step split as we were getting onto the Lass, we recovered quickly, but it was still a bit of a shock.

The next day, the engineer cam back and fitted all our bits. With regard to the starter motor, that was nearly ceased, so it was great getting that fixed, the gasket on the back of the sea water pump was tiny, but it felt good getting that fixed too.

We meet up with a guy from Holyhead Sailing club, so it was really good to talk to a guy about boats and get all the local knowledge on what was the best time to leave, etc. If you can get local knowledge then that is really useful to get, even if it is the best route out of the marina to avoid all the masts etc.

That evening we left Holyhead aiming to cross the Irish sea, we watched the sun set and just about saw the green flash as we settled down for a long night passage.