In our last blog, we realised that our mast wind instrument needed recalibrating, so we went out primarily to sort that out. Well as usual we got stuff wrong, nothing went right, but eventually after two trips we got there in the end so we classed that as victory.

The weather was bright and breezy,so we decided to recalibrate our mast wind instrument, as we had realised that it was showing a course over to starboard, by at least 10°, so we looked up the instructions in the manual and found out what to do. Annie our autopilot was also showing a course off what she was supposed to be so we thought that we would recalibrate her as well.

Calibrating the wind instrument

Press disp and true/app together for 2 seconds, then press disp on its own. Now you are in the calibration mode. Steer the boat into the wind then press vmg to turn the needle to port, or tack if you want to turn the needle to starboard. Once you are done press disp and true/app for 2 second to save your settings. We were well off as we had to press the vmg button 16 times, meaning that we were 16° off true.

Calibrating our auto pilot - 1st try

It had been so long since we had last calibrated the auto pilot, we had forgotten exactly where the button was for that particular option. After lots of false starts we did sort it out and started the calibration. For some reason after lots of circles we were still not calibrating correctly, so we decided that neither of us were on the top of our game so we would come in.

I shared our progress on camera and we thought it might be the fact that we were bouncing around a lot, so she couldn't get a fix. Regardless, we had loads of circles in our track and we had not calibrated the Auto pilot. I wouldn't of minded, but the auto pilot was not that far off her track at the start of the procedure.


We had been getting back flush in the toilet, which is usually a sign of calcium deposit build up, so while I was working Beverley decided to clean all the calcium out. We had prepared the toilet beforehand by pouring vinegar down the system, followed by lots of fresh water. So once, that was all pumped through the system it was time to dismantle the pump and get stuck in with a scraper to clean the system. Because Beverley had flushed the toilet through and we use the marina toilet most of the time, there was very little smell. There was however a lot of calcium as this is produced by a chemical reaction between sea water and urine. So Beverley cleaned out all the calcium deposits and changed the joker valve. We did not have a spare for the flap, so Beverley cleaned that.

Shower drain

After Beverley had cleaned the toilet she realised that the shower drain was not draining correctly, so a little investigation and she found that there was a wire mesh near the pump that was completely blocked up. Luckily it was really easy to clean so soon the pump was draining correctly.

Calibrating our auto pilot - 2nd try

On the Wednesday, just before the video went out it was a very calm day, in the lock so we decided that we would go out and try once again to calibrate our auto pilot. It still wasn't calibrating correctly, so Beverley asked if I could move stuff from under the flux compass. Well right under the flux compass I found the sewing machine, so I'm sure that would not of helped. The calibration was still not going well, so I got the manual out and it said that we should be making the circles at just over three knots. So at last the progress bar was starting to climb and be in the right colour which is blue. Once the auto pilot was calibrated we decided to call it a day.

That night

We felt that we had gained a victory, so we had steak and chips accompanied by a glass of wine and I have to say it was delicious.

Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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