Thursday, 9 June 2016

Back in Inverness - part two!

Today has been a bit of a saga....
Let's go back a day or so - we travelled up by train from Peterborough to Inverness. Just outside Newark we sat for three hours looking at this brick wall
 because a house had cauht fire next to the line and they had to turn off the overhead power cables.
Here we all are stoically waiting for something for happen. It did eventually and we arrived in Inverness four hours late at midnight.
The next day we spent a lovely day pottering around Inverness and fettling the boat
Here is some art sculpted into the wall running along the side of the River Ness. We met one artist chiselling away in the sunshine.
We had a good night's sleep and after waiting for the marine electrician to not come and fix a problem the next morning we decided to head off for Cromarty and leave as the other boats were doing. Like this rather nice french boat.
Well we motored down to the lock, a new experience for Alice and then through the swing bridge and on to the sea lock.
then in the sea lock we went through with another boat so we could follow them as the tide was low and the estuary is quite shallow in places. the engine was running nicely, Alice was retrieving the the fenders and stowing them in the stern locker when BANG! there was a loud noise and.........nothing, the engine kept  running, we were still going at 4 knots and everything appeared to be ok except there was no water coming out of the exhaust system of the engine. There should be water......... but there wasn't any. Stop engine, raise headsail and check stern locker. The pipe which carries the cooling water from the engine to the outlet at the stern had split.
Alice took the helm, I checked for any other damage but all seemed ok.
Now I had to start the auxillary outboard for the first time in earnest. Under the sail Harmony was holding her own against the four knot tide so we gently tacked and headed back toward the south shore. The outboard fired up (!) and we gingerly headed for safety.
I called ahead to Inverness Marina to warn them that I might have some difficulty manouvering and Craig, said grab whatever space on the pontoons I could and we'd sort it out later.
I called Caley Marine and asked for John, the workshop manager, to call me when he could and we limped into the marina at 3 knots which meant we occasionaly went backwards when the tide caught us.
An uneventful arrival in the marina with Alice's expert help and we could breathe again.
John arranged for Robert, the marine tech to come and have a look and he said he could fix it there and then.

Good news! We have spent another day in Inverness in a different marina enjoying a different view and some sunshine.
Rather spookily the boat that moored next to us had just arrived from down south, actually from Suffolk, even weirder from the Royal Harwich Yacht Club! Which is where I would quite like to keep Harmony. Life is full of strange coincidences.
Tomorrow we shall try for Findhorn,
Many thanks to Caley Marine - John, Robert, the lady there who calmly took my slightly panicky phone call and reassured me, and to Craig at Inverness Marina for allowing me an easy entry to the pontoons.
Oh I nearly forgot, we saw the dolphins in the estuary. Just as we started the auxilliary two huge dolphins came to check us out - a real bonus!
Hope to see them again tomorrow when I would like a nice unexciting day!


  1. jolly good story - we are one day away from Tobermory

  2. What an exciting day - glad it all worked out ok - and I love the dolphins!