Waiting For The Spare Part

Day 5 - Saturday 20th May 2017

There was nothing else to do but wait for the spare part to arrive. The engineers had kindly said they'd fit it for us if it arrived during the morning.

The facilities at Milford Haven were very good. After showering we had breakfast and looked at the list of minor jobs to do.

The jackstays we'd fitted needed to be re-routed to allow us to go to the foredeck whilst remaining clipped on.

The next job was to make getting on & off the boat easier. Kathryn, the skippers wife & 'first mate' found the pelican hooks on the guard wire gates difficult to clip & unclip. Erni and I soon sorted that by backing off the bottlescrews that tension the guard wires. All four were then easy to fasten much to the Kathryn's delight.

Little jobs can make such a difference. I hunted high and low for some suitable cord to tie to the snap shackle on the spinnaker halyard to make it quick to unclip. Then I suddenly realised, I had lots of spare on the lanyard of my sailing knife.

The final job for the day was to adjust the catch on the lazarette locker lid before we put the tools away. And as Erni was fixing it, I spotted the engineer's trolly moving along the pontoon toward us. Way hey, the part had arrived!

The two guys removed their boots and laid a dust sheet over the cabin sole boards and carpet. Access to the port side of the engine bay was good through two doors under the gallery sink unit. Reaching into the starboard side was limited to a small hatch in the shower room of the master cabin. Working quietly together, they quickly had the new part in place. However, connecting the exhaust pipes, along with all the other pipes they'd had to remove, took much longer.

We sat in the saloon and discussed a plan for setting off. One option was to lock out during the early evening & anchor, either at Dale or Angle Bay. The second option was to lock out the following day. Adjourning for lunch at the Crows Nest Cafe, the skip called in at the marina office as we passed by to pick up a list of locking times for entry and exit each day.

Over an all-day breakfast, a plan was hatched. We'd stay overnight at the marina and check there were no leaks or problems with the repair. Then at 0735 we'd lock out and motor to Angle Bay & drop the hook for breakfast. Weighing anchor at 0915 would see us at Jack Sound by 1045 BST. The almanac said the tide turned in our favour four and a half hours before high water Milford Haven, and at Ramsey Sound HW -3. There was a back eddy causing this early change in direction as the tide in St George's Channel was still ebbing strongly southwards. We'd get a huge boost of tidal stream in our favour as we headed north towards Porthdinllaen and Holyhead.

The weather forecast was in our favour again, southerly winds force 4 or 5 occasionally 6 with an occasional shower at first. That would give us some great downwind sailing. To prevent an accidental gybe, we needed a way to secure the boom. Skip suggested we use a couple of the heavy polyester mooring warps. These are strong and not too stretchy - ideal for the job. Warps made of nylon are very elastic, stretching an extra 40% of their length, not a good property for a gybe preventer! Kathryn was keen to see how this should be rigged and suggested a trial run whilst we were still in the marina. In the future it would just be husband and wife on the boat and she'd be the one to rig it.

That done, we tidied up and the skipper plotted a course to steer from a waypoint just north of Ramsey Island to another west of the overfalls on the west side of Bardsey Island. The back eddy through the sounds should get us to waypoint 1 in time for maximum benefit of the flood tide going north. We had a course to steer of 023 degrees True.

After a Bolognese dinner and a glass or two of red wine, I laid out my sailing clothes for the morning and turned in.