After Corinna and Philip made it to Oban where the new crew, Cathy, Dan, Ellen and Linda, came on board, the quite creative epoxy job on the diesel return line finally put an end to our engine problems. From Tobermory on we had quite nice weather and enjoyed the amazing landscapes of Western-Scotland. Highlights of this roughly 550nm long leg, include Loch Moidart (with the old castle ruin at the end of a tricky to navigate body of water), Loch Scavaig (impressive views at the southern shore of the Isle of Skye) and the Crinan Canal (where the locks are operated manually by the crew), as well as many beautiful towns, distilleries, breweries, Irish pubs etc.
All this combined with numerous overnight sails and weather changes when we needed them made this a very memorable trip.
In case YouTube does not play this video in your country, try this link instead: https://goo.gl/photos/ehFWP1V58ErUbbUo9
We left Banavie at 9:00 and entered the first lock of Neptun’s Staircase (the engineering marvel of 8 consecutive locks). All was good – until the engine stopped running in the second lock!
By the third lock we determined that the terminal of the cable from the battery to the starter had broken and were scrambling to find a repair option. With Corinna pulling the boat along from ashore and Philip having to adjust the docking lines to the water level frequently, getting anything done in between was a challenge.
The captain of the large trawler ahead of us gave us a spare cable, but the terminals were too small. The power to port had a terminal but it was too small as well. By the fifth lock a new solution was needed as drilling holes into either of these pieces did not work out.
As with all the other things we carry with us, we know that we have them somewhere on the boat but usually not where.
Entering the sixth lock, the captain finally found a relatively large terminal (somewhere deep under Corinna’s bunk). Trimming the wires and lots of tape ensured we had a working cable.
Instead of being manually pulled into the next lock, we were able to do it under engine into lock number seven!
What a relief as pulling past the two bridges after the locks would have been impossible, never mind the remainder of the canal to Corpach.
We are now tied up in Corpach, got groceries and laundry done for the next leg and got work/internet sorted out.
With Ben Nevis in the back, it is easy to enjoy a nice glass of wine…and forget about the other items that still need to be addressed.