We had carefully moved our way around the southern corner of Norway avoiding the storms that kept moving across the North Sea. When we finally navigated the oil platform jungle, we were actually looking for wind.
After inch size hail we were happy to reach Inverness, get some of the engine problems fixed and navigate the Caledonian Canal.
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While we fell into a pretty deep low yesterday with Diesel everywhere, we caught a brake today and recovered just as fast.
The harbor master was extremely supportive and had a mechanic on the boat within two hours! While he took the system apart and organized new washers (the old ones were in pretty bad shape and the reason for our problem) another friendly helper organized canisters and recycled the diesel/water mixture.
By 16:00 we were ready to roll again. Groceries were stored away, conference calls finished and the diesel refilled.
We motored against a strong current (4kn) and due to a backup at the first lock of the Caledonian Canal we caught up with the other boats that had left the marina hours earlier.
One of the boats in the lock and now at the dock with us is the young Norwegian team that left Kristiansand ahead of us trying to make the crossing before the gale. They had not made it and just arrived shortly before us. Small world…
After a nice recovery and very good weather we are back in business and lined up for the first bridge opening tomorrow morning.
PS: Another highlight were the dolphins in the harbor last night. Their loud breathing could easily be heard throughout the harbor.
We made it through the oil platform jungle in time for sunrise and sailed further toward the Moray Firth. With lightning on the horizon, we expected some action, but were still surprised by 2-3cm sized hail – a little painful on heads and hands but beautiful to see splashing into the water.
After we made it through a handful of thunderstorms, the wind started to calm down and we ended up motoring to Inverness. In addition to beautiful green, rolling hills and the typical granite houses, we were welcomed by a whale, a couple of seals and lots of dolphins.
Apparently, the Murray Firth dolphins are quite famous. Check out Charlie Phillips’ book, On a Rising Tide, about them.
Unfortunately, our diesel injector leak has become quite bad. So bad, that we cannot continue without getting it repaired first (we had the entire bilge filled with diesel last night – and the captain almost losing his mind 😉 ).
We filled a couple of our water jugs to get the diesel out, but they were not even close to the volume we needed to handle.
More to come.