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.
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Are we on the set of Game of Thrones, dreary day. cold and rainy in Scotland. Philip and Dan trekked to a local farm on the Island of Kerrera to buy fresh meat. The lonely, but sultry, farmer’s daughter invited them for tea. Alas no time. Her farm was home to cattle, peacocks and, of course, goats. Corinna, Ellen, Linda and Cathy toured the Oban distillery. The diesel continues to vex captain and crew. Westerbeke and dealers no longer offer the failed diesel return line. No worries… The A-Team of Dan, Philip and Linda, rigged a very successful solution using epoxy and granola box. Thought leaders! Corinna, Ellen and Cathy would have provided input, but were engrossed in intelligent discussion and taste testing on whether Jack Daniels Fire is better than Fireball. The epoxy granola box engine fix worked, and we successfully motored sailed through the Sound of Mull to the beautiful port of Tobermory, where the land is colorful and the sea is calm.
We left the Caledonian Canal today and motored to Oban (still have not had a lot of good sailing days) and were looking forward to reconnecting with our friends/crew Ellen, Cathy, Linda and Dan.
Dan was waiting for us at the dock and had already taken care of everything (as always). Our goal was to fix the remaining diesel leak before the girls arrived. While finding the problem was not taking us long (the return line was corroded and had a small hole), it took us even less to make matters worse (we broke the T-fitting off when trying to get the leaking pipe removed!!!).
The girls arrived and had a nice reunion while Dan and Philip were taking the fuel system apart. It turns out that neither Hansen Marine, nor the dealer in Florida or even Westerbeke themselves have the spare parts. So, we are in trouble again.
There is a mechanic on the island that might be able to help tomorrow, potentially the distributor in England has the parts, we will find out tomorrow. To avoid getting stuck, though, we came up with our own plan (we epoxied the pieces together hoping that we can build our own T-fitting) and are waiting for tomorrow to see if we have any luck.
In the meantime, Hansen Marine is trying to find used parts in one of their old engines. If that works out, they will ship them to Europe asap. So, there is still hope.
Linda has plenty of mittens and hats (she is ready for the Iditarod) and Ellen brought her latest boat shoes. Her heels are a mile high and fabulous. Cathy came clearly overpacked yet perfectly matched. Her colors encompass the spectrum; teal, turquoise and true blue (but that is just the packable puff;-))