27 Aug 2014

[Cruise News] Back in Plymouth

Well I'm finally back online after a manic couple of months readying the boat, business and myself for departure ... I wouldn't want to go through all that again I can tell you.  Anyway, Wednesday 20th August was D-Day : we had to be ready for the off as a professional skipper had been booked to deliver Tumi to Guernsey as the final step of the export process.  And we were hitching a ride as crew.  So Phil & Judi collected us at 7pm and after dinner in the marina bistro and a couple of hours sleep we were off ... 2am on 21st August.  At last.  Sadly the weather didn't really merit setting off at that time, the upshot being we had to motor-sail all the way to Guernsey.  I'll leave the skipper to fill you in on happenings along the way.
So we arrived in Guernsey and moored up alongside another new Jeanneau being exported and delivered by professional crew and we all did the only sociable thing - go out for a drink and a curry.  It reminded us of just how friendly the sailing community is.  And after a marathon sleep we finally surfaced about 11am the next morning.
I love Guernsey - the right blend of island life and sophistication which make me feel it's somewhere I could happily live one day.  We pottered along on a coastal walk in the afternoon and had a lazy night on board. Saturday dawned bright and Sunday so we caught the ferry across to Sark, taking our new folding bikes with us.  We put the bikes to good use cycling the length and breadth of this small but beautiful island before returning to Guernsey somewhat saddle sore.  We had planned on eating out that evening but felt too bushed to make the effort!  Sunday was another lovely day and we walked a more strenuous length of the coast on the south side of the island, passing old German WW2 gun emplacemenrts and lookout towers that look like something from War of the Worlds.  Very sinister.
Monday dawned wet & windy and stayed wet & windy but we put the time to good use sorting things out on board.  The last few days pre-departure had seen us putting a lot of things on board which rather got stuffed anywhere ... a bit of order has now been brought to bear.  The rain stopped late afternoon and after checking the weather forecasts we decided to head off home.  Mistake: an hour and a half out of Guernsey we turned around and headed back to port to escape the pounding of beating into high winds and rough seas.  We didn't have a deadline so decided to abort what would have been an uncomfortable passage.
Anyway, conditions were slightly better yesterday so we set sail and had an exhilerating first few hours in 35+ knots and big-is seas but made great progress averaging over 8 knots.  And then the wind died.  Talk about extremes!  And we ended up motoring the rest of the way, arriving in Plymouth 10.30pm last night.
Today we have had a series of technicians on board sorting out little niggles.  Mum is collecting us mid-afternoon (we are now without a car of course, having left it with a local garage to sell) but I think Paul will need to stay on board tonight to do a few jobs.

[Captains Blog] Final Snagging

We had to sail Tumi over to Guernsey for the export process, officially with a delivery skipper aboard. I am not against skippers per se, but not on my boat. The one we had wasn't as familiar with the boat as we were, and as a result we ended up with some issues. Firstly he wound the genoa car line on the electric winch and kept his finger on the button when the line had come to its limit and the line snapped. Not content with that, he then tried to cut through the eye splice that attached the line to the car block, and gouged a lump out of the gelcoat. Needless to say, we were far from happy, and have had these issues redressed today. I would not hire such a 'skipper' under any circumstances. We take far more care of our boat, simply because we have had to pay out for it, and not treating it as just a piece of work.

So, after officially receiving Tumi outside Europe (in Guernsey) we are now back in Plymouth having the few final fixes done including the above repairs. We had to have the engine checked after some juddering experienced at 2000 rpm a few days ago nearing St Peter Port. An engine check has been done today with a clean bill of health, so to celebrate I did the 50 hour service and changed the oil and oil filter too.

We commissioned the watermaker for the first time yesterday only to find that the sea water feed was not flowing, and the watermaker kept turning itself off. I checked the pipes, made sure that they were flowing, but still no feed through the system. This evening, I sussed it out. There is a 3 stage valve that feeds water from different sources into the primary filter. It didn't seem right that the recommended setting of the valve handle to the right to feed fresh water into the system to flush it only worked in the downward position, so logic got the better of me and I had to remove the handle, set it back 90 degrees to the left, and bingo! We have a watermaker that works. 

The other thing that hasn't been operational is the Pactor modem for the SSB radio to convert radio signals into emails. A few exchanges with the services providers and we now have communications! Still some fine tuning to get it fully operational, but we are nearly there.

In terms of the sea trials, we are extremely pleased with the way Tumi sails. We achieve much faster sailing speeds and greater stability than Jay Jay in the same conditions, and so journey times should be much shorter and more comfortable. More time for enjoying the ports of call with a beer or few.... 
The Biscay crossing starts on Sunday, weather window permitting. Can't wait!