Sunday, 1 July 2012

Plymouth, Bilge Pumps and a map

Vagabond is now resting in the Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, whilst another tranche of strong winds go through. It seems to happen each weekend but at least it means that I can take the Owners Agent out for the evening. This time we went to an Open Air concert at a local Nation Trust Property. It was cold and damp. We sat huddled on picknick chairs under layers of clothing and blankets. all we needed was a wheelchair each to look like geriatrics. Perhaps the Estate Agent wasn't that wrong when he described the Owners Agent and your scribe as an 'Elderly Couple'!

Back to sailing. On Wednesday I was joined by the Civil Engineer (rtd) and we had a down wind sail (in mist and fog) from Salcombe to Plymouth.

In the morning, I had taken Vagabond off the buoy and tied up on the short term pontoon in the harbour, to get a few Amps into the batteries (I had to charge the Navigation Ipad in The Ferry Inn the night before) so getting the crew on board was easy. We left just after lunch and went down the channel to the sea. Clouds hung on the hills around Salcombe and mist hung over the sea. Past Stairhole bay, we found the Easterly wind, dispensed with Freddie and sailed. The coast lurked to starboard in the gloom. Photographs would be a waste of electrons. Suddenly a burst of sunlight would illuminate a field or two and then the gloom would return.
The wind died. We started Freddie. Freddie died.
Help!
After a little attention (and a lot of swearing) Freddie was restored to health.
The wind returned, and strengthened so Freddie was silenced again. As we were sailing downwind, the CE (rtd) was curious to learn what happened to the boat if the ballast tanks were emptied. The bilge pump was switched to "empty tanks" and hands were applied to the bilge pump. The water level in the tanks went down and then the bilge pump stopped working.
It's a good thing we weren't sinking.
The weight reduction made a difference to the acceleration rate of the boat. A brief puff of wind and we were off...
And we stayed that way, passing the entrance to Newton Ferrars and the Great Mew Stone and on, into Plymouth Harbour. A foreign Frigate sulked in the distance to the West and a fleet of racing yachts dashed about to the East as we sailed on to the Marina to recover and investigate the Bilge pump failure. This required the removal of the pump; a task that really required the boat to be turned upside down. As you can imagine, this was impractical and your scribe acquired a severe crick in his neck. Disassembly of the pump revealed some (builders?) debries trapped by one of the pump valves and prevented it from closing.

One (the only?) of my readers (the Flautist) suggested that a map of the trip so far would be useful. So here's one showing the "bottom" of England, with blue spots showing where we have been. The trip reads from right to left (so far).

Route map so far......


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