The joy of boat owning…

 

With the promise of a hard slog south into an increasing wind, we decide for the easy option of drying Heydays out and paying attention to her bottom. The harbour master Mark, (who together with his mate Joseph and us as James and John make a remarkably holy bunch appropriate for a Sunday) directs us to the old slip at the far end of the harbour. With Heydays drying out in the sun we attract an unusual amount of attention from folk passing by until they realise we are there on purpose. Heydays’ bottom is still clean from her pressure wash in March and after quick scrub we are soon happily lying on our backs in weed painting her in two fetching shades of blue (left over tins of antifoul and a bargain lot from Essex).

The only option is then to have a walk round the loch and through the village…

…and then return to the (happily more gender balanced) bar for early dinner while the tides rises again. As we are leaving a tightish spot, my (completely useless but expensive) Sealskinz glove is flicked into the water to be rescued by Tommy and Barbro (correct spelling…they are Swedish) who are passing. Once we are moored again they wander down and we end up sharing some wine and scotch for the rest of the evening. It turns out that they own a 47’ Malo (rather nice Swedish yacht) called Altaire and effectively live aboard for 8 months of the year. Originally from Sweden, they have retired to Italy for winter skiing and over-wintered their boat in Lochinver. They have cruised extensively around Norway, Shetland, Orkney and Scotland for many years but are now making their way home to Italy over the next few years.

Monday’s weather is no more favourable and we sit out a near gale in our snug berth while continuing to marvel at the stunning scenery…

By evening though, things have calmed a little and Mount Suilivan is majestic behind the village…

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Our non-sailing friends can skip the next bit, as the afternoon found us attending to a niggling electrical problem which has resulted in us running out of battery power too soon when we are sailing. We are running an Adverc battery management system and have been concerned for some time that it is not delivering sufficient charge to the domestic batteries. With the prospect of more anchoring we are also reluctant to have to keep running the engine. We completely re-map and check the electrical charging circuits and voltages which involves of course, delving into the very bowels of the boat lockers and engine room. We come up with a range of bothering voltages across the various terminals and….a wire in the wrong place. After much checking and rechecking we move the wire to where we think it should have been (somewhat defensively we know this pre-dates our ownership!). We get a much better set of voltages but a very hot charging diode. A call to Adverc and they ask us to send the data and promise to get back in the morning. By 9.30 they are talking us through the issues and giving us reassurance that although the alternator has been upgraded to much higher than the diode, we have no cause for concern. A final test of the circuits with every piece of gear switched on confirms that we have solved the problem… The final point to note is that Adverc were brilliant in terms of advice and guidance and said that they were here to help for as long as we have the equipment on board…(and I won’t end on a grump about my utterly useless Sealskinz!!!)

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