A quick survey had been carried out on board Shemaron during the previous week and the surveyor came down to talk to us; he identified some weak points on board where we need to take care debris doesn’t gather forming water traps that could lead to wood rot, but otherwise he declared that everything was normal.
Sandy also came down and showed us how to scrape the masts back to thier clean new wood; they have turned grey in places becasue of sun damage. Although the scraping looked like hard work it was a task we could complete ourselves. We were up for the challenge and Chris and I were happy that it was only the masts that needed this attention and not the whole of the outside of the boat! There was a good flow of positive energy on board.
When we got back to the cottage the sun was out and the mist was vanishing, the colours in the bay grew brighter as it burned away. There were a couple of seals lying on the rocks a little way out with their noses and tails pointing to the sky, when the tide came up they lumbered into the sea.
After securing the yacht we started the engine and a few moments later we left the harbour. The sea was flat and calm but it was still misty as we headed into the loch. I went odwn into the fo’c’sle to light the stove. I was filling the coal skuttle when everything went very quiet and I saw that both men were in the engine room behind me.
Sandy and Chris had noticed a loud hissing sound and gone below to investigate. The first thought was that a fire extinguisher had gone off but they found a high pressure spray of oil was fountaining from the gear box. When Chris checked gear box he was able to confirm that there was no oil in it, one of the pipes had developed a leak. He topped up the gear box oil and wrapped a rubber glove tightly round the pipe to stop more oil from spraying out. Sandy put Shemaron into gear in an attempt to get back into the harbour, fortunately we were only a mile or so out. Chris watched the pressure gauge on the gear box – as it started to fall he topped the gear box up with oil. Slowly with Sandy at the wheel we got back to the harbour. Chris stayed down in the engine room and could not see where we were heading, the only way he could tell we were getting back into our berth was by watching propellor shaft stop and turn oppsosite way. The oil was just starting to get hot!
We called the chandler on the off-chance that he was around on Easter Sunday – we were lucky – he obligingly came by very shortly afterwards and took the old pipe away, it didn’t seem to take long before he was back with a new tube – excellent service!
We didn’t manage our steam up the coast but got a lot of work done instead. While Chris repaired the gear box, Sandy scraped the derrick where it had turned grey with the sun and I went round the strakes and cleaned out the crud from the corners, before lending a hand with the sanding and varnishing.