Poor Weather in Stornoway (ii)

Trip Start May 06, 2008
Trip End Sep 30, 2008

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Another breezy night but by the morning, the wind had abated, temporarily. Roger Oliver then came and broke the bad news, the wind was due to rise shortly with gales anticipated from the SW on Tuesday and Wednesday. Roger, Colin and I agreed that our boats were not in the best of positions in the harbour if the wind had shifted that much so we decided to go en masse to see the harbour master, to seek permission to move our respective boats into the inner harbour, which had a more favourable alignment for winds in that quarter. Much to our delight, he told us that we could all use the pontoons, as the reserved places were not going to be taken up, due to boats cancelling as a result of the weather. As we had a bow thruster, we volunteered to put ourselves in the tightest space, not that easy now that the wind was quite fresh and we were reversing in ( CW doesn't respond well to the rudder in reverse) but we managed. We then helped Jacobea in, she reverses even worse but with the use of warps thrown to waiting hands on shore, we were able to guide her in safely. Jolina, on the outer pontoon, could drive in so had no difficulties. We then discovered that we had placed our boat in the wrong space and had to move her into an even tighter one, but again with warps on shore and people pulling their hearts out ( it was now a good F6) we got her safely berthed.
That afternoon, I decided that I would prepare everything for an oil and filter change the next day, and also change the fuel filters. I carry all of these items but like to have spares, so I set of to the local fisherman's cooperative to buy the filters. Sadly, they didn't have the right type of oil filter but they thought that a company called Motor Factors, a mile or so away might. When I asked the chap serving me to call them to check, he did so but couldn't get through and to my pleasure and amazement, he said 'hop in the van, I'll run you up there' which he did and it was a successful journey. I can't envisage, in a month of Sundays, anyone round our part of the world being prepared to do that. Islanders and island life is different.
Returning to the boat, I decided to change the fuel filters, which I did, but only partially successfully. I could not get the primary filter to seal properly on its glass bowl with the result that there was a very slow seep of diesel out of it. Shutting off the fuel supply stopped it and it didn't leak when the engine was running, as there was sufficient pressure to keep the ensemble sealed. I decided to have another bash at it the next day and we spent the evening, very pleasantly, on board Jacobea, with the squalls hammering past the boats and rocking us, even in the safety of our pontoon berths.
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