I am delighted to report that Wild Bird of Fowey is back on the road again after a long and frustrating period of engine problems. For those engine buffs out there; we have cleaned the heat exchanger and lots of pipes, replaced the injectors, removed and made good the cylinder head and its gasket, replaced the fresh water pump and thermostat…..and that just covers the big bits!
With any occurrence of overheating and white smoke/steam, there are many things which might have been the cause and Phillipe, the owner of Mecamar, who are Nanni agents in Brest did his best to diagnose the problem in the most cost effective way, by tackling the next likely cause in turn. We were not helped by the strikes in France, when trying to source spare parts.
When the problem was finally fixed, the ironic thing was that the water flow was working so well that the whole system came under unprecedented pressure and the coolant leaked like mad! This has resulted in the need to incorporate an expansion tank in the cooling system. Phillipe, who himself was distressed by the time taken to sort the problem, has offered to supply and fit an expansion tank free of charge as a gesture of goodwill. It only remains for him to come and find me in Southern Brittany to fit the tank, when the parts arrive in Brest! Fortunately Nanni is French so the parts are sourced from somewhere in the South of France.
Simon Stanford-Tuck joined me for a whole week expecting to see several different ports but ended up being stuck with me in Brest. I am extremely grateful to him for his tolerance of the situation and his good humour while we managed Phillipe and the engine issues. While Wild Bird was hors de combat in Moulin Blanc Marina, Brest we hired cars on three separate occasions to allow the pilot book research to be continued by road.
We visited Camaret, Morgat, Douarnenez, Ile de Sein by ferry from St Evette, Audierne, Le Guilvinec, Lesconil and Loctudy. I went to some of the places twice to take better photographs without rain!
Ian Anderson arrived for a week and poor chap also suffered the engine saga. However, we finally escaped on Friday, 3rd June having done a few sea trials in previous days, and motor sailed through the Raz de Sein and picked up a mooring in the dark in St Evette. Saturday was spent visiting Le Guilvinec, Lesconil and Loctudy, but only so that I could take photographs of the approach and entrance of those ports. We are now in Benodet Marina and Ian left this morning faced with the French strike for his travel home. I am now on my own for 10 days and will do my best to catch up with the AF Planner. Tonight I plan to anchor further up the River Odet in a beautiful little hidy hole, which will fit a maximum of three yachts. Tomorrow I am heading for the Iles de Glenan, weather permitting. Life is good and the job continues!