Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

13 th of April 2013 - Shakedown Sail

Crew : Helen and Andy
Destinations : Ipswich.
Distance : 41 miles

Saturday 13 th April 2013

First sail of the season, the plan was to sail down to the Blackwater estuary and probably anchor in Pyfleet Creek . The engine was a little reluctant to start but Andy assumed that the starter battery was low after the winter so after motoring down the Orwell for an hour we decided that it was fine to turn the engine off and carried on under sail.

We had a nice close reach along the Essex coast, even though it was a bit chilly, and by 1600 we'd gybed round into the Blackwater then turned onto a run up the Coln. Approaching Brightlingsea we went to start the engine, but nothing happened. Thinking we still had starter battery problems Andy paralleled up the starter and domestic batteries and we tried again. This time the engine turned over slowly, sounding very laboured, but after several attempts it finally started.

With the engine running we had a re-think and decided that it wasn't going to be any easier to start the engine after a night on the hook so the best option was to leave it running and head back home. We'd made good time down the coast with a following tide so the trip back was motor sailing into the stream, not nearly as nice as the journey down.

By 2200 we were back at Ipswich but the lock keeper asked us to stop on the waiting pontoon while he locked a Thames Barge in, telling us that they didn't allow yachts to lock in with a barge for safety reasons, so we were finally on our berth at 2250.

After some investigation it turned out that the batteries were fine and the problem was a lose connection in the earth cable. Still a shakedown trip is there to discover that sort of thing.

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