Well we had a very interesting day .....not.
In nut we had to be rescued by Hayling Rescue the whole day an unmitigated disaster!!
The day started off badly with us running late to meet Hightower at Haslar Marina so we opted to launch from Chichester (mistake number 1)
When we got the RIB in the water we realised we had left the elephant ears down to had completely flooded the boat (mistake number 2)
Then had trouble getting fuel pressure and the engine stuttered and spluttered anyway after some fiddling it started running fine (mistake number 3)
Off we set only to get just to the mouth of Chi Harbour and the fixed VHF reported a high voltage error that we couldnt clear so the radio was useless (mistake number 4) all it did was beep loudly and prevent any kind of usage - we did have a hand held though.
The entrance to the harbour was interesting lol and the swell was challenging the harbour master was reporting a force 6 7 at the time but it felt like a force 12 lol
Once past Hayling Island things got a lot easier and we were pottering along at 40knts very impressive little RIB. Then we had the engine splutter and cut out which we thought was due to the pipe getting twisted re pumped and she started and we carried on heading towards Cowes (mistake number 5)
She then cut out again, and again we got her going and carried on heading towards Cowes (mistake number 6)
Finally though just as we passed a huge anchored container ship (Lyns??) she conked out good and proper Darren managed to manually pump the fuel through and we decided to head home. I had some concerns at this point as I know Chichester Harbour entrance can be very nasty and I didnt want the engine to cut out on the way in, however Darren was feeling ill and so we headed for home (mistake number 6)
We finally made it to the Harbour entrance by this time there were large breaking waves coming into the harbour - I was paranoid the engine would die again - one of the scariest things Ive ever had to do the sense of no control while waves are rolling onto themselves and you are on top is not something I want to repeat unless with an instructor horrible.
Anyway we finally made it into the sanctuary of the harbour and the engine cut out for good no amount of pumping would get her going loads of fuel just no engine. A boat from the local sailing club went passed and we waved him over he held us steady while we had another go at getting the engine going by this time Darren had been ill over the side
He was a lovely chap and asked if we had a radio yes we said who would he recommend calling Hayling Rescue channel 32 no bloody channel 32 on our radio he looked at me as if I was mad and said who do you normally call no one I said we just keep it on channel 16 he then asked if I meant channel 60 no channel 16 weve never had to radio anyone other than radio checks.
Anyway he kindly got hold of Frank (or maybe Trevor) at Hayling Rescue who came out in under 5 minutes and towed us back to Itchener I owe him a pint and some fuel money!!
We finally got home and had a chance to reflect on the f**k up of a day and I guess we have at least learnt an awful lot.
1. Never go in a boat if the engine is playing up diagnose the cause and fix it.
2. Look at the weather we should have launched in Southampton that was more sheltered not Chichester once in the lee of the Island it was fine.
3. We should have headed for home sooner than later at the sign of the first problem
4. We should have considered the implications of the engine cutting out at the worst possible time (on the way into Chichester Harbour) and found a safe haven to moor up to fix the issue- we were lucky we actually got back inside the harbour before this happened
5. Be on time and we would have at least had company on hand to assist (poor Hightower)
6. Learn about our equipment why cant be get channel 32 on the VHF??
7. Join Sea Start!!!!!