Missing Link log 10 September 1999

The engines are running again but so is the clock. Will we make our appointed arrival at the Southampton Boat Show to mark the end of the Grand Tour?

Crew: Kim Hollamby, Jake Kavanagh.
From: Brighton Marina, West Sussex.
To: Ocean Village Marina, Southampton via Southampton Boat Show, Mayflower Park, River Test.
Port engine start hours: 571.1. Finish hours: 575.2. Hours run: 4.1.
Stbd engine start hours: 582.9. Finish hours: 588.3. Hours run: 5.4.
Log start: 6775.3nm. Log finish: 6836.0nm. Distance run: 60.7nm.

Navigation log (full commentary follows below)
Paid berthing fee three nights ‘65.55 plus ‘7.50 electricity.
0800: through inner harbour lock and onto fuel quay. Diesel 408.86lt ‘110.39.
0820: underway for sea trial.
0835: oil leak discovered on port engine. Return to marina.
0850: alongside fuel quay.
1045: work complete. Move to West Jetty.
1118: underway.
1122: clear of entrance. Sp 23kn. Wind E F3-4. Vis: 10nm. Engine check okay.
1150: engine check okay.
1225: wpt 700 0.3nm N East Borough Head ECM. 50 41.80N 000 38.90W. Engine check okay.
1241: wpt 701 Boulder. 50 41.70N 000 49.00W. Engine check okay.
1310: wpt 702 0.15nm N No Mans Land Fort. 50 44.50N 001 05.60W. Switch to outside helm.
1322: wpt 703 imm S Mother Bank PHM. 50 45.40N 001 11.15W.
1328: wpt 704 imm S Norris PHM. 50 45.90N 001 15.40W.
1332: Prince Consort buoy. 50 46.40N 001 17.47W. Met by escort of eight MBM Cruising Club boats. Run across to South Bramble SHM, speed down to 14kn. Then run just outside Thorn Channel and Southampton Water buoys. Joined by ABP Southampton harbourmaster’s patrol boat.
1345: imm E of Reach SHM.
1430: imm S of Swinging Ground SHM. Hold for two vessels emerging from River Itchen.
1440: holding by Town Quay waiting for boat show safety demonstration to finish.
1445: overflown by Coastguard Sea King helicopter.
1450: run past outside of boat show.
1455: turn at West Quay.
1500: land on berths 59-65 Southampton Boat Show. MBM fleet passes then departs.
1750: depart.
1815: arrive Ocean Village Marina, Southampton.

Kim Hollamby reports:

Our clean-up operation went well into the early hours last night. By the end Missing Link was beginning to look her old self although there was still plenty to do in the morning, if time allowed. And much depended upon the sea trial when we would find out whether all the labour had been worthwhile. Could fate still have a cruel twist in hand?

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Back up again at 0645, Jake and I readied the boat for an 0800 lock out, clearing off the covers, re-rigging fenders and using a few spare minutes to run around with the polishing cloth eradicating marks that had escaped our previous attentions. I was grateful for the busy regime; it gave little time to think about what was ahead.

Missing Link arrives in Southampton Water escorted by the MBM ‘armada’.

Starting engines at 0755 the rebuilt port engine was as smooth as silk but the starboard, subject only to re-adjustment of the valve clearances, seemed a little lumpy at idle. Working our way through the lock, Missing Link’s chief surgeon John was there to reassure me that he was sure the uneven idle would settle down.

After fuelling, we wasted no time in heading for the open sea. Gingerly opening the throttles in stages, I watched the gauges with furious intensity while John lifted the hatches and kept a careful eye on developments. Both diesels span up to 3000rpm easily, the starboard losing its unevenness as predicted. But moments later our engineer let out a groan that spelt trouble. He had spotted an oil leak from one of the injectors on the port diesel. That meant removing the rocker cover again. And that, as we knew too well by now, meant dismantling the injector pipes, the fuel and oil filters, a compressor air hose and electrical connections.


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