Grand problem avec le moteur

Yesterday ranks as one of the most stressful at sea. We had a passage planned to take us to Camaret, but because of the tides, and a tidal race to navigate, we couldn’t leave until 15:00.

There was too little wind to sail at first, and when it arrived, it was bang on the nose. We motored. There was a strange loss of power every so often, and we were keen to make port to check it out. Just as the wind came around in our favour, the engine stalled. Dead.

We looked at each other aghast, and then both leapt into action. Pete had the boat in bits trying to work out what happened. I was on the helm, taking Doris off the helm so that I could pinch the wind as much as possible to stay in the channel without tacking.

I lost it at one point, totally overloaded with stress as my mind couldn’t work out how to sail. Pete came up and calmed me. A yacht that we’d overtaken some while back had caught up with us, so we hailed them. A Brit! It just felt good that someone knew what our situation was. How do you call up a Coastguard and report engine failure in French?

After several attempts of firing the engine, she gasped into life. Big relief. We crawled into port, not daring to stress the engine. At 22:45 we’d rated against a French boat. I nearly cried.

Hotline to Rustler today, and Pete has been testing and fettling. We think it was air, but can’t be certain. Whinchat’s engine has started perfectly each time today.

We think it’ll be a short hop tomorrow, just in case…..