You could just tell that it was going to be a pure peach of a day today, the sky was pure black velvet at 5:00am studded with stars and the air pressure was 1041millibars and rising. As usual we had no frost at Arnish but I knew the story would be different to the south and after my usual morning rituals I headed down the road to find out.
A little less moon than yesterday met me at Tarbert but of HMS Astute there was no sign, in fact there was no sign of any boats to the east.
It was a truly magnificent morning but once at work I saw little of it as I spent most of the morning servicing the port generator that had just clocked up 500 hours since it was installed at http://www.ardmaleishboatbuilding.co.uk/ last December. The two Perkins Sabre 4.4TGM generators were fitted to replace the Lister HRW6 sets that had clocked up some 100,000 hours between them. To be honest there was probably another 100,000 hours of life left in them but spares are getting harder to source and maintenance was labourious and expensive.
I miss the old Lister’s but the Perkins are half the size, more powerful, more economical and much quieter, though I doubt they’ll last as long.
The generators are run ‘week about’ and the port one had been in service last week so on ‘start up’ this morning I fired up both, the starboard to supply power and the port one to warm up. Once good and hot I set about servicing it, removing the front cover to check the alternator V belt and draining the 8lts of engine oil into a bucket, a far cry from the Lister’s 20 :-) As well as oil, fuel and air filters to change there was the Jabsco impeller to inspect.
By rights it should be taken out but a good look with the back plate off and a power light is enough at the first 500 hours.
As well as the normal fuel filter there’s a pair of duplex ‘pre filters’ fitted as an extra safeguard against contaminated diesel. These can be switched and changed in service with the engine still running so I changed the one in use then switched over to the reserve one once I’d bled the system and run her up for a while.
To make life simpler for me and easier on the engine I fill all the filters up first before fitting them, the fuel ones with diesel from the tanks and the oil one with new lube oil. The handbook says that it’s necessary to bleed the injectors after a filter change but I find that filling the filter with fuel first negates this :-)
This took me nicely up till lunchtime whence I wandered along to the village hall to have a look at the various plans for new parking facilities at Sconser. The council were doing a mini presentation of the various options there which were basically a big square area extended sea wards, a long thin area extended westwards and an in between one with a bit of both.
To me the big square one going seaward looked the best option, but then I don’t live at Sconser and have to look at it all day :-) It was great that the council consulted Raasay but it is the good folk of Sconser that will have to live with it, lets hope it’s as tasteful as our new ferry terminal :-)
That was it really on the work front, I spent the rest of the day painting handrails in the sun :-) then after the 16:15 sailing touching up the bits over the side with a roller on a broom handle.
Pickings must have been good off goat island because Atlantia was back again :-)
So I’ll just leave you with the weather,
it’s 21:30 and I need my bed.