Ardfern Workshop

Friday 19th April saw us back up at Misha in light airs and a few more boat-jobs needing done. After the deep cleans she had a couple of weekends ago she was looking really great. The decks and white-work have all come up brilliantly and gleam in the spring sunshine.

Saturday morning saw us drive around to Ardfern and leave Chelsea there then march over the hill back to Craobh Haven. It was a beautiful day with bright sunshine, shades required, and light breezes, really light!

The walk was beautiful and Linda got photos of some beautiful flowers growing wild at the side of the road. The primroses were in full bloom and bright yellow. On the way into Craobh we visited the Stables which I had never done before and met a couple of their horses relaxing in their stalls before heading back to see Sue.

Sue has arranged a berth swap with Kip allowing us to use a berth at Kip for an Admin fee of £100 a month so we will have a berth in the Clyde for May! This will help with the logistics of arrival on the Clyde and also on and off for the Arran trip!

Next, we jumped on Misha and motored her round to Ardfern. The breezes were under 5mph and didn’t even stretch the sails but I insisted on popping them up for a while. We arrived early at the Dorus Mor but managed to sneak in running the northern eddies and set up Loch Craignish.

The anemometer works perfectly for speed and direction, but as I hadn’t fixed the gauge into the binnacle, we could only see it on our phones. It was nice to have an anemometer which tells us the wind speed rather than a random number between 0 and 42 though!

Arriving in Ardfern we slipped in the south entrance and came into the Workshop Berth. James was there to catch lines and we reversed her in perfectly. By this time it was 16:00 so we jumped right back in the car and drover home.

On Sunday evening I drove back to Adfern and brought loads more tools and materials with me. I had always planned on staying on the boat while they did the HydroVane install. However my week was full of conference calls with some of them looking quite hefty!

Sunday evening I had half a chicken and leek pie with some scalloped potatoes and veg gratin. I then set about ‘plumbing in’ the new LED mood lighting on the starboard bulwark.

Monday started early with prep for calls and a breakfast of muesli and yoghurt and lashings of coffee. The Workshop staff arrived for work at 7am and were already working on Misha at 8am.

First the fixed the pads that back the arch onto the deck structure and then they were onto the HydroVane. They worked while I was on calls all day and were in and out of the starboard cabin throughout. When I finished my call at 16:00 I went to see them and they were finishing off for the day. The fixings were in place and there was plastic pipe pretending to be the stainless structure.

When I finished work I had a dinner of the other half the pie and scalloped potatoes from Sunday night then prepped and touched up all the old gelcoat scrapes, chips and cracks that I hadn’t done since I bought her. I only missed one big area and one small chip and got all the other filled and multiple layers of gelcoat on to it.

Going inside around 9pm I then started on the wind system and consolidated it all down into one board, the same as I had done with StarLink. It means the boards can be lifted in and out of the electrical compartment to work on, but are solidly built. The only thing I didn’t do was the drilling as I didn’t want to disturb folks with drills at midnight.

My Tuesday was again full of calls and I was up at 7am to start prep and breakfast. The workshop gentlemen were on Misha before 8am and piling into it. When I went out to see them after my morning calls they asked me to get off the boat for 30 mins to allow them to set the vertical correctly which I did. Lucy’s was closed but I got a drink at the shop instead and headed back by which time they had finished and I was allowed back on board.

Shortly after that I went back on my calls and was focussed for the rest of the afternoon. Emerging at 16:00 the chaps were typing up and handed me the manuals, the vane etc and suggested I would want to run through the commissioning tests. My 16:30 and 17:00 calls had been cancelled so that’s what I did and it all came out fine.

Another visit to the Chandlery then I set about fitting the wind indicator gauge to the binnacle. I started that at 18:00 and finished around 22:00. the hardest part wasn’t the carving of the navpod to take the NASA rather than the Raymarine gauge, it was lacing the Cat5 cable up from the electronics enclosure of the Nav Table to the Binnacle. I really should have done that bit when there was someone else with me but just kept leaving it.

By 22:00 I was finished outside and went inside and went back to work. I got most of my work ahead for the rest of the week by 3am and then went to bed. My head was buzzing from work and I didn’t sleep. I just lay there listening to an audiobook and the next thing the 7am alarm was going off. I had the bright idea to drive down to Falkirk after my 9am call so I prepped everything off the boat before the call and moved the car to the office car park, did my 9am call and was on the road by 09:45. I got home and on my 12:30 call in time for the first IT question at 12:45.

The whole time I had been on her, she had been using StarLink to connect and I was doing back to back Teams calls without a single interruption! It really is a game-changer for remote working from the boat. Somehow I misplaced the Garmin InReach but Im pretty confident it’s on the boat somewhere. Need to find it next time I am up!

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