28th May 2020
Coverack, UK – St Mawes, Fakmouth, UK via Porthallow Cove, UK
The time that we have on Ruffian is characterised by the 99:1 rule. 99% of the time is made up of complete happiness and joy, we want days to last forever, experiences to never end and the realisation that we have chosen the right path in life. The other 1% is made up of abject fear and loathing, where nothing goes right, we yearn for the safety of a land based life and want the relative (low) stress of high flying corporate life.
Nothing can quite compare with the joy of watching the sun rise over a flat sea while being all alone at anchor in a pretty deserted bay. This was exactly what we were served up in Porthallow Cove. The scene was made even more serene as a local fisherman picked up his pots silently and crept among the shore line rocks that would soon be our playground.
Taking to the paddle boards the bright sunlight created shafts of light fading into the depths below us, and as we neared the shoreline they transformed the seabed. The normal hue of dull browns and blacks tuned into a thriving metropolis of sealife, where seaweed stood upright trying to catch any nutrients that swept by and crabs foraged in the undergrowth looking for anything that would give sustenance.
Ashore Porthallow was as charming as it was offshore. Art scattered the beach with mermaids made of cuttlefish shells and volcanic rock and stacks of stones were delicately balanced framing Ruffian and the sheer cliffs that towered above the beach. Only a welcoming pub with the banter of a friendly landlord could improve things, and once again Porthallow came up trumps.
‘The 5 pilchards’ was looking in fine fettle and being spruced up even more by the local landlord who was wielding a paintbrush. Although no beer was being served the landlord gave great banter and insights into the ways of life in a small Cornish fishing village that we could only have dreamed of.
We were without doubt using up our 99% time credits.
The credits were further used up as we moved to the Sheltered waters of St Mawes. Around the coastline from St Mawes are many secluded beaches that are only accessible by boat and are rarely frequented by man. We had a plan to explore them and sustain that exploring with Cornish Pasties.
With the easing of the lockdown the Cornish Pasty shop in St Mawes was finally open after many weeks shut and the whole town was taking advantage. We watched in awe as the shop served Auntie Trish with her usual, wished Mr Roseland a safe walk up the hill with his and everyone enquired how Brian and his mother were doing. This was local, this was brilliant.
Now with warm pasties the exploring could start. Brock with his trusty big outboard took us out to sea and into the coves that are so inaccessible. Far above us walkers looked down jealously leaving us to paddle in the water and discover hidden gems within the caves that are so rarely ventured into. Never had the corporate grind felt so far behind and we revelled in this great lifestyle.
Now the 99% credits had been exhausted and it was time for the 1%.
With dawn rising over Ruffian we had a big day of shore side chores planned. As usual our engine purred to life and the windlass gently whirred as the anchored was hauled from the depths. As we motored out of the bay things were very much amiss.
Instead of powering us into the chop the engine was producing no power, it wouldn’t rev and was producing plumes of white smoke. Abject fear ran through us, we could damage the engine, we could end up on the rocks, we entered into damage limitation mode and sought to anchor Ruffian to make us safe again. Suddenly the land based, low stress life seemed appealing and we wanted this worry to be over.
With the anchor down the trouble shooting started. There was something wrong with the fuel system as white smoke points to fuel starvation. Filters and seals were checked and rechecked, unknown hidden filters (Thanks Pip & Charles) were discovered cleaned and refitted and still the smoke continued. Now however it had turned black, pointing to unburnt diesel. With more expertise consulted injectors were bled and fuel lines checked. All to no avail. We had a poorly engine, no ideas and a whole heap of worry. The 1% has struck but we have a plan and that plan involves seeing a man more skilled and knowledgeable chap than us on Tuesday. Until then the worry continues as does the troubleshooting. We just hope that the 1% will be over soon and we can resume the usual 99%.
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