The final few days before our departure became an escalating nightmare. The company tasked with resolving our engine issues had a great bloke as an engineer but a manager who for whatever reason struggled to be truthful. I’m not mentioning them by name as they haven’t tried to charge us. An example would be engineer x will be with you this morning, doesn’t show. Several phone calls eventually contact manager, now early afternoon. Told engineer x is sat here, just finished tea and is on way now. Nobody shows up. Next day engineer x turns up, hasn’t been tasked to us at all the day before but also hasn’t seen the manager nor had a cup of tea! The engineer was a great bloke who really tried his best in the time he was tasked to give us but it was clear we couldn’t get our issue resolved and outside of getting hold of the manager and taking him closer to God there was little to be done. Satisfying as this may have been, and in my view still humorously Christian, it would have resulted in my arrest which wouldn’t have helped move things forward.
I had been putting in 12 to 14 hour days for several weeks now, I was tired, irritable and under significant pressure. Friends helped but this burden fell squarely on my shoulders. Howard and I started to talk about plan B, abandoning the yacht and going around the coast in his 19 foot Drascombe, not necessarily foolhardy but certainly with considerably more risk attached. In the end we located ‘Diesel Bob’, actually called Dave, in the Midlands and persuaded him to come in over the bank holiday Monday to fix our fuel pump. My wife and I drove up, he fixed it and then we drove home where I drove to Cardiff and then worked over night to remove the existing one and replace it with the refurbished one. We still had a starting issue but I could get the engine to run so I left Cardiff around 6 in the morning and just made it into Bristol, on time and as we had planned two years before. We could at least make the sending out service and then look to resolve the starting issue on route, something I wasn’t comfortable with but with so many folk involved it seemed like the only real option.