Last night Sarah came down on the train to join us in Gosport and this morning we motored out of the harbour. This took a little time as Bonita was berthed in the middle of a large marina and it soon became very clear that all was not well with the engine. There were gruesome grinding noises coming out of the gearbox and intermittent loss of power.
I wondered about turning back to Gosport to get it fixed, but decided that if we were to be engineless, with the OGA weekend coming up it would be better to be stuck in Cowes than stuck in Gosport. We therefore crossed the Solent and with some difficulty tied up on the pontoon of a marine engineering firm on the Medina river.
I had been feeling quite smug that we had got round Britain without any major mechanical problems, but it seems the 30 year old gearbox was not up to the strain. We have after all done quite a lot of manoeuvering in quite a lot of harbours in the last three months.
At present it looks hopeful that we might be able to get a replacement gearbox in the next day or two. Once it was clear there was nothing else we could do today we looked round the town. I haven't been here for a couple of years, and although many of the shops I remembered have gone they have all been replaced by other shops of very much the same sort. There is certainly a unique atmosphere about Cowes in August and the arrival of over 200 gaffers later this week will definitely add to this.
In the evening we had supper with Sian and Ant who crewed with us earlier in the cruise and have a flat in the town.
You can get just about anything to do with yachts fixed at Cowes so we are hoping to be back in action soon.