As posted yesterday, we thought that we would go onto the slipway to replace the propeller blades but Bruno Launay – the main man at Brest Marine Services – had other ideas. He wanted us to be hoisted up and held in the sling whilst he fitted the new blades. It would be much quicker but would cost more money. He was worried that something might happen whilst the boat was leaning against the wall and he was working underneath it so we agreed to the lift by the hoist. This was initially scheduled for 2pm but by 3 we hadn’t heard anything so, after a call to Brest Marine it was rescheduled for 4.30pm. At 4.15pm we get another call to say that we need to drive the boat slowly round to the hoist. Really? With the wrong blades on and a brand new engine but with no fan attached at the moment…..
It took about an hour to replace the blades so we checked the anodes whilst she was out. These are sacrificial lumps of metal that prevent corrosion of more important bits of metal like our propeller shaft! They all looked in good condition so we didin’t need to worry about changing them. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to take the grease gun for the propeller blades off the boat which was now suspended in mid air! The marina staff offered to hoist one of us up on the forks of their fork lift truck. We thought they were joking but no. Liz was duly balancing on the forks 5m in the air with the marina staff thinking that this was perfectly normal. Can you imagine this happening in the UK????
We then motored back to our berth trying to remember that as the blades had been switched it meant that the throttle was the wrong way round – i.e. pushing it forward meant you went backwards and pushing it back sent you forwards – very bizarre!
The mechanic is due tomorrow to do the final bits and bobs so we can do a sea trial. The weather is against us again as there is a front coming through with high winds Thurs pm to Sat so it may be Sunday before we can actually check that everything works. However, it does look like we have a working engine at last!