We returned this day a week ago from our attempt to sail from Killary to Greenland as part of 'North of Disko 11' and 'Into the Blue' photography project. On the way, more or less in mid Atlantic, we were set upon by a strong westerly gale, even occasionally storm force! This not only went on for 2 days but came from the direction we were trying to go so to prevent damage and slow the boat down, we deployed a drogue. (A drogue is like a bit of elastic out the back of the boat that prevent too fast forward movement on the back of a big sea and possible subsequent pitch pole or roll over.)
During this period, while there was no sun to charge the batteries via solar panels, we started the engine occasionally. At one stage, more or less at the height of the weather, we were unable to start the engine and assumed that the starter motor had failed.
Without an engine were we to continue on to Greenland would have been foolhardy; dodging icebergs in further forecasted stormy weather does not bear thinking about.....! A wise decision on any expedition such as this is one where all participants return alive and well and, as Paddy Barry said on South Aris (An Irish recreation of Shackelton's voyage from Elephant Island to S Georgia I was a member of 18 odd years ago....) 'time to count the children'.....!
So we returned and during the subsequent week we have been trying to find what all the problems were and once we had replaced the starter motor, knew there was a bigger problem when it still would not start.......
So now we are removing the engine for a full strip down - parts replacement - and a system to prevent such a thing happening again.
Therefore, we have run out of time to return to Greenland this year by the time we have repaired the engine and done a full test of all relevant systems. (And found the money to pay for this.....) Daragh, photographer, is looking at an Irish based experience and I am sure he will announce this soon and we look forward to some great results.
What happens next on plans to go North, we will work on over the rest of the year and winter and to all who were so good in supporting all involved through sponsorship of goods and food, very many thanks -
'Better to try and fail than do nothing and succeed'....... "