Our run to Tarbert takes us though some of the prettiest cruising grounds in this area, winding around the Island of Bute and through the Kyles:
Off Dunoon, this old girl was still out trying to earn a living for someone:
Quite a way to earn a crust or two. Dunoon also sports this rather sad little light tower to keep folks away from the Gantock rocks. It looks like it is overdue for a paint job or maybe just a clean up but is an addition to our collection:
Oh, and whilst we are playing lighthouses, here is the one a little further south at Toward point:
Much nicer. The trip around the Kyles of Bute is one that we always enjoy and as the sun peeped out, it was even better. Firstly, going past the Burnt Isles and through the narrow channel:
Then it was a stunning flybridge run down the West Kyle in the sun enjoying some strange cloud shapes:
We were chased into Tarbert by the Waverley:
and with her 2,100 HP steam engine and significantly bigger waterline length, she goes a lot faster than us. Mind you, most motorboats do. As she is bigger and captained by someone with a very miserable voice in the VHF radio, we diverted a little to let her into the harbour first although we did have right of way. Sometimes you don't push these things:
Well, we have something to report for you. The night before we left Holy Loch, there was monsoon like rain, thunder, lightning, the whole shebang. In the morning there were a few water drips on the tray above the main engine that had clearly made it down the exhaust stack. A first! Less pleasant was the appearance of a flake of rust there too. Very very probably from the exhaust muffler / silencer which is a huge steel thing inside the bottom of the stack all nicely wrapped with insulation. After 10 years it has a right to rust a bit and we were planning to replace it next spring at lift out time. Perhaps it will not wait that long?
During the trip, we listened carefully to the exhaust and checked for any signs of leakage inside the stack. Nothing obvious although the note sounded a little different - or was that paranoia? So, we gave the engine a good wide open throttle burn to properly test it. Sure enough the engine note sounded slightly different to normal or our paranoia was telling us so. A leak in the silencer? A loose baffle inside? Not sure. The only way to tell will be to remove the insulating wrap around the silencer and see:
However, if the thing is seriously corroded and the wrap is holding it all together, then unwrapping could be very unwise. We might end up with an inoperative silencer and either stay in Tarbert until we get a new one or rely on the wing engine to get about. Not sensible. We will head back to a slightly bigger place before we take the wrap off and in the meanwhile, have ordered a new muffler / silencer as a precaution. It was going to be renewed early next year anyway. Why is it so impatient?!