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Erm? They're Clive and Les aren't they?

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Clive

Clive
(the hairy one)

Les

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(the smooth one)

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Weymouth 20th July

Yacht Quintet
at Anchor
Weymouth
Dorset

20th July, 2005

<-Weymouth 17th July Lyme Regis 21st July->

I have returned from points north and we have taken the boat back out to the anchorage off Weymouth beach where we plan to have beef casserole for dinner and a reasonably early night.

Originally we had planned to leave for Dartmouth tonight, having dinner on the way but I am pretty frazzled and have decided sleep is required. So we leave for Dartmouth tomorrow.

The day before yesterday, having spent the night at anchor, we moved the boat into the river at Weymouth and moored at Brewers' Quay. I then abandoned Clive and headed off to London to deal with mail and things and hopefully get my broken crown repaired.

While I have been away, Clive has repaired the connector on the co-axial cable connecting the radio to the top of the mast and has confirmed electrical contact without significant loss. However the proximity of buildings has precluded calling a coastguard station for signal check. That needs to be done first thing tomorrow.

Clive has also replaced the hose on the sink drain. Our sink is fairly close to the waterline and to avoid the problem often found in yachts, that precious hot water drains away as the boat heels and back pressure up the waste pipe pushes the plug out, we have no plug (which means we can't lose it) and we pump out the water using a cylindrical whale pump. The original hose was not reinforced and with continued flow of hot water, collapsed. So Clive has installed new, reinforced hose.

Apart from those two tasks, he appears to have spent the whole time in the pub!

Whereas I travelled to London by train, traumatic in itself, picked up mail, answered letters, wrote cheques and then travelled all the way to Stevenage with our depth sounder, where, we had been assured on the telephone on Monday morning, someone would be only too pleased to look at it. So I went from Limehouse to Kings Cross, caught the WAGN train (one feels they should shout 'WAGNs roll' instead of blowing a whistle on these trains) to Stevenage and then a taxi out to the NASA Marine office/factory.

Sadly the initial reaction was not as I would have hoped. Instead of the expected warm welcome 'Come in. Sit down. Have a cup of tea while we fix it for you.' It was more a case of ' Who told you you could come here? The guy who deals with these is on holiday until the next millennium. As you have opened it all warranties are void even if we told you you could open it to dry it. Why were you using it in the rain anyway?' Actually I exaggerate about 'using it in the rain'.

I was told that they were busy and that it would not be possible to look at it immediately, in spite of what we had been told. But they would try to get it sorted out and would send it on to meet us at Falmouth. So, annoyed, but hopeful of an early resolution, I ordered a cab back to the station.

I was about to board a train back to London when Clive called to say that NASA Marine had called him back, they would fix it within the hour, albeit without a full pressure test, and I could go back in an hour to fetch it so I got off the train. Lucky he phoned when he did as the train I was about to getting on was non-stop to London.

So I went back to NASA where the device was ready for me to collect. They had replaced the water damaged components inside and put a new front on it and all at no charge. They even offered me a lift back to the station.So thank you NASA Marine for sorting it out.

They assure me that this problem of ingress of water through the front of the unit has not occurred before and therefore they are unable to explain it. And because we had pulled the unit apart in an attempt to dry it out, any tests that they might have been able to do were no longer possible. But they did fix it without charge, and, apart from their initial coldness in customer relations when I first arrived, they were very helpful.

So we can recommend the device from a usability point of view. It works well, apart from the water ingress which we experienced, and the huge display is wonderful for decrepit old sailors who would otherwise be continually putting on and taking off spectacles to look at the depth.

I would suggest that, if you choose this unit, and something goes wrong, don't pull it apart (even if someone at NASA Marine says you can) but send it back in pristine completeness, because if there is an occasional and rare 'leak', NASA want to know and fix it for the future. I just hope that ours works ok when we refit it tomorrow!

And why am I frazzled, as if you care. Before I left London, I locked up my boat, having switched of all the electrics and cleaned the toilet, and set off for Waterloo. But halfway there I realised I'd turned off the fridge and left it shut with a bottle of milk in it. As I may not be back for a while I thought I should turn round and go back and sort it out. I did and that meant that I missed my planned train for Weymouth. And when I finally got on the Weymouth train, I realised that I haven't switched off the gas at the gas bottle. What a pillock! Better phone a friend tomorrow.

Les Sutcliffe

<-Weymouth 17th July Lyme Regis 21st July->