Flotilla to Ely - Day 3

Sunday 29th May 2016
Flotilla to Ely - Day 3

The third day of our adventure was the day we planned to stay at Ely and relax. We didn't move the boat at all. We stayed moored where we were and walked into town several times, visited Cathedral Marina at Ely and just generally enjoyed our 'holiday' away.

When we began our trip on Friday, the weather was lovely and warm with mainly full sun. It was very much identical on Saturday as well which was fantastic for our 5-hour cruise down to Ely. We had the canopy flipped back at the front, above the helm and it really enjoyed our cruise down, apart from the breakdowns. The winds were barely noticeable and it really was perfect weather for boating. Then Sunday arrived and it was absolutely horrible. The sun had completely disappeared and the wind had reached about 25mph throughout the day. We were thankful that we had got a good mooring and didn't plan to head off anywhere until the following morning. We still made the most of what we had and enjoyed our day lounging around, watching the river go by.

Moored up at Ely Quayside - photo captured by our friends on Amber Louise
Sun 29th May 2016


Moored up at Ely Quayside
Sun 29th May 2016
A very friendly goose that came to say hello
Sun 29th May 2016
Our friends and their Nimbus, Amber Louise
Sun 29th May 2016
A beautiful (and massive) Sunseeker moored up at Ely Quayside
Sun 29th May 2016

Josie had planned to take a trip down the river for a couple of miles with their guests that they arranged to meet during the day. As we were moored alongside them, we had to pull Bandit backwards and let them out. We then moved back and tied up. When they returned, they could either pull alongside us or moor elsewhere if they chose to.
Josie leaving Ely Quayside
Sunday 29th May 2016

They had been gone quite a while and we got a phone call from them saying that their port engine would not turn over. They had no problems getting down there but when it came to leaving again, the engine alarms sounded, as usual when turning the ignition on, but the engine would not turn over. Nothing happened when they turned the key. We said that we could come down and have a look for them but they managed to potter back on their single engine and told us they would let us know if anything happened. After a while, we suddenly heard the distinctive sound of their diesel engines rumbling through the transom exhausts. We hopped alongside Bandit and helped them moor up beside us.

This was all quite late in the afternoon and we had already put dinner on. We helped their guests jump across boats and then had dinner. Dinner was lovely - we had bought two fresh tuna steaks from Sainsburys, sweet corn, and potatoes. It was by far the best meal we had cooked on board Bandit. Something that we will be doing again for sure!

After dinner, we hopped back over to Josie and spend the rest of the evening trying to find the issue that wouldn't allow the engine to turn over. After a couple of hours fiddling around with the engine, wire harnesses, ignition switch and trying to hotwire the engine, the engine still wouldn't turn over. The starter motor would not click or anything. Our next plan was to replace their battery with our port one (because we don't need the port starter battery until we get our carbs) as their starter battery was down to about 9 volts. Dad reckoned it was not enough to even turn the starter motor. This plan failed too. The engine would not turn over but it was clearly electrical. Strangely enough, when we removed out port engine starter battery, our rear navigation light came on and would not turn off. It was so confusing how removing a battery would illuminate the rear nav light. The two side ones were off and would turn on with the Nav Lights switch at the help but the rear one would not do anything apart from remaining illuminated. After agreeing that their battery was fine, we rewired ours back up to the port engine. Oddly, the rear navigation light then switched off again. This made no sense but there was more to worry about than out little light. We left the situation for the evening and told them we would happily try again in the morning when we had some daylight. They had been so helpful when we broke down on the Old West River the day before and we thought that we would gladly return the favour in helping them sort their engine out. The other thing is that we know Bandit, or more specifically, any Sealine 290 Ambassador, inside and out so we knew that we could try and help them.

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