Oars out on Loch Leven

… or a trip cut short.

I’d another crack at Loch Leven with the Avon a couple of weeks ago as Ian was otherwise occupied and it seemed a waste to take the bigger boat across when the forecast was for fine, sunny weather.

Glorious morning on Loch Leven
Glorious morning on Loch Leven

Well the forecast was spot on, and it was almost too hot out in the loch by midday, but the fish were definitely not wanting to play. Apart from a couple of poorcod nothing at all had nibbled the baits and the loch seemed completely dead.

Sunshine and no wind make it almost too hot sitting in a small SIB
It’s almost hot!

I decided on a move away from the fish farm and nipping up the loch at a decent pace when the outboard spluttered a couple of times and then died 🙁 Not good, and there were no obvious kinked fuel lines, etc. – even worse there was a slight drip of petrol from the engine. The last time I’d seen something like this was back in the 1980s, with a fuel line blockage on a brand new engine. However there didn’t seem to be too much I could do about it since I didn’t have my usual toolkit with me, so it was time to get some practice on the oars.

Rowing back a few hundred yards to the slip was really quite pleasant on a flat calm loch, although the story would’ve been very different if the wind had got up.

Gravestones on the Isles of Glencoe
Gravestones on the Isles of Glencoe

Once sorted out ashore I salvaged something from the day by collecting a decent bagfull of mussels for dinner and had a wee tour round the loch in the car before cruising home through a very busy Glencoe.

Back home it took only a few minutes to clear the problem, even with my very limited mechanical skills, as the float valve in carb appeared to have stopped floating, probably because of all the bouncing about the outboard gets both in the car and on the back of the SIB. A good thump would probably have cleared it at the time.

Snow on Sgorr Dhearg
Snow on Sgorr Dhearg

I think that brings to three the number of times I’ve come in on auxiliary propulsion, and the only time under oars rather than an aux engine. That works out at roughly once a decade, so not too bad.

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