This phrase from the late-lamented Victor Meldrew has been rolling off my tongue a lot this week!
Firstly, we took OP out of the water last Friday for the MCA Coding survey (which she passed without a problem) but noticed that we were suffering from what appeared to be the beginning of electrolysis damage on the starboard rudder and both propellers. Although we didn't think we needed to, we have now taken a wire from the engines to their beds (and also put one on the rudder stocks) and the meter readings are now perfect. We also took advice from Chris Harris at MG Duff (www.mgduff.co.uk) who was most helpful. They have donated two shaft anodes for us to complete the anode protection on the boat and we are very grateful for that. They also pointed out that the retaining nuts on the shaft looked suspect and they were right. The zinc has gone and we are replacing them - cheaper than a prop!! At least we found out now rather than later.
Unfortunately, Cummins still have been unable to sort out the problem with the fuel pump although they are returning on Tuesday and hope to do so then. It seems likely that we won't get the final solution (Racors with integral pumps) until after the race but they assure us that what they do provide will make the engines "fully fit for purpose!" We hope so - the alternative is too awful to contemplate at this late stage!
The final problem - and the cause of my loudest "I don't believe it!" was in connection with the camera in the engine room which had stopped working properly. Another was ordered and fitted but with no improvement so the kit and cable was removed together with the E120 unit and tested at the local Raymarine centre CMS-Tech at Brundall. It turns out that the cable is faulty and that a new circuit board is required in the display and that some chips that have been fitted to this equipment are known to be faulty. The unit has gone back to Portsmouth for repair and return but - given the money they cost and the problems we had in getting the software to run them - it does make you wonder whether the customer gets the treatment they deserve from major manufacturers these days, especially those who seem to enjoy a monopoly in the market.
I suppose I expected some problems to arise during trials but I just hope that we are coming to the end now - my nerves won't stand much more!