No one is ever 100% ready to embark on a sea journey. If our boat had any kind of a mechanical issue the first thing we’d always ask is, “Will it keep us from sailing?” The next question is, “How much will it cost and how long will it take?”
We have two irritating problems in our campervan that have followed us to Stranraer, Scotland, after chasing a tiny refrigeration temperature controller all the way to Carlisle, England, and back. We hung around in Dumfries for five days unaware that the Royal Post had refused delivery of our package even though they assured us to just have it sent to them to be held for pickup. Luckily the shipper called us to say the post office refused delivery and asked, “Do you want this thing?” I suggested cutting the Royal Post out of the equation and we drove to the depot to pick up our tiny package. It’s a small country.
The back story of the refrigerator temperature control is that even on its lowest setting everything stays extremely over chilled, but it seems to run continuously. We’re hoping to lower our very expensive LPG habit. There are no discernible leaks but we go through more than our share of gas. Time will tell if the new thermistor works.
Information about LPG fittings and accessibility in Ireland is scarce at best so we considered switching to a refillable system rather than a bottle exchange swap, which will have to be done before we travel to Europe, regardless. These details will be sorted on the fly as usual.
It’s time to shepherd Escape Velocity through our first MOT, the annual safety inspection. When and where is the question and until the refrigerator controller was sorted we weren’t sure where or when that might be best done. After a half dozen attempts to find an MOT service that wanted to or had the time to fit us in, or had a high enough garage door clearance or a low enough inspection pit, we found one in Stranraer, right near Cairnryan which is where our ferry departs from to the port of Larne, Northern Ireland. Escape Velocity passed the MOT so she’s good to go for another year. Sometimes the stars align.
We’re old hands at this ferry deal by now but this one had a new twist that had us creeping up an incredibly steep ramp to the second parking level in the ferry.
These things are remarkably capacious but still things can get a little cozy.
Bear in mind that we still haven’t a clue if we can get LPG into our van in Ireland.
We’re off without drama and as we pop out of the ferry, and like a line of circus elephants we slowly lumber down a steep ramp in Chaine Harbor.
Things tend to happen quickly at this moment but Marce navigated us to a hilltop overnight parkup with a view of the harbor and the Irish Sea.
We found a strange little grassy knoll on top of our eagle’s nest parkup surrounded with what can only be described as a fancy spiked ceremonial fence. Turns out it is a burial mound where Larne’s great benefactor, Mr. Chaine, is buried standing upright in his Full Monty yachting regalia.
Once again we find ourselves lollygagging, hanging around a new area waiting for packages to catchup to us here in Ireland. Now the plan is to shuffle our way towards Belfast using a Covid-inspired Amazon pickup point, cleverly circumventing the Royal Post. We’ll let you know.