Stuart Manley gives his account of the Bishop’s recent sea trials:
Over the weekend, we finally managed to get around to taking our beloved Bishop out on the sea to trial her new equipment. Despite this being the first time she has been on the water since we started work on her just before Christmas, we needn’t have been worried: she looked stunning!
We launched at Aberystwyth, with a couple of dolphins and a seal at the harbour mouth to see us off, and rowed up the coast to Tywyn. We then attempted to cross the sandbar into Aberdyfi. At this point, a wheel bearing collapsed on the sliding seat, forcing us to execute a Formula 1 style wheel change in the waves… All good practice!
Now onto the equipment… The solar panels were fabulous and performed beautifully, the radar was working well (though some of the data relay cables for the interface are to be completed and tested at sea again this week) and the VHF was operational, so the all-important communication with the coast guard was working. The new aluminium safari deck was a great addition and concerns about unbalancing the boat while being up top were just not a problem. Finally, the new stainless steel spare oar supports bolted to the gunwales provided a real sense of safety as we moved around the boat and did our shift change.
Unfortunately, the sleeping quarters remained the same: small, cramp and a bit smelly.
All in all a very satisfactory start… Looking forward to round two of the trials this coming week!