Thursday, August 8, 2013

Another Marina Adventure

Oh, no!!! I can't look!
I spent this morning as part of a crew attempting to move a friend's 'engineless' sail boat from our marina to a nearby boat yard where a new engine was ready and waiting for him.  And the fact that he enlisted my help tells you he was really scraping the bottom of the marina barrel. 

About twenty heart pumping minutes after we left the slip we were right back where we'd started, only now we were stern in as opposed to bow in, and what an adventure it was!

It all started last night when our friend called and since he knows Hans works during the day he wondered if perhaps I wouldn't mind helping. I'd had a couple of Wilbur Wow Wows so I said sure why not and anyway it just might give me some blog fodder. Careful what you wish for.

I was up bright and early this morning and rousted Wilbur from our berth for a quick morning walk.  I prefer an empty dog on board if I don't know how long I'll be gone. After depositing Wilbur back down below with my apologies that I wouldn't be spending our usual Coffee/Bailey's/Whip-Creme breakfast with him, I headed down the marina. 

There were a total of four of us on board (three experienced sailors plus me) and a couple of helpers on land. I actually took my life jacket (well, Hans made me take it) as I figured if I did something stupid and hit my head falling overboard, I'd at least float until someone could get to me because let's face it, we were on a boat without an engine.

It had been a clear, calm (and of course hot) morning until we got ready to cast off the lines and then the wind kicked up. And what normally feels like a nice breeze when you're standing on land turns into something else when you're on a boat. With his whaler lashed to the port side of the boat we backed out of the slip but once we were in the alley of the marina the stern kept wanting to swing back into the pilings and also into those danged anchors hanging off the front of the other docked boats. We were heading into the wind so it was difficult to build up enough speed in order to steer. When it became obvious that the whaler would now need to tow us as opposed to guide us the lines were quickly transferred to the bow. 
While the whaler zig zagged in front of us we fended off the pilings with boat hooks and since I'm not very strong I sat my butt down and fended off with my legs. At least I got a workout.

We continued to crab walk toward the mouth of the bay, and were nearly out of the marina feeling very home free when the steering cable on the whaler snapped. Crap!
So we drifted sideways and with the aid of our land helpers we ended up with the bowsprit against one piling and the stern on another effectively trapping a couple of boats in their slips. One of those boats belongs to a crew member and anyway no one goes anywhere at this time of the year. At least we were out of the channel. 
The weather forecast was calling for even more wind in the afternoon so the decision was made to 'walk' the boat back to its slip. How this was going to happen was beyond me but I should have known a bunch of sailors would come up with something.  A couple of lines were tied together for extra length and tossed to one of our land helpers who was now standing on a boat way behind us. The whaler was moved between the boat and the pilings so it now became a bumper boat. By pulling and fending off (more leg exercises for me) we backed the boat up and then pivoted it on the piling to its slip, finished backing it in and tied her back up again.

I've posted this aerial view of our marina many times but it serves so many purposes.
I call this the 'alley' 
After our big adventure I ended up with a tiny bloody scratch on my ankle but even after I pointed it out (many times) I didn't get any sympathy. As a matter of fact one of the crew commented that he was glad I was along for this trip as he's usually the one who stands around doing nothing.
It's a good thing I know he has a very dry sense of humor.  I think.


  1. Haha ... I'm great at "standing around and doing nothing"! I can't say much about docking and sailing without an engine ... I'd do much worse I'm sure! =)

  2. I just love your DOG! Thanks for posting.