Monday, July 19, 2010

PEACE IN PRICKLY BAY [ interrupted ]

Bob a 72 year old single hander on Tassneen a French Ali boat with a home completed interior 16 years work!

It was good to wake up in Prickly Bay this morning with nothing to worry about in terms of passage making or vittling other than the shortage of TONIC. After a slow breakfast in the cockpit I fired up the computer and was working on my email backlog when I heard some weak shouts which gradually diminished. I looked outside after I heard some more shouts to find I am about to be rammed by an out of control sailboat stuck in gear and motoring around in circles dragging its anchor with it.

Bob it's 72 year old owner who is recovering from a serious illness was attempting to move it for the first time in about a year and had his windlass fail to fully lift the anchor and the gearbox control linkage fail so there he was motoring slowly round in circles with a short chain rode and getting ever closer to Elephants Child with Bob calling for help.

Time to PANIC.

I jump in the dinghy, get on board the slow moving sailboat and while Bob lets out some chain I steer the boat away from Elephants Child. My first reaction was to stop Bob's engine but Bob did not want to do that so we went round in larger circuits as the anchor payed out and I was able to avoid T Boning my home.

Bob was convinced at first he had a major gearbox problem with stripped dog clutches but a quick inspection showed that the fitting on the end of control cable had rusted through and fallen off. By moving the lever on the gearbox manually we were able to establish that he still had a normal gearbox with forward neutral and reverse.

Bob was relieved and admitted that after his illness he tended to panic more easily and was not so able to interpret the messages the spirits sent him about moving his boat. I heard more about reincarnation and his many previous lives mostly as a sailor in the far east and his plans to go across the Pacific when he feels a bit better.

Once he had settled down I returned home and made a second pot of good French coffee sat down again at the email screen and while it was reloading, Google is really slow for me at the moment, reflected on the morning.

A shore recce was next on the agenda with laundry and a TONIC supplier to be found and the chandlers to be investigated

All went well and normal service was resumed this evening as the sun set in the West, the colours slowly built over the palatial houses that fringe the bay and a large G&T helped with the things to be enjoyed. I may even get a chance to work on my definitive list of the 100 greatest rock and roll tracks of all time. I have a self imposed rule of only one track per singer/group and it is hard to choose at times. I mean 'Born in the USA' has to be in but that means no 'Thunder Road', 'Good Vibrations' or 'Sloop John B' ahh these are tough times. I guess I will just play Good Vibrations one more time!


  1. You gone off Rum And Coke ? no one seemed to know what tonic was when I wanted it.

  2. Been talking to someone who invented a machine for drying glass fibre boat hulls and curing the decay from so - called osmosis. Proving that it is not osmosis but a degerative reaction through instability of the resin.( it is a British patent)
    How's the deck ?

  3. Deck is still cracked but cracks are not growing so I am ignoring them. I will paint the hull sometime but I think I will leave the deck as it is.

    Switched to G&T but R&C is a fallback position. The tonic shortage is island wide ! This sort of thing happens often in the Caribbean as the supply chain is long and the ordering systems are not sophisticated.