July 28, 2009

Bumping and Banging

Sailing successfully is all about having the right skills. We’d like to think it’s about having the right boat and the best equipment – and often those will get you through. But in the toughest moments it comes down to knowing how to do things right. All that boring basic seamanship stuff.
This came up for us over and over this week.
We’re the first to admit our skills are a bit rusty – but we do have them. When we sail, we check the weather report and have all the sails set to go before heading out. When we anchor, we always anchor with an eye to who’s around us and as though it’s going to blow.
For example - rust at the end of the rainbow is best avoided.

This came in handy in Nanaimo. It was Sea Festival weekend and hundreds of boats were jam-packed in the small basin – hoping to see the fireworks.
Then came the lightening squall.

We sat steady through the chaos of boats piling up on each other. But then, one big power boat tried to smash our dreams. He was on the bow – doing something with the anchor, while she stood on the bridge deck flapping her arms.
We were directly down wind.
It took the shouted advice of the boats around them (I sort of just screamed ‘don’t you dare hit us!!’ rather than offering direction) for her to sort out to turn on the engine and steer the boat.
They really ought to have known how to control a dragging boat.
Our basic rule is there are no plumbers (or mechanics, or electricians) at sea. And we need to know how to take care of our boat and ourselves. I probably rely on Evan far too much for all these things – but we are pretty good at trouble shooting together – which is why we now know the water tank we thought was leaking (think huge repair job) was actually a leaking hose clamp (leak is now checked off on the to-do list).
This week also included the repair of a lost alternator bolt while we were underway (Ev found the bold but not the nut and had to retap the bolt to fit a metric nut). A sheared a bolt on the outboard engine bracket. A *really, really* clogged holding tank and a bit of computer grumpiness.
And while it seems like we had a sucky week of repair after repair – this is pretty much expected on a newly launched boat.
At least I keep telling myself that.

1 comment:

boatbaby said...

Cruising is just repairing your boat in exotic locations. But if anyone can handle that, I know you all can.