Originally Posted by cabo_sailor
I find myself disagreeing with some of the responses. I do have spurs on my prop shaft and they do come in useful.
Well let me tell you two little stories...
In the first, we were crossing the English Channel
under power as it was a dead calm and at precisely mid-point - yes, 35 miles one way and 35 mile back the other - we had a huge, and I do mean huge - vibration. Sadly there was no mask on the boat and we tried driving in reverse, but in the end were obliged to turn back, keeping the engine below 900rpm. Turned out to be discarded fishing net that floats just below the surface and so little chance of avoiding. Had a huge ball removed by a diver in Poole and I'm pretty sure we had lost some of it while being able to sail on part of the return.
In the second story, coincidently returning from Alderney (the other trip was an outward leg to Alderney), we were puching the tide and wind
around Ventor on the south of the Isle of Wight. It was dark, head
, choppy and so little chance of seeing anything. Suddently the engine cut. Restarted fine, into gear
, cut. Bear away, get the jib
out but what's going on, we don't appear to be going anywhere?
and it's 'tracks' then came to the fore showing us simply swinging on an arc
clearly attached to the bottom, helpful on a moonless black night. No, we could not enter the water as there was a stiff tide running, that is why we were motorsailing, there was a stiff wind F5 or 6 and it was dark. Entering the water would have been a recipe for being swept away to the SE.
The conclusion was the Bembridge lifeboard coming out in response to our Pan-Pan and after becoming entangled itself, managing the trawl underneath us with a grappling hook and free us. A quite wonderful job and so many thanks to those that came to assist us.
But the point is, the idea you can simply avoid what was believed to be lobster spots "by keeping a good lookout" is only relevant if you're talking daylight and reasonably smooth conditions. We had neither and had it not been for the Bembridge 'boat', I guess our only option would have been to sit out the night and then try and enter the water at the first slack tide after daybreak. It would have been a long night.
Guess what will be being added to the boat for the 2015 season?!