It all started I believe with a beer! Bare with me and I’ll try to explain (you should go get a beer
, or two, ahead of time so you will not have to get up during the story).
I admit I had already had a beer
or 2 hours prior, so maybe that clouded my judgment some. All that I’m really sure of is that I went to get the beer out of the boats’ reefer, and the next thing I was wet and dead!
My theory is that when I opened the reefer to get said beer that opening the lid caused the systems’ pumpy thing to kick it. This apparently dropped the voltage of my group 3 house battery
bank too low causing my autopilot
to trip out. I don’t know why this would have happened as I had charged the batteries just the other day. Anyway, since I was out in the deep bluewater
and had the stereo clanked up to max volume, I didn’t hear the autopilot alarm
So I took the beer out into the cockpit
to watch the sunset because that’s what having a boat is all about. As I sat there I noticed the sails
didn’t seem trimmed and thought to myself “That can not be right as they were perfect just 3 hours ago, I know because I looked up the picture in my sail trimming book. I wonder if there is something wrong with the furler
.” So I knew I needed to go forward and check that damn new age gizmo drum thingy!
Being a safe sailor who always thinks ahead I knew that first I needed to get my harness and tether so I would stay on the boat while going forward. So I went below and dug around till I found them, happy that I had read on CF of their importance. It took me a while to put the harness on as I could not find the scissors in order to open the package. Then it took a while to find my reading glasses so I could read the directions. But this could bethe difference between life and death so I hung in there!
So I got back to the cockpit
and wouldn’t you know it, the damn crappy production boat didn’t have any jacklines! This was hard to believe that neither the builder
or that damn broker dude who took my money
had not bothered to install the lines and I thought to myself “When I get back from my 2 month sail around the world shakedown trip I’m going to find that guy and give him a piece of my mind!”.
In the mean time I found there were these nice stainless steel cables
running along both sides of boat, so I clipped in and felt secure. The 8 foot length of tether line was perfect and allowed me to reach any point in the cockpit without any trouble.
I was about to head
forward to take care of that furling
thingy and get the sails
straighten out, when it occurred to me that maybe I should start the engine
just in case. So I turned the key on and pushed the start button and the engine
fired up. But then it coughed a few times and died! Since I have done my reading I just knew this was a bad fuel
problem as the engine only had 100 hours of run time since I got it and it had a 20 gallon fuel
tank! But since I had taken precautions I had installed this super technical box to keep my fuel clean. While I can not actually see what is the box, the literature says that it has these special magnets in it and that this would keep my fuel clean and guarantee that my engine would always run. I bet that shipyard monkey dude installed it backwards!
So I head
forward secure in the knowledge that I was wearing my harness and was attached to the boat. It would have been a lot easier if they wouldn’t put so many rods along the deck
that those cables
go though. I mean it just seems crazy to have to keep unhooking my tether every 5 feet and then have to hook it back on. And once in the middle of the boat I got all tangled up in this other cable that stenches up to that big pole the sails are attached to. But not to worry I made it and didn’t even drop my cigarette or get it wet (thanks go out to that Boatboy23 dude on CF for the tips on this)!
I was about to pull on the line that wraps around the furler
thingy to get the sails trimmed, when I noticed the anchor
. Now I have the best anchor
ever on my boat. It’s a 20# Digdeep attached with 10’ of ¼” chain and 62’ of 6mm single
braid. I know this is the best setup because a smaller Digdeep digs into the bottom at least 5’ every time because it is a modern anchor, and of course since I am concerned about saving weight (you know so I can store the extra 5 cases of beer) I had carefully read every CF thread. But the thing is that that the chain seemed to be twisted a little and I thought maybe that copper twisty swivel link “whatucallit” was stuck. So I kicked it!
Well this resulted in a broken toe and blood all over the deck
(that’s the living rooms’ roof to you land people)! And in 2 months when I get back I’m going back to that Western Marine
store that sold me these flip-flop boat shoes and get my money
back. I mean these things don’t have any toe protection at all and it was already bad enough that they kept falling off my feet when I was going forward to start with.
So I’m jumping up and down using all the old salty words I had learned when I hear this weird sound. I don’t know how to really describe it, but it sounded like someone squeezing a clicker, or maybe a can of 3-in-1 Oil
. I was starting to think that this was what all the talk about oil
canning was when a 2 foot monster wave came out of nowhere (must have been 1 of those rouge waves I had read of) and shook the boat so hard that it knocked me right off my feet and over the side.
So now I’ll being drug alongside the boat by my tether, getting all wet, and my cigarette is out. I yelled out for help, but then remembered that I was alone. Now it never occurred to me that being alone (solo we old salts call it) was that big a deal as I had read this story of the first guy who went all around the world way back. Seems he had lots of experience as proven by his successful survival of a couple of boat crashes and sinkings. And get this, his boat was made out of wood and he used some magic kaliescope thing to find his position (this is how I knew this was an old fairy tale type of book), I mean be real!
Anyway back to being dug along in the water
. I had taken precautions against this very scenario before I had been towed out of the marina to get underway (that means to get going on my trip). Having read of how often this happens I had tied a ¼” floating line at the back corners of the boat. I had read that this would make it easy to grab hold of if needed in order to pull myself to that ladder in the back. So I decided to undo my tether and float back to catch the line. Which brings me to a complaint; you would think they would make the tether so you could release it from either end! Good thing my mom taught me to take care of my teeth and I still had 4 and was able to chew though that tether (note to self look into marketing
So I was washed aft toward the floating line. But of course I missed catching it and had to swim after the boat. About that time the boat just seemed to have stopped in the water
and almost seemed to be going backwards. A quick peek to the front of the boat and I saw that the sail in the front of the boat was on the wrong side. I’m going to try to remember that putting the front sail on the opposite side of the boat than the line holding it makes the boat kind of stop; this might be of use when writing my sailing adventurers when I get back and I bet there are lots of uses for being able to do this.
This allowed me to catch that line (I’m a genius) and pull myself back to the boat. I tried to get the ladder to flip over and to get the steps to slide out, but couldn’t. So I figured to just pull myself up. Now I’m an All American man of 350 lbs and this wasn’t any problem at all. In fact it was so easy that I decided to do a few pull-ups to get some exercise.
I was on about my 20th pull-up when the whale stuck and I lost
my hold on the boat!
I don’t really know all the details the next few days as I floated with the current
. But I awoke to this Sailor Chickee girl, or hag or something like that, standing over me. I thought she was giving me mouth to mouth and I was feeling like the day was looking up. After all I had been rescued and now was getting some action! But it turned out she wasn’t giving me mouth to mouth, it was some ragged looking bisexual cat (not that there is anything wrong with a cats’ sexuality, I mean if you don’t like it don’t pet the pus, strike that I mean, kitty).
Over the next couple of days I got to eat all the Mexican rats I could catch. All I had to do was sand and varnish
wood on her boat (note to self - this seems like a lot of useless effort as it seemed to go bad about the same time I finished and I had to start on the other end again).
Well we got back to a place to stop and anchor. The locals didn’t like boats being there and I had to swim in at 2am and cut across this rich aholes house, which caused all these flood lights to come on and loud music
to start playing. Bet his neighbors like him a lot. Chickeehag also said that in a few hours the Gestapo would be showing up to put bombs or something in the boat tanks
I walked down to the local Costal Guard Station and told them my story. They asked me if my boats’ name was Super Sailor In Your Face and I said yes. They told me they had found the boat floating along just find and that a tow boat was on the way to get it and that it should be back in a couple of days. Good thing a got that basic Boat Worldwide membership
to cover the towing costs, am I a master planner or what?
So In a few days I will have my baby back and think I’ll restart my trip. I’m hoping next time to get out of the outer harbor area!