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Old 31-07-2015, 06:24   #1
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A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Last week, we sailed from Kalmar, Sweden, towards Karlskrona, taking advantage of a few hours of Easterly winds and trying to get to that lovely, interesting city to spend a couple of days waiting for a vicious weather system to blow through. We left at 07:00 in order to capture the best of the Easterly blow. As usual the wind was stronger than forecast, and we soared down the Kalmarsund, the sound between Oland island and the Swedish mainland, making 9 - 9.5 knots, flying past two Beneteau Firsts with Swedish racing numbers, limited by their hull speed

We arrived a couple of hours early off Torhamns Udde and finally got through to the Karlskrona harbormaster, who told us that the harbor was completely full. That they would make space for us somewhere if we couldn't get further before the storm, but that it would be better if we would go elsewhere.

It was still early, and the wind was good, and the sailing exhilarating, so although I had been looking forward to hanging out in Karlskrona, I really didn't mind the prospect of more sailing, so we set a course for Simrishamn, across the Hanobukten, the "Swedish Bay of Biscay", and continued pounding through the water. We arrived before dark, having run 110 miles altogether, and surfed through the terrifyingly narrow entrance as the storm gathered strength.

The harbormaster of Simrishamn had told us that he was also full, but just raft up to the biggest boat on "E" pontoon.

When we attempted to do this, rather tired and with the wind rising and darkness falling, an angry Swedish person came out of his blue hulled Contest to wave us away. But why? The harbormaster told us to do exactly this. "The harbor office is closed and I can't check this." "What, you think we're lying about this? And anyway, what's the problem?". His ugly wife came out to add to the complaining, and at this point my cruising code kicked in (never allow anyone, anywhere, to spoil your mood when on the water), and so we left and tied up in the fishing harbor.

When the harbormaster came by the next day to find out why we hadn't done as he instructed, and found out the answer, he went over and spoiled the mood of the Contest sailor. Meanwhile we didn't really care; we had plenty of water and don't really care all that much about shore power and had had a lovely evening after we got tied up.

* * * *

A few days later, we found ourselves in beautiful Ystad, Sweden, on the South Coast. The jolly Vikingesque harbormaster there found us a lovely spot alongside right under the harbor office, although Ystad was also completely full. The next day, a giant Grand Banks trawler maneuvers to raft up to us. We are hanging on our lines with 25 knots of wind blowing us off the quay, but what the hell -- I have never once in my entire life refused to welcome a rafter-upper -- it's just wrong, and probably bad luck, too.

I am often rafted up to, because boats looking for a place to go usually look for the biggest and sturdiest looking vessel they can find. I usually leave out "welcome fenders" on the off side. Being rafted up to often results in pleasant acquaintanceships; I have actually made a few friends this way over the years. Sometimes of course it is unpleasant -- when it's a charter boat with 12 non-sailors on board, for example, in port only for a pub crawl, and tramping in herds back and forth over your foredeck all night. Thank God for aft cabins. Occasionally a much bigger boat does seem just unsuitable in strong weather, but in that case, I simply cast off and let the other boat go inside, and raft up myself. I would never, ever, ever, just send someone away, who needs to raft up.

The giant Grand Banks couldn't get lines to shore because of the angles and other boats, and so it's mass and windage added a lot of force on my lines. So what? Would you deny a fellow sailor the use of your lines? Are they too weak? I doubled them up and everything was fine.

The owner turned out to be a really interesting person. He was sailing alone all the way from Latvia. It turns out -- he was with his wife, and she died suddenly during the cruise. He was a former sailor and had made epic trips under sail to South Africa and other places all over the North and South Atlantic. I had very interesting conversations with him.



So would you really want to deny a fellow sailor in need a raft-up? I always thought -- what goes around, comes around.
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Old 31-07-2015, 07:00   #2
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

I compliment you Dockhead. You are Gentlemen that cares for others well being. Unfortunately many don't seem to care to help others but Life is much more rewarding when we do. Makes one sleep well at night.

Life is Good when you Keepa Smilin.....
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Old 31-07-2015, 07:59   #3
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

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His ugly wife came out to add to the complaining,...
And he had to spend time on a small boat with her. No wonder he was cranky.

Good for you, dh.
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Old 31-07-2015, 08:08   #4
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

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So would you really want to deny a fellow sailor in need a raft-up? I always thought -- what goes around, comes around.
Good on you Dockhead. But to answer your question: of course not! Especially not in the conditions you describe. I can't imagine any descent human being, let alone a fellow boater, being such a jerk as to turn someone away like that. Hopefully Mr. and Mrs. angry Swede will learn a few basic lessons in human decency out of this ... but probably not.
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Old 31-07-2015, 08:38   #5
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Dockhead, thanks for the interesting story and the positive example. Small incidents like this and the people we meet along the way are the best part of cruising.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 31-07-2015, 08:49   #6
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

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His ugly wife came out to add to the complaining, and at this point my cruising code kicked in (never allow anyone, anywhere, to spoil your mood when on the water), and so we left and tied up in the fishing harbor.
I thought all Swedish women were Beautify Blonde Goddesses?

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The giant Grand Banks couldn't get lines to shore
How big was the Grand Banks?

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The owner turned out to be a really interesting person. He was sailing alone all the way from Latvia. It turns out -- he was with his wife, and she died suddenly during the cruise.
Ouch, his wife died on the while out cruising. Was he far from a port?

Later,
Dan
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Old 31-07-2015, 08:58   #7
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Dockhead, I've never denied anyone a raft-up. Sometimes I've 3 or 4 laying on my outside and I've lent them my long (40 and 50 meters) extra docklines so they could reach shore.

I admit getting alittle nervous when I have 4 or more onteh outside, unless they also have some lines direct to the docks - not sure just how much my clamps can hold if I've got an extra 30-40 tons hanging out htere in a strong off dock blow

Been refused once or twice - I jsut go somewhere else, since i have the same thoughts you do - I wouldn't want to raft up on someone who was so impolite
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:39   #8
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

"Any Port In A Storm" Always lend assistance when needed. Un-written law of the sea I thought?
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Old 31-07-2015, 09:41   #9
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Its good to read of folk like yourself - sad about the muppet that shoo'ed you away. Hopefully, he'll get to read about his behaviour on this forum and rethink his actions.
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Old 31-07-2015, 10:12   #10
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

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And he had to spend time on a small boat with her. No wonder he was cranky.
Actually, it was a Contest 47 -- lovely boat and plenty of room to get away from her If she let him . . .
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Old 31-07-2015, 10:14   #11
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

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I thought all Swedish women were Beautify Blonde Goddesses?
Most of them are. Really! So maybe this is the root cause of his crankiness
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Old 31-07-2015, 10:49   #12
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

"Any Port In A Storm" Always lend assistance when needed. Un-written law of the sea I thought?


Amen!

I have always believed the same........

I also agree with the credence 'what goes around comes around'

You can't give IT away, you're good deeds will always come back to you!

Nice going, DH😎
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Old 31-07-2015, 12:56   #13
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Pictures! We want pictures! How else are we to judge the ugliness of the wife? How else are we to humiliate the bXXtard when he docks near us?
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Old 31-07-2015, 13:19   #14
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

I'm so new to all of this. Wife and I went sailing for the 1st time last week. That being said we are planning and getting ready for the day we head out on our own boat. 970 days till we live aboard and cruise. Read and talk to every one we can about every thing. We've got a great teacher who does what we want to do and has for 30 years, so value his experience. Way too long, sorry, I really want to say thanks for your story I hadn't even thought about this. Wouldn't turn anyone away that we could help.
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Old 31-07-2015, 20:17   #15
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Re: A Tale of Two Raft-Ups

Thank you I need a reminder every now and then that there still are unselfish people out there. I tend to get a little jaded when I'm around here too long.
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