I have been sailing for over 30 years. And even ran my own sailing school
for some years. No matter the experience we all screw up. So heres the story.
Heading into a bay for NYE fireworks. It had about 200 boats anchored to leeward of where we found a spot.
I went up to the bow to lower the anchor
, my mate was at the helm
. I had told him he would need to apply reverse help us set the anchor
. He did what he was told. The next thing the engine
died. At this point I knew I couldnt let out much more scope
do to the boats directly behind us. I also didnt know why the engine
wouldnt restart. (sounded like a dead battery_ strange).
I ran to the stern to yell to the boat directly behind and let them know our problems. (though the anchor was appearing to hold at this point). This is when I saw the dinghys bow lodged under the stern of the boat. My mate had reversed over the painter. Arrg.
So now we cant motor
out of the bay. Its dark and there are going to be 200 boats to leeward for the next hour or so. Plus I have no idea if we have enough scope
on the anchor. *h Sh&T!!
By this time, I knew we had rope
around the prop shaft, thats what killed the engine and why it wouldnt restart. My next concern was "what if the prop shaft is now bent"? Double *h Sh&T.
Now, 15 mins in, the anchor appeared to be holding (thank whichever god). We had lots of cold beer
on board. But we knew we had to stay sober "just in case".
Eventually, the fireworks went off and they were great. We attempted to be happy and excited. But we knew we were stuck there for the night and if the wind
picked up, we would be in for a long night.
Luckily, 20 mins after the fireworks, our leeward neighbor motored away. That allowed us to increase the scope substantially. It held over night.
The next day we dove on the prop shaft and cleared the spaghetti of painter.
Then with some trepidation we started the engine and put it slowly into reverse then forward gear
then reverse to listen for bangs or sounds of bent shaft. WOOOHOO.. No bent shaft. So we were able to motor
So what did I learn? Nothing! I already knew not to run over the painter. I already knew to let my crew know of these things. I simply forgot to mention it and for got to bring the dinghy
in closer. Sigh!
There is only one thing to blame for the events
that unfolded. ME!