So itís taken me a while to post about this but with a couple of fellow CF members asking what happened, here it is.
Some of you will remember my cat was dropped by the boat
yard due to shoddy lifting practices earlier this summer (pic #1). Basically they picked it up with a crawler trailer
using extensions and insufficient straps, which then snapped and punctured a hull
Anyway, that was all repaired after two months out of the water
, a new paint
job went on, new rigging
, new trampolines, new wiring
system rework - basically the lot got done.
Managed a few more trips out in the Solent and tweaked a few more bits, and all was looking good to head
south. Then my dad was diagnosed with emphysemia and I had to make the tough decision to enlist the help off a delivery skipper
to get the boat
to southern Spain
, while I went back to Aus for three weeks to do the family
thing. This was it for me in the UK as well, so off went the car, work
was wrapped up, a house full of gear
given away / donated to the local charity shop, and goodbyes said.
and crew duly arrived and after a handover, I left them to it to set sail on the Monday. All looked good for the first few days as the boat headed south - a few niggles popped up (cupboard doors popping open, the main VHF
decided to develop a fault) but otherwise progress was pretty good until Thursday night when the tracker stopped. Nothing on Friday either. And then the message came on Saturday morning, just as I left the Southampton Boat Show
, that theyíd been run down by a fishing
boat 60nm north of Viviero at 0430. The fishing
boat had towed them into port but the boat was a write off.
As details came to light, it turned out to be such an unlucky situation youíd barely believe it - a 1200nm trip spanning 5 days, 1 min or 50m either way and it wouldíve been a near miss. The insurance
company gave it a 0.00005% chance of happening...
Anyway, the boat ended up tied to a dock
in Viviero where I finally managed to get to it six weeks later and it was a mess. Rig gone, crossbeam gone, forward lockers gone, both bows damaged - but still afloat. When she was built, originally the boat had a large fore and aft box section crossbeam and the rest was built around it. This made for narrow hulls, but a strong as f*ck boat that meant the damage was fundamentally superficial.... but expensive to fix. The Spanish quotes to fix came in at double the insured value, so it was a simple numbers game
for the insurers to write her off in the end.
I managed to salvage
some of my personal items and for this, Iím thankful to the delivery skipper for not abandoning ship. The marina then sent me photos of the haul out
at the wreckers last night and it kills me to see, as the boat is 90% still fine... had I been able to take 3-6 months off Iíd have gone down and fixed it, but life gets in the way and thatís just not possible. It was especially hard as Iíd just managed to get the boat 100% right and this was my home, but sometimes life has other plans and itís out of your control (see insurance
So there you have it. Many thanks to all you who offered to crew with me to the Canaries
and beyond. Iím going to take a break from boats for a bit but will be back soon enough.