Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maybe not such a great day

The boat was due to come out of the water on Monday but once I arrived at the boatyard, the boss said they didn't have time to take down both masts and haul the boat out, as arranged, so "Kuan Yin" had to be left until Thursday. I tied her up behind a large steel barge for protection from westerly winds and waves. But not well enough.

This morning at 11.15 am I got a call from the boatyard that the wind had picked up, the waves were strong and that I might want to come down. I hurried down to discover she had already struck the steel barge in front of her, tearing the pulpit (the railing around the bowsprit) from the wooden bowsprit.

She was dancing up and down, up and down in the short waves - so much so that just to get aboard I had to watch the rhythm and then jump. An hour later, I'd doubled up all the lines and added another stern line to a tug boat moored behind.

Several lessons here. 1) don't accept what anyone else says or does, but always make my own appraisal of the situation (I'd thought she was tied too close to the barge in the beginning), 2) do everything that can be done and don't imagine that the worst can't happen, (I'd thought about doubling the lines but it seemed like overkill. 3) buy another 300 foot 5/8 inch line. 4) get a couple of big fenders, the marina fenders will be useless in a gale in Labrador. 5) The boat needs at least 10 leather strips to use as chafe guards.

All the time I was on the boat this morning, I kept thinking about conditions in Labrador and how I might deal with them. I don't have much experience with winds over 15-20 knots and I can expect a lot more than that in the Labrador.

Tonight, in Toronto, winds are forecast to gush up to 50 miles/hour until the morning. I'm going now to see that her lines are secure and haven't chafed through.

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