Continued from Part I and Part II
Better finish telling my ill-fated voyage before readers start yawning, especially me.
Anyway, there I was in the bay of Sesimbra with a fouled propeller letting out my chain with the manual SL 555 windlass. I tightened the clutch when I thought I had plenty of scope; then I decided, "ah what the hell, I've got no engine so a few more meters won't hurt."
I released the clutch, the chain clattered over the gypsy, snaked out of the hawser pipe and disappeared into the water with a sickening splash. Gone! I stood there on the bow looking at the hawser hole and at the ripples in the water not feeling anything in particular. I was numb, dumbstruck...WTF!
Since I had changed the chain end over end this spring, my first nauseating thought was that I forgot to shackle the bitter end. But I did, I was sure I did. My stomach was tightening and my tomatoes were drooping.
|This cheap (probably Chinese made) shackle ruined my trip.|
|Corroded, rotten stainless crap.|
I lunged for the Fortress FX-11 linked to 3/4 inch nylon rode in the port sail locker, cleated the end and threw it overboard.
The Fortress FX-11 weighs 3 kilos...tied to a 3/4 nylon line. What a fucking laugh, it probably never even reached the bottom. Typical useless backup nonsense.
I should have immediately pushed the MOB (man overboard) button to record the site of the sunken Rocna. Jakatar was slowly drifting out to sea and I had all the time in the world to set up the 25 kg anchor secured down below in the dungeon.
Gotta finish writing this before I fall asleep. So I pulled in the Fortress that was happily bouncing on along the seafloor at the end of a huge nylon line, stowed it, dove into the dungeon below, unsecured the ugliest (also probable Chinese) anchor I've ever seen - damn heavy though - and substituted the Fortress with this huge hunk of metal.
Meanwhile, the wind was stiffening and shifting north, blowing almost straight from the bay. Two hours later and on the third attempt, I finally managed to sail in and anchor in an acceptable location not too close to the rocks.
I immediately dove in, cut the lines and removed the jug stuck on the propeller, started the engine, tried the transmission and everything looked good.
I noticed that I was dragging slowly; so when night fell and the wind died down I decided to move closer to the port, closer to where I had lost the anchor.
With the engine running, I slowly pulled in the line with the windlass drum, working up a sweat and completely fatigued on this hellish day. When the anchor was dangling out of the water I engaged in forward and began to move...very slowly for some strange reason.
"Fuck! the transmission is shot...what else could go wrong," I was thinking when I heard the same Cacklunk noise and the engine died. Shit, shit, shit, lines in the propeller again. Yup, the anchor had fished up old lines and nets that were just dying to wrap themselves around the propeller and shaft.
I let the anchor down before realizing that the boat wasn't going anywhere and that, in any case, I'd have to free the anchor. Except now, I could hardly lift the anchor above the waterline and, after failed attempts, I lashed a kitchen knife to a broom handle and slowly cut the lines and net.
I was pooped, drank two glasses of wine, ate some cookies and went to bed feeling downright disgusted.
Another urgent translation came in just now, I'm taking the bus to the Algarve on Friday morning to crew for a friend returning to Peniche or maybe bring up a boat on my own. So, you guessed it, hell in Sesimbra will be continued.....there's still a lot more fun to come.