smackdaddy asked me to post some if my BFS's
But I have a quandary
DO i tell the one that include the fight that broke out in the storm, or the one with the regilious guy that felt his god has abandoned him in a howling gale , the one with the crazed polish guy, the one where in another storm a crew mate was convinced the slashed down dinghy was going to kill us all and wanted to cut it looses ( he never have been seen again). then theres the crazed spainish fishermen story
How do I tell them without being sued!!
Okay heres one , I have no picture evidence as any pictures I have are of nice sails, in my experience the last thing in a storm you see is a man with a camera
OK heres one that wont get me hung.
We were sailing from Gijon to Bayona in Northern Spain , along what is known as the Costa Murde, the bottom is littered with wrecks. ( stay with me the reason why is evident) This was a November delivery and there was three of us. We had had a very "eventful" Biscay crossing from Brest in France, "eventful" doesnt mean anytime nice at all happened, but thats a story where I'll get sued if I tell it.
Anyway, we have F8-F10s the whole time, its was so wild arriving in Gijon we couldnt get into the marina betcause the wave trains in the fairway would have bounced us off the bottom, so we went into the commercial port.. long story involving customs, men with guns, wrong paperwork, whiskey, rats ( the four legged types etc). Any way the following day we moved into the marina, it was so windy that we had to reverse into the wind to get the stern onto the dock. Get the picture lots of winds , ogh did I remind you its was November, no other fools were out.
Anyway we set off for Bayona, which is "round the corner", past Finisterre, thoese of you who know this place, know that its a proverial basta4d of a place, every wind god in the place vacations there.
Anyway we're off La Corruna , its 1am in the morning , next minute we effectively been chased in the middle of a storm by sets of crazed and drunk spainish fishermen, whos idea of fun is to play chicken with a yacht with storm sails up. we cant really maneavour and they run at us and then veer away.
I forgot to mention there was three of us and one of them had never sailed before, to protect the innocent and cover up the guilty I'll call them fred and bill and me ( GBN) ( bill has an experienced sailor) This incident with the spainish fishermen didn't do fred ( hes the one thats never sailed before) health any good at all as you can imagine, ( oh I mentioned he had come through the biscay crossing as well.
Fred " does this type of thing happen a lot", I mean cant we report them, did you see the guy leaning out of the wheelhouse, I taught they were going to kill us"
Me to fred " Yeah happens alot you get used to it" ( doesnt and you dont)
At this point the first knockdown occurred, spreaders in the water. You know its quite comforting becuase at least the now vertical cockpit floor shelter you from the damm wind and the spray. Had I mentioned it was a beam sea. a big beam sea, ( runing downwind here would end you up in somebodys living room)
Anyways, I got to 10 in my count and she righted , I think a pile of water in the main slowed her. She came up just as the second big wave washed over us, 1 second earlier, and that would have 360'd us.
At this stage we're a wee bit wet, (in the way that the space station is a wee bit above the ground.)
Me " Fred this is fairly uncool",we're liable to get more possible knockdowns and if happens or we get a 360 its likely that anyone on deck will get hurt"
Fred " ur umm, oookaay"
Anyways Bill pops his head through the companionway , spluttering what the fu6k was that etc etc , you know with that crazed wild look. Seemingly he feels that being accelerated out of his bunk, seemingly complete with the remains of the lee cloth and grasping the mattress, and being dumped against the port forward bulkhead isnt like... fun!!.
why by the way do people always ask " what the fu&k was that " etc, when as plain as day , you just managed to put a 45 foot boat, on its ear and tried as best you can to remove the standing rigging. ! huh why do they ask you you wonder, what do they want, a letter beforehand.
Bill " the bloddy batteries are loose dont you know".
Me "Really ... thats not bad considering, I gather the lee cloth supports failed as well"
Bill " goddamm galley a mess too" ( I think we had "forgot" to wash up the dishes)
Bil then gives Fred the man on deck will be injured speech. I'm beginning think we might be "overloading" fred a bit but what the heck he's only 47 and a middle ranking executive at some law firm..
Bill " fred , tell you what , lets just have one man in the cockpit , you go below take a torch and wedge yourself in somewhere and be ready to help GBN if she turtles, remember wel'l loose the damm batteries next time so we wont have any light , it will be up to you as GBN is likely to be hurt."
Fred " uuuurrr ummmmmm okaaaaay" ( I reminded of the airplane movie where loyd bridges says Got a cigarette Nelson? I can't take much more of this. looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines)
Later on night the wind went from mildy crazed to completly bonkers. This is a coast where the atlantic goes basically from a zillions miles deep to like 3 feet in like 10 feet or something and we had a 3000 mile fetch and the wind was westerly. Youd think we should have known better, but hey were delivery crew, completely dispensible, badly paid, ( there was pay, somebody got paid no one told me!), overeducated, middle class lowlife sailers, you know the type , you see them in marinas all over the globe, drinking their stiiinking cocktails.
Anyways me feeling all macho and in control alone on the burning deck ,err I decide that I stand the watch through into dawn and let Bill get a good sleep in a now heavily modified berth ( as in hes lashed in with some spare halyard, modified)
The rest of the night passes uneventfully and we round finnisterre without any futher drama, that is if you think that two partial broachs and a very very close almost chineese jibe isnt "any drama". anyways the wind dies back a bit as after about half way through the watch and as dawn approachs and at this stage I done nearly 6 hours on the wheel with two life lines holding me tri-angulated ( some might say strangulated) behind the wheel. Its was the longest, crasyist period I have ever spent on watch and I was actually hallucinating near the end.
The hatch flies open and Bill refreshed after his bit of S&M with the berth mistress comes out and lectures the hell out of me about letting him sleep. Did I mention that Bill had four eyes and eight fluffy ears.
Bill " go below sleep idiot"
"OK". Below its still gloomy, but the motions fairly calm ( in comparison) and the batteries seemed to have decided that the their box is a reasonable place to live cause they stayed there.
Anyways I fall over the form of Fred, still after close to 7 hours schrunged up on the galley sole, wedged to prevent him moving , still clutching the torch, wide eyed
"Fred oh sh1t, I forgot to tell you that is was fine and when things calmed down ,to go to bed, you ok"
Fred" Oh yeah, just doing what you guys told me, ready to spring into action in the event of injury" ( middle managers take their jobs sooo seriously dont they)
" OK fred all over get up go to bed, bill will do a few hours solo" ( maybe a week or so)
Fred " eh cant , "
Fred " no feeling, cant move legs numb, pain heeelp"
Suffice to say it took fred two hours to fully regain the use of his legs. and the wild look got much worse ( perhaps another airplane sketch is needed, no oh ok )
Later when Bill and I exchanged watchs
fred says " Jes7s , you guys are the bigest bunch of fu6king lunatics Ive ever met"
So ended a great day
did I mentioned that the dolphins turned up after all the fun was over
Last edited by goboatingnow; 12-07-2008 at 01:07 AM.