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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-14-2003
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Stupid Sailor Tricks

Along Duanes note,I thought maybe we could share some of the funny,crazy stuff that has happened to us at one time or another during the on-the-water extravaganza we call "Sailing." Here''s one that sticks out in my mind like a second day hang-over. We were on the island of Mykonos,stuck in the harbor because of Force 7-8 Meltemi winds.The harbor was laid out in an "L" pattern, with our chartered 45ft.boat being on the short end of the "L".Several boats had dropped anchor across our anchor line,and our anchor was dug in good.We couldn''t motor forward to break her out.But in Greece,they tell you "it''s no problem!"After being on the island for several days,we were anxious to move on.The wind let up to a slight hurricane force,so we decided to make a go of it. Problem was getting all those other anchor lines off of ours, so that we could pull ours up.Madness set in due to the desire to leave.We came up with a plan.We took the bitter end of the all chain anchor rode loose from the boat,removed the outboard off the dink to lighten weight,piled the remaining anchor chain into the dink,and proceeded to worm our way underneath the bows/anchor lines of boats moored to the long side of the "L".If we could get to our anchor,we planned to pull the beast up,and return to the boat with it.As we would go underneath each anchor line with the dink,we would toss the dinks painter to someone aboard the docked boats.These sailors were French,Germans,Italians,etc.By this point, we''re the "show" for the day and everyone was watching the procedure with the dinks painter.Everything was going great until we threw it to an Italian. The idiot through it back to us! Remember, the wind is blowing like crazy,which without us being attached to something, starts to blow us across the harbor.My buddy was busy cussing the Italian while I was frantically trying to re-coil the painter for a good Roy Rogers attempt at lassoing another boat bow before we driftout to sea. It was to late.Luckily we drifted across the harbor towards where there were some waterfront Cafes. We worked our way through the anchored fishing boats while the locals drank their morning expresso and took in the free show. Man, I never want to go to Italy! ha!ha!ha!
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Old 01-14-2003
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Stupid Sailor Tricks

Good story, Stede! If you had used an anchor trip line and float, do you think any of the other sailors would have avoided your anchor rode? or would they just drop the hook anywhere they pleased, anyway?

I hear "horror" stories about the etiquette "out there" and it makes for colorful exchanges, I''m sure.
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Old 01-14-2003
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Here''s another "almost" horror story that can occur when crew touch things they shouldn''t (also known as "things the skipper should strongly caution against"). The names and relationships have been changed to protect the guilty.

Upon return from provisioning ashore with the dink, husband allows the wife to disembark onto the swim platform. Provisions are duly hauled aboard and below. Wife decides the engine-driven reefer compressor needs to be run, so starts the engine. Husband (attending to the dink engine) hears the engine labor at idle with the compressor engaged and informs wife that the engine speed should be increased to about 1700 rpm. Wife pushes the throttle lever forward and engine sounds happy.

At that moment husband finishes with dink and steps aboard swim platform. "Gee, why is there such a strain on the dink painter? Why is there a wake? Holy s**t!" The engine is in forward gear!

Racing to the control, husband gently but firmly goes to strong reverse to avoid hitting the boat directly ahead of us, owned by the couple with the biggest eyes I have ever seen. The boat gains sternway at least 50 feet from a collision, and the all-chain rode prevents entanglement with the prop, thankfully.

Husband ensures the anchor is still well set, then as calmly as possible, reminds the wife what the little red button on the throttle control is for - N-E-U-T-R-A-L.
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Old 01-14-2003
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Hey Duane, thanks! No, the trip line route was a no go.It''s pretty much a free for all doing the Med.moor thing over there.A trip line would''ve just been one more thing to untangle.Everyone is pretty cool about it all though,and try to help one another.Sailors are good people,regardless what part of the world you''re in.
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Old 01-14-2003
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I was writing this in responce to another topic:

I remember, one year, I was heading out on a single-handed two-week cruise “Down East”. I wanted to get underway around noontime to catch the outgoing tide, so I spent the morning working around the marina. At some point I somehow managed to twist my ankle quite badly, but as nothing was broken, I decided to still shove off as planned.

By late that afternoon, we were running with a southwesterly, about 30 miles off shore. The AH 1000 was steering and I was tending to the ace-bandage on my ankle. I noticed that dark clouds were building to the west and soon they were lighting up with the spark display heralding an approaching squall. I figured I had about an hour or so before it hit but considering that it might be getting dark around then, and with the condition of my ankle, I decided to reef and prepare the boat early.

When the squall did hit, it wound up being a rather anti-climatic event. Only its southern-most edge had brushed us. The winds had picked up to over 30 from the northwest for only a few minutes and there wasn’t even enough rain to completely wet the deck. Soon, the winds shifted back to southwest and from my perch in the companionway, I watched the mainsail jibe itself back over onto starboard tack.

It was just then, in the gathering darkness, that I saw the strangest bird that I had ever seen. He was about 50 feet away from the boat when I first saw him. He had a longish body and a funny, long tail with a knob on its end. He had a long thin beak and his wings beat so fast that I couldn’t even make them out! He flew in a long gentle arc and as he landed in the water about 75 feet away, I realized it was my autopilot that had gotten caught under the mainsheet during the jibe!

With quick presence of mind, I scrambled as best as my ankle would allow for the tiller. I brought her around, sheeted her home and set my course. I managed to come along side and grab my “bird” just as it was going under!

Cursing at my misfortune and the prospects of having to spend the whole night at the tiller, I started to fieldstrip the thing right there on the charts in the cockpit. I guess I didn’t hold out too much hope but I still allowed a gallon or so of precious fresh water to go to the cause. After soaking the pieces in a bucket, I laid them out on some paper towels.

After a couple of hours, I sprayed everything down with WD-40 and put it back together. I didn’t really know what to expect as I plugged it in, perhaps, if anything some sparks and a popped breaker. But what I didn’t expect was for it to run, which is exactly what it did!

I kept a close eye on it through the night and it ran just fine. It ran for the rest of the trip and for the rest of the season too. And, even though I’ve had it apart since, for general lube and maintenance, it’s still steering the boat 4 years later!


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Old 01-14-2003
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P.o.C.A,

Nice story; had me going about the "bird." How the heck did you retrieve the autopilot before it sunk?

Duane
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Old 01-14-2003
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Great story POCA! I''d like to seen the look on your face when you realized what the bird really was!ha!ha!ha!
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Old 01-15-2003
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Actually, my autopilot spends most of its used life out in the open, in the cockpit under all weather conditions. I''d rather it be out soaking wet in the pouring rain then I. Periodically, I disassemble the case and seal it to make it "water-resistant", but of course, there is no practical way to make it fully waterproof... Anyway, treated as such, during the incident, it filled slower then it would have otherwise. And I was praying that was going to be the case as I came about!
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Old 02-04-2003
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Ahoy Pirate, I once threw my auto pilot overboard in a fit of drunken rage, I felt a lot better after about a mile and I couldn''t here her scrames anymore!! The Pirate of Pine Island.
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Old 02-06-2003
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My boat''s so slow that I''d be afraid she''d just swim back, clamber aboard, madder then a "wet hen" and do the same for me!
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