Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Long Island
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Broadcreek, I loved your story. I laughed picturing you jumping from boat and back like slapstick. Just so you won't feel lonely:
Just over ten years ago I bought a lovely gaff yawl in Noank, Ct. My Dad crewed for me on the november delivery back up the Sound. We used a borrowed dory to bring our gear aboard, and set out westward. On a long tack we almost passed the Dumplings(?) at the west end of Fisher's Island Sound. On a short tack we were set all the way back past Ram Island, where we started. FIS is notorious for strong tidal currents, and we weren't able to tack out against them. No problem, we'll motor. The seller had repaired a starter problem. She fired right up. But all I got was a cloud of black smoke, with very little motion. Hmmm. Ok, we'll try again tomorrow. Killed the engine, sailed toward a marina dock. When we got close, I hit the starter: Click. Click, click click. Hmmmm. Well, I'd sailed a 20' sloop up and down canals for years without an engine, I can dock this one too. I put the helm down...... not much. Up, not enough. We're going to hit that tall pier. I pictured embarrassment and expense. A broken bowsprit, the boat stored for the winter on the wrong side of the Sound. Visits to repair her. Dad, ever optimistic, sprung onto the sprit to fend off. Don't ! you can't stop her, you'll just get hurt! CCCCRRRRuuuunnncchhhh. She went right through. Stuck into the pier like a lawn dart. Dad: "what now?" Me:"tie up, we're here".
I struggled with shame and thrift, but conscience won out, I told the manager I'd broken " a couple of boards". Front or top? he asked. Front. We are going to replace them all this winter, forget it.
We found a great little restaurant, ate seafood and home baked pie. Slept comfortably, in spite of freezing temps. The rest of the delivery actually got worse, but that's another story.
I later learned that the prop was covered in barnacles, the starter repair was incomplete, and the sternpost wasn't faired into the rudder, making for bad steering at low speed. I had many better adventures with that little beauty though.