Friday, May 2, 2008

Day 6: Little Harbor to Road Harbor

Our last day away from the charter harbor in Road Town was exciting. We sailed around Yost Van Dyke with 15-20 kt winds, favorable for beam reaches and a ncie wing-on-wing run near the northwest of the island. It was our best ailing day of the week.

Captain Beth had an unfulfilled agenda item--man overboard practice. Once we rounded the west end of Yost Van Dyke, our wind died down to 10 kts or less. The Captain went through some dry runs and eventually two gallon jugs, tethered at their handles, were sent overboard. The scenario assumed that I went overboard and the Captain was the only other crew--a likely scenario.

On the first pass, I got run over and keel hauled--my jug alterego did. The next passes were much better. More practice when Speakeasy is launched.

We sailed on with a better wind as we approached Soper's Hole. Once we sailed through the narrows at Thatch Island, we caught a small squall. Some nice sailing, but upwind, and then it passed.

The group wanted one more chance to snorkel, so we moter sailed to Pelican Rock and were lucky to get a National Park mooring ball. With an hour left to reach Sunsail, we cast off for the last time and made a beeline for Road Harbor.

I thought it was strange that we could hear Moorings Charter communication on the radio, but not Sunsail. We thought we'd be able to pick them up when we got from behind Pelican Island, but we still heard nothing in the middle of Sir Francis Drake. We were relieved when reports began coming in and that a dock hand would steer thhe oat to a slip from the B Dock. All we needed to do was get to B.

I was at the helm and gentle poke our bow down B. This is not what I expected. No room at either end of B for another yacht. I decided to back out and wait for a sign. A dock hand reminded us of our dinghy painter, which I had forgotten. Beth and Bob monitored the dinghy and drew in the painter. We were free to peek on the other side of B Dock for room or help. Beth kept Sunsail apprised of our situation.

Before we had time to do much more, a very bad thing happened. We lost reverse. No problem, I thought, I'll keep the speed down and circle beyond the dock. Then, just as suddenly, we lost forward too. We were a drift and heading broadside at a catamaran at the A Dock. Bob jumped in the dinghy, which was tethered on the port and pulled us away from the cat. Meanwhile, a Moorings hand took our dock lines and helped us raft to the cat.

We sighed in relief and took stock for a moment. We did pretty well. We had fenders at the ready, Bob took the dinghy, we had found help on shore. Is this what the ads mean by Miller Time?

In a few minutes, a Sunsail hand come to our rescue in a dinghy. He asked some questions and went off again. When he returned, he had a plan to push us to what was left of a T dock on the far side of B Dock. There awaited two hands, who took our lines and secured us. We were home.

Julien, who had given our chart a boat review a week ago came around to see what the fuss was all about. He mused that it could be oil in the transmission fluid, a broken shift at the helm, or a broken shift cable. That last, that was it. A broken cotter pin allowed the clevis pin to work itself lose. This was waiting to happen for some time. Perhaps all week. "WD-40!" Julien shouted. "Why don't they spray with WD-40." There's a tip. Speakeasy is getting sprayed with WD-40.

After all took a long shower, we gathered to ride in Mr. Maloney's taxi to The Dove, where we had a 4-star meal a week ago. We were tired. Most of us were happy to be in civilian clothes again. Perhaps not Betty, who slipped getting back in the boat from the dock. More bruises. Damn, those high-heeled sneakers. Bob helped us toast the event with a very good bottle of Chardonnay. There would be no ordering off the appetizer menu on this night. We all gorged from the main menu and had desert.

We slept like babies while it rained all evening and through the night. The next day was a race to taxis, ferries, and planes. For a few hours more it was peace.

Post a Comment