Monday, December 21, 2009

Last night was another long one full of interrupted sleep. Just as with many other things, you don't notice how good you have it until it is gone. But I think that the worst of the cold is over now as I can take a deep breath with only about a 50% chance of coughing and I can almost breathe through my nose again as well. I checked e-mail (it is amazing that even The Bight now has free Wi-Fi from Pirates Restaurant that can be received even in the middle of the anchorage) and a mail from Bernd and Carmen confirmed that they are on their way to visit but that snow and weather issues delayed over 100 flights the day before so they might have some problems getting here.
Yesterday the photographer from YachtShots BVI came by and I ended up purchasing some action shots of Zanshin I from him.
The wind was slow today and I wanted to head to Leverick Bay, so in the middle of the channel I decided to motor sail and use the “overdrive” function of the Gori propeller. In order to do this on needs to get the boat moving backwards so the blades of the prop stay in reverse when shifted through neutral back to forward. Today I hove to (sort of like a hand-brake on sailboats) and then put the engine into reverse. I neglected the 50 feet scope on my dinghy painter and after a couple of seconds I heard an unnerving crunch and immediately realized what had happened - I had sucked my own dingy painter into the prop and, fortunately for me, the prop cutter worked as advertised and kept the drive shaft moving. In the pictures you can see the dinghy drifting away and when I put the boat into forward after clearing up the mess by cutting away the remains of the polypropylene rope I didn't feel any strange vibrations or sounds, but was getting less than half of the speed I expected from the boat at a given RPM setting. Not good, I assumed (correctly, as it turned out) that I still had rope intertwined into the blades of the prop that were preventing it from extending fully. I motor sailed into Leverick Bay and took a mooring ball, then snorkeled on the prop and realized that there was no chance of me being able to untangle or cut away the mess without dive gear. So I took the dinghy ashore, rented a tank of air and set about getting rid of the mess I had created. It took longer than expected but mainly because my dive gear isn't up to the task and the BCD keeps on inflating, forcing me to stop work and vent excess air. Anyway, once I finally got the prop fixed I took a slot at the dock and then proceeded, several hours delayed, to do laundry work and to do the final boat cleaning. Bernd & Carmen - sorry, I got the sheets and pillows laundered but the boat is still a bit of a mess...
Dinghy adrift in the channel Fortunately I didn't lose my dinghy all to often and always noticed that it was gone right after it had parted ways with the mother ship. This time I'd tried to put the propellor into overdrive by reversing and forgotten to pull in the dinghy line - thus I cut it myself. Luckily the wind and waves are light and retrieval was relatively easy; relative being the operative word as it isn't simple to get the dinghy back when singlehanding.
[18°24'15.45"N 64°32'33.73"W (facing NW)]
Dinghy adrift in the channel
Inverted Cone on Zanshin Most people don't even know what the inverted cone pictured on the starboard stay on Zanshin I means. But it does have a meaning - that I am proceeding under both sail and motor. This is important, as a sailboat has right-of-way but if I am also using the engine I'm actually a motor vessel and thus I lose my right-of-way according to the COLREGS. In the BVI I give way to most sailboat regardless of whether I need to or not, mainly because the typical charter guest has no idea and I'd rather give way than have an accident but be in the right.
Inverted Cone on Zanshin
Megayacht Sunrise Megayacht sunrise in the BVI
Megayacht Sunrise
Melted dinghy painter This is what happened when I forget to pull in the line to the dinghy painter and put the sailboat into reverse gear in order to put Zanshin I into the Gori's overdrive mode.
[17°0'52.27"N 61°46'27.7"W ]
Melted dinghy painter
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