Sunday, December 05, 2010

Initially I had planned on heading to the North Sound for the evening and my first tack had me heading towards Peter Island, but instead of tacking back towards Tortola I bore away and made for the Bight at Norman Island for a short day sail. The weather and wind was perfect at 10-15 knots and I hit 8 knots for a bit without having the boat seem to make an effort - what a thrill to be back aboard again!
I even managed to snag a mooring the first try, despite howling winds of 3 knots or so (in gusts)! I spent the afternoon doing menial tasks below decks with occasional stints in the sunshine but I didn't want to get a sunburn my first day out.
A bit of drama occurred just as I'd paid my mooring fee (up to $30 from the customary $25!) when I heard shouting from a boat downwind and saw that the Moorings 400 from Sunsail named “Cat's Aweigh” had broken loose and was drifting to another Sunsail boat. I have to admit that my first thought was “I'm glad I dove on my mooring ball” but then I jumped in the dinghy and headed to the wild cat. Note that the wind was still under 5 knots and the collision was pretty soft twixt the Cat and the Sunsail monohull, but the toll collector was using his dinghy to fend off further damage so I hopped aboard and fired up the engines on the cat. Note that this was my first time ever aboard a cat in the wild, my previous experience being limited to a short visit while the cat was securely tethered to the dock. I only saw one key so turned that, I don't know if both engines fired up but I just pretended it was a monohull and used the steering rather than jockey the beast like a tank. By then another 3 gents had showed up and climbed aboard, but they all said that they had no twin engine time either, so I drove the Cat while they prepared moorings lines forward. I am proud to say that I managed to stop the cat right over the next buoy (pat on shoulder there...) and within minutes we were off the boat. I returned to find my camera and take pictures in the dusk, and as I write this the owners haven't returned - I wonder if they will have trouble finding their cat? The ripped painter is on their deck, so they will probably realize what happened.

Before and After The left side still needs to be brightened and cleaned while the right side done. I diluted the cleaning materials heavily so as not to do too much damage to the teak.
Before and After
Leaving Nanny Cay behind Leaving the entrance of Nanny Cay on Tortola in the BVI behind. I usually only see this view once a trip, when I leaving the marina, and once upon my return in order to put the boat back into storage.
[18°23'45.22"N 64°38'8.31"W (facing NW)]
Leaving Nanny Cay behind
Sailing the Channel Sailing the Channel
Sailing the Channel
Yachts in the Bight Yachts in the Bight
Yachts in the Bight
Torn mooring line The remains of the mooring line that tore away on a catamaran that was next to me - while nobody was aboard! I managed to get in my dinghy and get aboard before it had drifted too far, then figured out how to start the engines and motor out of trouble. I was joined by a couple of other cruisers and we successfully picked up another mooring ball close by.
Torn mooring line
Torn mooring line The remains of the mooring line that tore away on a catamaran that was next to me - while nobody was aboard! I managed to get in my dinghy and get aboard before it had drifted too far, then figured out how to start the engines and motor out of trouble. I was joined by a couple of other cruisers and we successfully picked up another mooring ball close by.
Torn mooring line
Broken mooring The mooring float of the torn line. The remains of the mooring line that tore away on a catamaran that was next to me - while nobody was aboard! I managed to get in my dinghy and get aboard before it had drifted too far, then figured out how to start the engines and motor out of trouble. I was joined by a couple of other cruisers and we successfully picked up another mooring ball close by.
Broken mooring

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