Playing with the SSB and VHF can be fun and frustrating. I tuned into the Coconut telegraph yesterday and today and found the reception to very weak to unintelligible, but heard a boat called Godspeed at full blast (not surprisingly, since they are only .5nm from me) and wanted to reach them anyway since a acquaintance on an internet forum mentioned that they were arriving on passage from Europe and I should say “hello” to them. I called them on the VHF but they were not monitoring, but another boat Somewhere, called me and it turns out that we have communicated on yet another internet forum so we chatted for a bit. Radio makes for a small world indeed!
I finally got going about 10:30am and at first sailed towards Jost van Dyke, but then changed my mind and used the nice conditions to sail downwind at about 7 knots with reefs in both main and genoa. I sailed down along Virgin Gorda to The Baths, chased by Canova and then jibed downwind the Sir Francis Drake channel. I intended to jibe at The Bight for a run past the West End of Tortola and thence to Jost van Dyke, but opted to drop anchor after all and call it a short day.
Shortly after anchoring, Jim and Sharon aboard Somewhere came by and took a mooring. I got the outboard out of the garage and put it on the dinghy, but since the two mounting screws are still frozen I made a note to be careful dinghying around. I dropped by Somewhere and chatted for a bit, then noticed a gent using a single oar to fight against the wind and he wasn't making much progress. I proceeded to head over and give him a tow, and another dinghy came by as well. Now things started to go very wrong - I put the engine in reverse and the outboard popped out and I couldn't reach the kill switch and the centripetal force pushed me overboard. I managed to push the outboard away a bit to avoid the thrashing propeller, but got hit by it before it dropped below the waterline.
Luckily I only suffered bruising and contusions and no deep cuts, but it was a close thing. I swam, still wearing hat, sunglasses and wearing my backpack, to the dinghy and when he asked if I was alright I admitted “No” since I didn't know how badly I was wounded. Once inside I assessed the damage - slight cuts to left hand only lightly dripping blood, right wrist and thumb already swollen but just scrapes and I could (barely) move thumb and wrist so no broken bones and my stomach hurt a lot and I thought I might have been cut up but luckily it just bruising and scrapes. I consider myself very lucky to have gotten away so lightly!
The other dinghy had a young guy aboard who managed to get my outboard back (it was held on by the fuel line) and I got the charter's outboard started since it had just flooded and needed a bit of choke and TLC. We towed my dinghy back to my boat and I proceeded to shower which was bit bad, but then I chose hydrogen peroxide over iodine for the big-area wound and that really stung. I finally got to use some of my first-aid gear - big compresses, tape and bandages to keep everything in place; plus an assortment of small band-aids for the little “Boo-Boos“.
Although my right thumb, wrist and palm were swollen, I could still grip with my fingers and got the outboard onto the swim platform and proceeded to wash it down with freshwater, then I dried it and gave everything a liberal coating of WD-40. Then I removed the carburetor and spark plugs and gave the insides a liberal WD-40 dose while pulling the starter rope to make sure that the dispersant got dispersed. The carburetor was more work, since the Phillips head screws were in tight and I only had one hand to work with, but I eventually got everything taken apart and cleaned and reassembled. As the sun set I got everything together and mounted the engine back on the dinghy and -surprise- it fired up after just a couple of pulls!
Unfortunately my backpack had the Nikon D7100 and 18-200mm lens inside and they didn't fare quite as well as the outboard did: Tohatsu won this round over Nikon. While the camera hadn't been submerged, enough water must have seeped in the backpack before I removed it to short out the battery and get into the lens housing. I cleaned and dried it as far as possible but the camera is now deceased. Rather than dump it overboard, I think I'll take it to St. Martin with me and leave it on a table in order to cause a thief as much grief as possible... Luckily I still have my old D7000 aboard!

Chronos at anchor Chronos is, as her name implies, timeless and has beautiful lines.
(2014-01-07 10:33:19 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Chronos at anchor
Plan B at the Baths Last time I saw this megayacht, she was at the docks in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua and sported a helicopter on her deck.
(2014-01-07 12:00:11 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.3, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Plan B at the Baths
German charterers leaving the North Sound German charterers leaving the North Sound
(2014-01-07 08:31:33 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/25.0, 1/20s] ISO 100)
German charterers leaving the North Sound
Kitesurfing in the North Sound This kitesurfer was doing very well in the gusty strong winds of the Virgin Gorda North Sound.
(2014-01-07 10:10:26 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Kitesurfing in the North Sound
YCCS Marina The completed YCCS docks and marina in the North Sound hosts only megayachts. Here are some of the big boys at the docks
(2014-01-07 10:30:11 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/400s] ISO 100)
YCCS Marina
Canova under Sail Canova was visible on my AIS and on the horizon, but caught up to me as I was passing Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.
(2014-01-07 11:47:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Canova under Sail
Canova under Sail Canova was visible on my AIS and on the horizon, but caught up to me as I was passing Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.
(2014-01-07 11:49:12 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Canova under Sail
Canova under Sail Canova was visible on my AIS and on the horizon, but caught up to me as I was passing Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.
(2014-01-07 11:48:58 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Canova under Sail
Canova under Sail Canova was visible on my AIS and on the horizon, but caught up to me as I was passing Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda.
(2014-01-07 11:48:59 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Canova under Sail
Prop damage The outboard went off the transom while running and I fell overboard into it. Luckily the damage was limited to pain and bruising.
(2012-01-08 11:09:47 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/7.1, 1/15s] ISO 125)
Prop damage
87 views since 2017-02-04, page last modified on 2017-02-04.