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Posted By Discussion Topic: Blame Dibbler for this!

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Doenitz
Oct-22-2005 @ 7:55 PM                           Permalink
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Yes indeed, blame he that Dibbles as it was his suggestion/request that i post this.

It is the tale of my one and (so far) only trip off the coast of Scotland on a hire cruiser. It was the tail end of September 1983 and a friend and i hired a Princess 33/32 (not sure which and can't remember the name!) from Knox-Johnston Boats in Troon.

We arrived on a beautiful day and picked up the boat. I found it amusing, then odd, then disconcerting when everyone we met mentioned how brave we were to be hiring at that time of year. I knew nothing of the equinox and the change it can bring to the tides and weather.

Anyway, we had our tuition period, during which the engineer tried to exhibit the radio. It didn't work, so he took the fuses out, rubbed them and put them back in. Some crackling and static, but not really what i expected. "We're too near to shore....it'll work further out" lied the engineer. "OK cheers mate" said i, trying to get him off the boat as fast as possible.

We decided on nothing more challenging than a quick dash across to the Isle of Arran....about 13 miles  due west. The sea was flat and calm, but it didn't stop my crew-mate suffering an almost paralysing episode of sea-sickness. She was below decks as i threw the boat all over the Firth of Clyde....purely to get used to her you understand...nothing whatsoever to do with having two large diesels to play with! After the Broads it was akin to changing from a Citroen 2CV to a TVR Cerbera Speed 12!

Anyway, a couple of hours later we got to Lamlash...a lovely little village in a bay shielded from the Firth by Holy Island. I had no idea about the correct protocol on mooring to buoys, so just dropped the anchor and we settled in for our first night aboard.

No problems during the night. Swung at anchor, which was novel, but nothing that would presage later events.

In the morning we had a lovely fry up, then decided to take the dinghy into Lamlash for a bit of a look round. Rowed up onto the beach and the only problem was that one half of the dinghy had certainly deflated a bit. Thought nothing of it and wandered off to the nearest pub. Fantastic place....0ver 150 different malt whiskies and Lorimer's Heavy which kept me entertained for a wee while.

Drinkies over, we sallied forth up towards a ness called King's Cross Point which was maybe two miles off...all uphill. I had a pair of binoculars with me in case we happened across any birdlife and at some stage something made me view the boat through these. Had it moved, or was it just the 2D effect of binocs? No, can't have moved.

On we went, finding a mustard 'factory' (a big barn selling utterly superb mustards) along the way. When next i tried to view the boat, i realised that it HAD moved. No way was it where we left it. I was trying to convince myself that this can't be right but my friend assured me it had moved.

So, off we took down the hill at a very fast trot....me stopping now and then to have a look for the boat. Reached Lamlash in a fairly breathless state (managing to eschew the pub's delights!) to find the dinghy with an almost entirely deflated left half!

What the *$"!. What to do? I asked a fisherman if he had any sort of pump with which i could re-inflate the b******, but he said "Just blow it up....with your mouth". So i set about the task. It took what seemed like ages, but must only have been about ten minutes. However, i was phenomenally dizzy after all this and by now the boat was almost out of sight!

So began the chase. I rowed and rowed and rowed, whilst my helpful companion had what i can only imagine was a fit of hysteria...all she could do was laugh! After the first five minutes i realised the dinghy was again deflating and a thought occurred that i might be best returning to shore and asking for some proper help. But on i went. For 45 (forty-five!) minutes....with a laughing naff who was being so mush use the thought of jettisoning her did appeal!

When we got within sight of the boat, her hysterics increased when i made the observation "It's leaving a ****ing WAKE!" Finally alongside, i then tried to climb aboard. Well, that was fun. My arms wouldn't work in the way i'd desired them so to do. I could barely hold onto the boat, let alone pull myself on board. However, after settling for a 'holding' (rather, a holding on) operation for a while, i did eventually board her.

Think i'll have a rest now as i believe this will prove almost unreadable in one go!

This message was edited by Doenitz on Oct-22-05 @ 7:04 PM

DaveB
Oct-22-2005 @ 10:11 PM                           Permalink
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keep 'er goin' mate Wink cant wait Cheers

Cheers!
Dave

VetChugger
Oct-22-2005 @ 11:08 PM                           Permalink
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Ahhh I see.....  so it was Dibbler that punctured your dinghy the....

Trevor

roya
Oct-23-2005 @ 1:04 AM                           Permalink
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good stuff mate Smile

roya

Dibbler
Oct-23-2005 @ 1:11 AM                           Permalink
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Hey...I'm happy to take the credit for asking you to post this story...it's a winner...so much better than my ramblings. Great stuff, Doenitz...keep up the saga mate  Smile



John

This message was edited by Dibbler on Oct-23-05 @ 8:18 AM

Richard
Oct-23-2005 @ 2:40 AM                           Permalink
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I just love these stories Smile

Doenitz
Oct-23-2005 @ 12:32 PM                           Permalink
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Right. Where was we? Oh aye, i'd just rowed after an un-manned boat heading towards the Island of Bute with no crew.

My arms were in agony! The only rowing i'd ever done were on Derwent Water and Windermere, and that wasn't in pursuit of the Marie Celeste. So, after helping my crew-mate back on board (all accomplished amid a hail of abuse as she was still laughing) i then pulled up the anchor (it too suffered a fusilade of insults....after all, it had NOT done its job and it simply wasn't my fault, was it!).

We went back to Lamlash (hoping this whole incident had gone un-noticed by those on land) and i tentatively dropped anchor again.

Oops. I maybe dropped it a bit near to one of those permanently anchored mooring buoys. Better have another go eh. No.....won't come up.....it's fouled on the chain. More swearing (it really does feel like its going to help....emitting a stream of invective towards the objecy of your hatred/frustration. Rarely does though). I'm afraid i just couldn't get too upset about this as i was knackered and just wanted a beer and a shower. And at least we were in less danger of dragging the anchor....it now being attached to a substantial chain in turn attached to a lump of concrete!

So, beer opened, fag lit, long sigh exhaled. I then went for a shower. Mmmm, nice strong one at that. You know the procedure from here don't you dear reader......you get the first coat of warm water on, soap up, and the water phittles and spurts to a halt. WHAT! We've been on this thing for less than a day....we haven't showered or even done the breakfast dishes....the bloke at Troon told us we had two 120 gallon tanks.....so where's the ****ing water?!?!

Ah well, i thought in soapy resignation, at least we've still got the boat and we can get some water......ah.....no.....we're attached to a mooring buoy seemingly permanently. Oh aye, and the dinghy looks like a two week old party balloon...not much chance of shipping water over from shore even if we had a container taking 240 gallons. Sod it. Let's get drunk and relax. So we did.

That night i was up every ten minutes trying to get a reference point on the constantly moving shore. I managed to convinve myself that we were a drift again, but we weren't. I even went on deck a couple of times to check whether some malign spirit had untangled our anchor from some poor bod's buoy.

Something else had began when we'd retired for the night. You know those little tinkling bell things atop yacht masts? Well, they started up a rendition of something not entirely musical, but not entirely disquieting either. As the night progressed, so did the bells.....and so did the rocking of the boat....and the wind....and the rain.

By morning, it was blowing a gale and the skies were very, very angry. Dark gray skies were visible through the streaking rain and lower clouds were being driven across looking for all the world like there was a fire somewhere and this was its smoke.

Yje only boat we saw moving that day was a Naval vessel. I can only assume it was a target vessel for submarine exercises as it was about 70ft with a large black and yellow target roundel on the hull. It'd come in to shelter from what appeared to be a fairly rough see, but in our little sheltered harbour i had no ideea how rough it was. We had our own portable radio which was lucky, as the ship to shore was totally kaput and despite rubbing, bashing and swearing at the fuses i couldn't get it going. The forecast sounded bad.....gusting to 60 mph and force 7, which i believe to be a 'Near Gale'!

So. No water. What to do? We had plenty of alcohol aboard but we needed SOME water SOMEHOW. Only one thing for it....blow that d*mn dinghy up again and see if it lasts the sixty yards or so to shore, then have a word with someone who may be able to help.

All went well, though at times i felt like i was like a cork in the Atlantic....it was getting much choppier. Reachin shore there was nobody about, so i thought "Where would fishermen go when it's rough" and duly ended up in that lovely little pub.

Now it may have been my imagination, but when i entered the bar, i'm SURE it all went quiet and i was suddenly th unwilling centre of attention. Cutting a long story short i found the fisherman from yesterday and he agreed (for the price of a pint and a chaser) to get some water aboard for us. He was very good about the whole thing and there wasn't TOO much p-taking from him and his mates! We went back on his 30ft fishing boat and he gave us about 50 gals. He also gave us some tape to patch up our punctured dinghy (may have been Dibbler....can't be sure Smile  ), so it wasn't a bad day.

We just resigned ourselves to be tied to the boat for the remainde rof that day and hope the storm would pass quickly.

Best leave it here for a while. Not much left to be honest but i need a tea and toast!

Next: Doenitz fights the elements....like the idiot he is.



B17
Oct-23-2005 @ 1:40 PM                           Permalink
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Keep it coming Doenitz
Its brightening up a week when I'm stuck at home and I should be on my boat.
Rod

You mean the other Starboard then...

billmaxted
Oct-23-2005 @ 1:54 PM                           Permalink
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What an advert for the preference for coarse sailing /cruising

"I should let go of the quant... Too late... We'll try and get back to you!!!"  Bill...

Dibbler
Oct-23-2005 @ 2:29 PM                           Permalink
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Excellent stuff, Doenitz.

Not guilty on the dinghy puncturing thing...I simply haven't got the bottle to take our boat to sea. 33 foot versus the ocean...no way Jose!

Quite content with 'Early Learning Boating' on the Norfolk Broads   Smile



John

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