Captains Blog 6

What’s That Swell?

And so the day of departure from my beloved Maggoty Bank had arrived. The drizzly dull morning summed up my mood, but first mate was on good form to keep things upbeat.

Nothing was moving as we passed Falmouth apart from an old wooden thing named Gypsy Moth IV. She soon backed off as we reached the open sea, obviously phased by our skill and prowess on the water! Then we were pretty much alone on passage to Plymouth.

Mmm bit more blowy than forecast. Yep getting windier. Splice the main brace first mate things are getting wild. Force 4 built to 5, then 6, then 7 gusting at 8. We screamed like girls, well I did, as it became clear that even with reefed sails we were in for a beating. Damn it, Mr Christian Mrs McIlwaine, get the sails down or we’ll be blown into the rocks 15 miles away!

It was while this mayhem ensued that the first mate noted something a bit special. Just as our heads started to drop, dolphins appeared and all the stresses drifted way while we watched them play. It was and still is the perfect lift when things aren’t going too well.

Sanctuary awaited at Sutton Marina. Lovely Sutton Marina.

After waiting a day to recover, the decision was made to get back out there, so on Monday I gave the order to make ready the lock for outbound passage into the sound.

Oops, still blowy then. After about one hour’s boat abuse I decided to drop the anchor and see if things settled down. Slight problem with the engine was noted at this point. Can’t go forward and, can’t go backwards. Nothing, zilch, nowt. We were pitching badly, while I spent the next 3 hours trying to resolve the problem by stripping various components down under the direction of the wonderful John and Nick at All Boat Services. Unfortunately, I couldn’t sort it and after much soul searching we decided that the only safe thing to do was call the Coast Guard and seek help.

Plymouth Life Boat came to our rescue for which I’ll be forever grateful and we’ll speak no more of this matter other than to say there is a video of us being towed in. First mate decided to film it. Needless to say fifty lashes were dispensed later that day.

Okay, safely back in Sutton Marina. Lovely, lovely Sutton Marina.

How am I going to sort this one? Could there be someone who knows diesel engines who might be able to offer a little advice? Hello Dad, it’s me. Oh, so you and mum are on holiday in Devon, how great! that’s where I am. So you’re in the North and I’m in the South, 10 minutes in the car, jobs a good un.

You’d have thought someone in their mid-fifties would have stopped calling on his parents for help, wouldn’t you? Although in my defence the order came from my mother and I know better than to argue with her. Thank you both for helping us out and it was great to see you.

I’m sure there’ll be more disasters to report next time, so I’m off to make the magic mayhem happen.

Good Bye

Captain Mac

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