Anybody who has done any amount of sailing or boating will have a few stories to tell of things which didn’t go according to plan! I know because I have a lots, Vicki and I have been cruising since 2006, before that we had a day sailer.
My stories go back as far as when I started sailing in 1972 aged 12. I learnt to sail in a 8ft pram wooden dinghy which I has built myself the winter before, I never had any lessons, I remember dad pushing me off from the shore and I found out what worked and what didn’t the hard way! Sounds crazy now but in the shelter shallow waters of Gillan Harbour it was reasonably safe. What we considered safe back then compaired to now are quite different. Growing up I remember most boats were built of wood and some leaked badly but folk still went to sea in them.
Thinking about stories , one came to mind from soon after we bought Elektra. We had done her delivery passage in March 2017, there had been a few problems but we had managed the 165nm over 2 long days. Since her delivery passage Elektra had been mooring in Carne Creek as her seasonal mooring wasn’t avalible for use until the first of April. We had a day sail on Sunday the 2nd and all had gone well but Elektra had to go back onto the Carne mooring because her seasonal mooring is open to east wind. Our first weekend aboard was the 7-9th of April, HW was 1550hrs and only a 4.3m, Elektra needs 4m to float. With gear and stores to get aboard and stow before leaving Carne mooring, we needed to get out there as ASAP after the water was deep enough to get to her with the outboard leg down. I worked out 1330hrs would be about right, it turned out to be bang on and we arrived out to Elektra almost scrapping the bottom with the motor. We lowered the boarding ladder and Vicki climbed aboard. I passed the stores and gear to Vicki, attached the dinghy and climbed aboard myself. We both got busy with jobs, I slid out between the seat and the top bar of the pushpit to pull up the boarding ladder.
Then I found I couldn’t get back! I said “Vicki, I’m stuck!” “what do you mean, your stuck”. I was stuck and I couldn’t get back no matter what we tried, My rib cage was stuck on the seat. Thinking fast I said to Vicki “I will have to go out” “what do you mean” I said “I will push the ladder down again, climb out on to the ladder holding on to the back stay” This is what happened only everything in my pockets went splosh into the creek! I could have lived without my pocket change but the truck keys I couldn’t! Only one thing for it and that was to strip off and going looking for them, in the water I could stand up in waist deep water but had to dip down to get the keys, April isn’t the warmest month for a swim! I managed to retrieve my keys and some of the money and was glad to get back aboard, dry and get some clothing back on, brrr! Lol.
Elektra was new to us, what we didn’t know at the time was during building they had cut the pushpit legs to sort and bolted them down to the boat anyway making a sort of wedge shape and if I had only slid sideways a little I may have been able to get back into the cockpit.
The rest of the weekend went without any other problems!