Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Went along to pull some ropes and!

got lumbered with a skippering job. Not so bad really but a bit unexpected. The owner of this lovely steel dutch built motoryacht had just managed to get it to the external survey part of somebody purchasing it and needed to get the boat out of one port dock where she had wintered to the dock where it was to be taken out and surveyed. So I went along initially for the ride and to pull ropes. On arrival it became apparent that the present owner wasnt too happy with his own compitence and had tied her up with about thirty shorelines with at least twenty half hitches securing them in place so two hours later we had her untied and were ready for sea!

The owner had found out that I was compitent and asked me if I would take her away from the pier, as he didn`t "feel too confident", and so I agreed. having done my own brief but fairly through check of her condition and compitence, I accepted that she would make the journey in safety and brought her off the pier, turning her on her engines to point down the fairway towards the exit lock a mile away. I grasped the wheel ( topsides) and spun it to check that it was operating OK to find that it wasn`t ! I pointed this out to the owner who ran around switching on and off the auto pilot asking if it made any difference!!!!! finally I told him that he should top up the upper wheel hydraulic system (which he agreed he would do) So now steering from the lower wheel position the owner proceeded down the fairway to the 15-00 "lock out". the time that we got to a thousand yards from the lock was 15-00, a yacht was waiting in the lock and worried about her draft as she was "loosing water" finally at about a hundred yards off the lock and at about eight knots, the owner suddenly decided that he didnt feel confident about fitting the vessel into the lock which was about three feet wider than her and handed the wheel over to me saying Oh S8it! you take it into the lock please. So slowly astern we went and we steered quietly into the the lock tying up on the outgoing side. the yacht expressed his concern about his draft and I agreed to let him go out first when the gate opened. the lock duly emptied and the gate opened and the yacht left.

I thought the owner would be happy to take the boat out but no he wanted me to do it so I obliged. we cleared the cill by about two feet and headed into deeper water turning for our destination port. after about twenty minutes the starboard engine over heated and was closed down to allow it to cool (not stopped but left on tick over so cooling water circulated but all torque was reduced) we progressed towards out destination port in a sort of "tacking" motion, to such an extent that my collegue was joking with me about
" where are we going now? Jersey, no London. no Calais, no worthing", the owner couldn`t steer for tofee but was having a great time trying. I would think that we covered at least double the mileage needed. The starboard engine cooled down and we used it to enter the destination port lock, with the owner steering and me by his side working the throttles. ( it was the only way I was going to get him to retain controll into the lock) . We/I, berthed her up aginst the crane dock and we were invited to a drink on the owners new boat, which I declined.

I have to say I have heard of skippers suddenly being given control when an owner hasn`t deemed himself confident ( usually in bad weather) but never before has it happened to me or at 8 knots heading for a lock in an unfarmiliar boat,( when originally only there to "pull ropes").

Bless him he was a great chap and really knew his limitations. Probably a lot more so than I can truthfully say for myself :o))

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Foxes have gone!

I`m really "Teed Off"! as today is the first day that I haven`t seen any foxes in the garden. The lady next door blocked their access hole in the fence to prevent her visiting mothers "yappy rat" from getting out and now! no more foxes! Ah well! on the positive side, I can safetly rebuild my shed foundations without worrying about one being left inside and buried alive (as if?) I guess that I could repair the fences too? nah thats asking too much maybe next week?

Friday, June 09, 2006

Cruise ship off Brighton

The cruise ship currently at anchor off Brighton Marina is disgorging passengers into the Marina by "Bun boat" landing them behind the RNLI mooring position. The passengers leave the boats and go for a walk around the marina, I don`t believe that any or many of them actually get to see the highlife of Briton proper? I can`t help thinking that an oportunity has been missed here. If I were the local leader of the council I would have met the Captain and the passengers on board and personally welcomed them to Brighton (complete with Town cryer). what a wonderful oportunity to miss? just imagine if the next time the weather was suitable and the next cruise ship passing did the same what would that eventually do for the taking of the brighton shops, if any of the pasengers found out about the wonderful bus service and the ease of the Taxi system here. I would probably get the Chamber of commerce involved too. Oh well just a thought!

One of my regular customers (for my Skippering Services) has asked me to take them out and around the cruise liner tomorrow (if its still there that is) so I will even get to be able to give you the name of her too :o)) if the wind is OK (as his vessel is as big as a house and shape like a floating sideboard) we should leave the marina at and hour before Highwater (10-00) and return three hours later but it never actually happens like that and low water here we come with it usual problems of poorly dredged and restricted channel into the Lock and her home berth.

The weather here is great for the third day running with temperatures in the 70s and a clear blue sky, a small/little adiabatic wind (for Fluff!) which is quite cooling suprisingly enough!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My last post

Was brought about as a result of the distraction created by "The Family"that appeared in the IT cafe in Brighton (as you can read for yourself) next to me. I was happily doing a search for property in the Rio Ebro valley and not having much luck, as nobody seems to have heard of it! when "The Family from Hell "arrived, the son age 7 , immediately used me to aid his climb up onto the high stool and the mother dumped her bag onto my arm and stood with her back to me adjusting her sons seat, needless to say the cheap perfume was overpowering (perhaps Im being pikky?) the father arrived and in a loud voice announced that he really enjoyed Chitty chitty bang bang the other day. (knowing that the "Lady boys" are currently performing in brighton I didnt think that he should have announced how much he enjoyed their show) . He then went on to discuss how his son was doing at school and asking what cofee they wanted and what his son wanted to drink, I gave them one of my witherring looks and it all stopped and the father went off to get the drinks. the respite lasted about 5 minutes and the Ebro valley got even more complicated. He was all too soon back with his loud apologies for getting Latte instead of Cuppachino and inane questions as to why his son was doing what he was on the compbox. He then placed the cofee in my space! I am a very spacially aware person and was surprised, as had it not been a seven year old at the compbox the cofee would have landed in his lap, as I continued to use the mouse unaware of their recent positioning ;O)) Oops sorry! So I decided to blog my dislike of what was happening to me. The mother changed seats with the son and commenced tapping her crossed legged foot onto the structure of the table and when she got fed up with this she decided to turn sideways and kick me whithout apology.

It took about a minute for them to decide to read what I was typing with such gusto and "noisy fingers" and so they upped and left with many sighs and many comments that I have no doubt, they would have liked to utter to me, but didnt!

Whilst I am convinced that I am a miserable old bugger, I was really p**ed off by their actions as was the lady to my left who didn`t participate other than to look at them and then me and raise her eyebrow. What chance has the child got in life being part of a family that believes it is Ok to act as they did in this occasion?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Internet Cafe

Hi folks!
at this moment I am in the bton IT heaven with an ajacent family who having spread all their cofees ec over the worktop they are discussing in loud voices such important items as Chitty chitty bang bang etc. Am I a grumpy old sod or is this normal? Oh! I jave been kicked and the continual Kicking of the under shelf is something else. so its goodbye from me!