John Storm clouds gather Mon 06 Jul 2009 20:03:24

Blogs by John

Storm clouds gather!

The very first season came to a premature and dismal end. The weather at the end of September was deteriorating.Some sailors were already taking their boats in. Seduced by the thoughts of long balmy autumn evenings,little wind and calm waters I decided to give it another while.Stormy weather was forecast for the middle of the week.Watson's lady had taken a few hits in her day. When it comes to bad weather this couldn't be any worse than she was used to.
The mouth of the inlet faces SSE and it is rare indeed to have a blow directly up it's length,from precisely that direction. This however was one of those times.By Wednesday of that week we had a full blown storm:sustained gales and punishing rain. The sea was in a ferment.I stood on the beach with a few other hopefuls looking out at the trials of our boats,wrenching at their mooring lines and skitting around like frightened colts.
The storm continued all night unabated.The next morning dawned with a heavy grey sky but reduced winds and when I got to Oysterhaven I was faced with my manta beached on the sand on her side!!.How she had come adrift was yet to be established,but shedid not look happy there on her side in that most unladylike of positions.On the incoming tide with the help of two ribs, we got her afloat again and hitched to a temporary mooring.The investigation started.
Apparently the constant up and down motion at high speed during the storm repeatedly chaffed the mooring tether against the pin of the shackle which held the forestay to the bow. Acting like a knife it had cut it's way through the rope and away she went!!
Later that day Watson's Lady was loaded on her trailer and towed home.She suffered no damage apart from a few scratches to her paintwork as she had landed gently enough on the sand,avoiding the nearby rocks to her right which that morning sported a small speed boat ten feed up on a pinnacle of rock!
I was relieved and suitably chasened as she finally rested in the driveway.The season was well and truly over for me and I had no plans to even think about next season. For now: NO MORE SAILING!!

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