Fishermen's Rope! 19 17.63N 51 53.42W posn at 1600 UTC Day 22 (1300 Barada time -3 UTC)

Paul Downie
Tue 18 Dec 2007 18:31
A few days ago I turned on the engine to charge the batteries, with engine in gear after half hour we suddenly heard this 'clunk' and the engine stalled. I said "Oh sh** what's caused that, don't panic!" I opened the Inspection Hatch in the cockpit to check the propeller shaft, Rosie started the engine again in neutral, engine started OK, I thought "great, is it the gearbox?" Put the engine into gear and could see the prop shaft was under pressure so quickly knocked it into neutral realising there was something around the propeller.
I looked over the stern and there was a f****** big thick nylon rishing rope trailing from the stern. I got the boathook and managed to pull some of it up, but it was solidly secure around the prop. which meant getting into the sea to free it!
Yesterday we had to do a sail-change to set the spinaker pole on the opposite Port side, so we decided to stop the boat sailing and Hove-to, which is the first time we have done this in Barada. With wetsuit, weightbelt, fins, snorkel, knife and rope securely tied around me and back to a winch for Rosie to manage, I jumped in, and into a big swell I might add, bashing my head on the hull a few times, but not too seriously - but I freed the rope without having to use the knife.
Today we have run the engine and the prop is fine - another drama over. Everytime I was down at the prop I had a quick scan around for any predators, but thankfully Steve, uwill be pleased to know that I didn't see any sharks. You have to be ready for anything when sailing!

Last night on both Rosie's Watches, when she came up on deck a dark and ominous skyline was awaiting, and on both occasions she was subject to torrential rain and high winds to 24+knots gusting. Are these Caribean cloudbursts, I hope not?
Counting down the miles - now 563 to go.