Coincidences to catastrophy
South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Tue 11 May 2021 06:01
Least demanding is the offshore passages with long legs between the waypoints lasting sometimes for an overnight. This gives you the possibility to engage the alarm zones on the radar and AIS and get reasonable periods of sleep.
On the other hand inshore passages with islands and rocks can be very demanding forcing you to navigate from the flybridge and in nighttime with full concentration on radar combined with searchlight for seamarks. During such passages adrenalin will keep you awake.
Late night day four I was in an uneventful inshore passage on the Vestland 50Nm north of Haugesund with around 30min legs between the waypoints. Unfortunately my Helmsman minder waking me up every 10mins (with an irresistable sound) stopped working so I changed it for my ordinary alarmclock.Moreover radar alarmzones is not possible to use since it will alert you for loads of insignificant echoes.
On a 30min leg between the waypoints I set the alarmclock on 15mins. I woke up 40mins later from a crash with Dora Mac in 6kts going straight into a steep wall of a small island. The impact made me fall down the stairs but apart from bruises in my face and an hematoma on my forehead I was ok.
It was easy to shift to reverse and once out on open water again I found all systems working. Damage control all over the boat open floors,anchor box,storage,engine room,hanging outside the rail all around the boat Dora Mac seemed to have managed remarkably well. Only damage I found was a long mark at the lower part of the bow.
Subsequently I headed on for Haugesund 50Nm further south for more investigation with diving and underwater survey.
A combination of stress to leave Norwegian waters due to Norwegian VAT rules and private reasons,Norways fanatically strict rules for borderpassage due to the pandemia making it impossible for Swedish crew to join Dora Mac forcing me to act singlehanded, and the breakdown of Dora Mac´s Helmsman Minder covariated into a frontal collision with Norwegian granite.
Fortunately Dora Mac is a very well built boat made in steel but more about that later.