The First Scratch
This morning I was down below filling the water tanks when all of a sudden, THUMP! Something very solid had whacked into Sylph’s side. I immediately went on deck to see a large work boat which had been on the other side of the marina laying out mooring chains had managed to manoeuvre itself between Sylph and the adjacent pontoon. The large steel craft was clearly too big for this space and while trying to extricate itself managed to swipe Sylph. Now I understand that even the best ship drivers can get themselves into a spot of bother from time to time, certainly I have had my fair share of little “incidents”, not that I make any claim to being great ship driver by the way, but what really peeved me was that this vessel which must have been some 40 tonnes had but one small tire fender on board and when I came on deck I found one of its crew members trying to use a half inch piece of manila to absorb the shock and minimize any damage to Sylph.
Needless to say the rope was not very effective. Many weeks of work and not a week in the water nor even a mile under the keel. Arghh! I did not spare the skipper of the workboat of my ire, I am sure despite the language barrier that he had a pretty clear idea of what I was saying, gesticulating for him to get his barge away from Sylph with much shaking of my fist. This he wisely did and I am grateful to him and his crew for remaining calm and tranquil, not adding any fuel to the fire. After venting a little I calmed myself down and had pretty much resigned myself to the first repair job when I got further north. A short while later Jeremy arrived on the scene and managed to negotiate a solution. The marina’s painter, Sergio would do the repair this afternoon, the club would pay and claim the expenses back from the owners of the workboat. I could not ask for a fairer solution though of course wished it had never happened. This little accident is the very reason why I normally do not bother with a high level of finish, in the rough and tumble of cruising, especially in the more interesting parts of the world, a few knocks and scrapes are inevitable. With a simple one pack paint job it is relatively easy to repair, but now I have a two pack job, and while it is a lot tougher it isn’t tough enough to repel a 40 tonne steel barge, and repair work is that much more difficult.
Oh well. The Chileans have an _expression_ - Tranquilo.
All is well.
I sense that change is afoot. Lots of food aboard and I am relieved to see a bit more tuna amongst it, not nearly enough of course, but it is something.
A bit of drama it seems this morning, I think the skipper should try and get a bit more sleep, the best medicine:
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
Now there was a great man, nice food metaphor but a pity he didn't manage to mention something about tuna. I think it is time for me to take another dose of my favourite medicine … zzzzzzzzzzzzz