Down and very nearly out

'Sarf & West mate, Sarf & West'
Pete Bernfeld
Fri 27 May 2011 03:40
Just a short update, on Monday morning 0225 Fiji time I put Troutbridge on
a reef at the entrance to Suva Harbour. No excuses, a bad lapse of
judgement but the circumstances were almost no sleep for three days due to
rough weather, chart plotter failure and reliance on paper charts and GPS
self-plotted positions. Autopilot had been playing up and on Sunday
afternoon the water tank possibly began to work itself loose, certainly it
was making those sort of noises. To make a short story of it, I crept
along the channel at about 2kts using MK1 eyeball and radar, the situation
looked good, reef on the starboard visible and on radar. I can only think
that I had a microsleep because the next moment the picture had changed
and I now had breaking water on both sides of the boat. Full astern but
too late. No excuses, totally my fault.
The port fin has been totally torn off, exposing the boat directly to the
reef. Port rudder and skeg gone. Both engines flooded and a leak through
the starboard sail-drive. First attempts to float the boat off have
(expensively) failed and I am awaiting the next high tides of the 31st/1st
which I think will be last chance city to save the boat.
Boat was uninsured but all on board are safe and well (as can be expected
in my case, Cadey has abandoned ship and although I can't really blame her
there was not a word of sympathy or comfort. She made her own arrangements
for accommodation after a day or so by striking up a 'friendship' in the
yacht club bar, classy.....not). Thus far the marina manager has been kind
enough to give me a temporary bed but now I think I'll have to sleep on a
half-flooded boat to avoid vandalisation. A 40 minute dingy ride, but at
least it's all sheltered water. Not looking forward to it in the slightest
but it's only for three nights. More later.
Phone number in Fiji is
12 hours ahead of the UK

A writer's life for me?