At last something to write home about.....
Mon 16 Sep 2013 15:18
Mongonisi Bay, Paxos
It has been reported that the last time I did a blog was back in May, well it’s probably true. Since then we have had one long wonderful succession of friends, family, islands, sunshine, beaches and meals, lots of meals in all kinds of exotic places. So you will forgive me, and probably thank me, for not doing the equivalent of bringing my holiday photos over to your house for a full and detailed presentation of what fun we are having in the Med.
Well all that changed this morning in a small bay in Paxos.... At 0530 we were both rudely awakened by an almighty thud and shudder, I immediately leapt out of bed stark naked, followed closely by Beans in her skimpy nightie (hold that thought).
On getting on deck we were in the midst of a major storm with bags of thunder and lightning and winds topping 40kts....... I quickly ran around, naked, trying the access the situation, with Beans running close behind with a pair of swim shorts trying to slip them over my legs.
It took but a few seconds to realise that UHURU had dragged her anchor and we’d run aground... ON ROCKS.
Another flash of lightning revealed our true situation, we had crossed the bay and and were stern too, with a lot of very large rocks just a couple of meters off our stern, and every strong gust of wind was pushing us further on to them. Taking a chance that it was our keel that had run aground not our rudder I immediately put the engine on and started to drive us off, back into the bay. Beans, with a jumper on now :-), ran forward and started to take in our anchor. Half way up she had to run back and take the helm as she couldn’t remove our ‘Angel’, a 14 kilo weight attached to the anchor chain to give more security, she battled on trying to keep UHURU into the wind in the pitch black with only the occasional flash of lightning to guide her and a great wall of rocks behind her. A heroic effort by the lovely Beans and between us we managed to get her off and back into the bay.
After one abortive attempt to reset the anchor, the wind was just too strong, we set out to sea to sit it out. We finally dropped anchor in another bay three hours later, a little tired and quite relieved.
Why did it happen? Maybe I hadn’t put enough chain out? Despite the chain being heavy duty and deploying an ‘Angel’ to give extra weight to the chain? It never happened in Patagonia in much worse conditions.
Maybe, it was just bad holding, but we’d been in the bay for two days and the holding seemed fine.
Maybe I had miss read the weather forecast, I hadn’t I was expecting the storm and rain, but not the extreme winds.
Maybe it was just a combination of some of the above and extreme winds funneling down through the cliffs, but it happened and we and UHURU are OK.
One good thing to come of it is that Beans has finally been promoted from Galley Slave to fully fledge crew.
We are now safely tucked away in a big bay with lots of good holding in Corfu. Tomorrow I will dive the keel and see if there’s any damage. Meanwhile I am going to buy my wife a very large gin & tonic.
Luv to all
Steve, Beans and Bertie.
P.S. It’s Bertie’s birthday today and he was well pissed off that we didn’t spend the day on the beach with his ball. So I suspect you might be hearing from him.
16th Sept 2013