ARC Portugal Yacht Ca Canny - Rope in Approaches to d'Oussant

Yacht Ca Canny
Geoff Rogers
Mon 2 Jun 2014 13:55
Propeller rope wrap. Back on our way leaving the inshore passage around D’Oeusaant (Ushant to the Brits!)
At midnight on Sunday  the wind died and was taking us to Roscoff.  We decided to put the engine on to make it through Ushant before the tide moved against us. I had been running 30 mins when a thump, bang, bang was heard from the area of the propeller. The engine was off within 5 seconds – Steve was on the helm and the skipper below in his bunk for at least a further 5 seconds. We had picked up a rope – we restarted and tried the reverse - it was even worse! So we cut the engine and sailed on and pondered what to do next.
In the morning we sent out a general message on VHF and called WCC to let them know what was happening. The plot was not to use the engine and sail through the passage before going over the side or getting a camera down to inspect. Geoff (Skipper ) had bought a wet suit at the last minute and was now contemplating.......
Out of the blue we got a call from Robert on Zoony who had heard about our predicament and offered to tow or escort us into Brest if needed – we had light fluky winds on the nose and were going nowhere fast.  With assistance at hand we restarted the engine which produced a lot of shaking at first but then settled down. We asked Zoony to escort us out of the Inshore Traffic Zone under power which took 2 hours and to standby whilst we worked out how to check the propeller, rope cutter and P bracket which connects it to the hull. We ended up using a Sports Pro 3 camera  clipped and lashed to the end of our 2.2 mtr boathook – it worked and we got one great picture which clearly showed the prop wrapped with rope between the rope cutter and folding propeller. A few dangling bits too...
We are now on or way across Biscay and will keep in touch with Zoony and buy them a case of beer in Baiona – oh and we have the underwater picture to prove it and the skipper did not need to get his new wet suit wet, for the moment..
Many thanks to Zoony