The fiddle meister strikes again

Norman G III
Mon 13 Jun 2011 19:44

our position at 2100 Monday june 13th is

37.47.81N 000.42.91E

ive been tired today and so a little ill at ease and tetchy

After a long night we entered Cartagena at about 0800 and tied up alongside the fuel berth.. I did the parking ( no wind flat calm) and all seemed to be going ok.

Petrol station auto pay - we got ready to fill up--then the problems started

firstly my credit card failed.Managed to get through to a call centre in India who wouldnt believe I could need so much diesel. I had to agree with her,neither could i -- i thought id bought a sailing boat.

then skipper gave out the jobs. obviously i got nothing mechanical or nautical----" Marshall you go to the supermarket"---- I hate supermarketing. Anyway I managed to find an old bod in the boatyard who thought he was taking me to a garage for some oil but once I was in the car he couldnt escape. It took 37 minutes to fill up my trolley and he came with and pushed -- i dont think he knew what was happening to him.

I spoke away in Italian and he found what I wanted and put it iin the trolley.. Ok not so bad

we returned to the boat and another yacht wanted the fuel berth so we had to make a hasty exit.. I have to say it was not the skippers best manouvre-- he blamed me for not untying quickly enough and the wind-- but in reality 5/10

into Cartagena harbour we went. Its a busy harbour with the pleasure and fishing craft sharing the space with a big military/naval presence and also an oil/gas refinery terminal . These tankers are big and just as we were leaving it got a bit hectic with a tanker coming in across us to our left( portside) and a big warship with a submarine alongside reversing into a dock in front of us to our right (starboard)side. skipper and first officer were both a little anxious i could see it because they were ignoring me

Anyway two bits of important info> the AIS warning system for boats is an alarm/identifier safety system for modern ships. its tells other boats computers -ours included- the name size destination and speed of the vessell and is linked to a warning system that sounds an alarm on our navigation computer if they come too close to us--- are you still with me? secondly as the skipper had been a bit snotty with me because of the mix up with Morocco id done all the chart plotting for the next route to sardinia and circeo and had everything ready in the computer raring to go.

so back in the harbour we were in a tricky spot hemmed in by these vessels the pilot watching us careful;ly and skipper studiously at the wheel

all of a sudden we get the ais alarm signal which needs cancelling on the computer.My job-- big moment.

skip throttles forward to slip between the two big ships i go to cancel the alarm on the computer but accidentally double click the button. the first click cancels the alarm but the second engages the auto pilot for the first leg of the journey to sardinia and turns the boat directly into the path of the tanker. Skipper cant steer and cant underrstand whats heppened- i ask whats going on whats he doing and first officer has his head in his hands. anyway skipper rushes around and cancels the auto pilot and less than calmly gets us back on track and we escape.--Then the autopsy starts., who touched what who pressed what-- anyway i knew theyd blame me they always do so i retreated to make a cup of tea-----id bought jasmine tea bags and goats milk-- its going to be a long 4 days

ive got the 3-6 spot again but im beginning to like it because they are so tired they leave me alone

Today I want to say hello to Jonathan and Lauren-- i could do with some of your computer skills!

speak tomorrow