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After 12 years I still manage to utterly shock the hubby and myself… A 35+-year-old should be able to make quick and rational decisions, one might assume…
Suffering from insomnia and painful joints after three days of rolling back and forth might have some influence, but that’s no excuse for a sailor woman, is it? Imagine the gently rocking from side to side as in a trance with the difference that you can’t control the violent rolling and you’re at home, you just want to chill, watch a movie, prepare food or have dinner, just to name a few. Even taking a shower or using the toilet is made difficult.
As the day made way for the night, a boat left the completely full quay. Immediately pirate mama Gwen -who decided to live permanently on the quay in Palairos- shouted we should take the spot. We discussed it for a minute and ignored the eerie feeling we were experiencing. We hauled up our anchor from the muddy seabed, prepared the mooring lines, and ran the engine. Ready to leave our anchorage and move to the concrete wall.
Also, know as Walhalla for sailors; running water and electricity, good holding, and secure when the god of wind is blowing a hoolie. Perfect for us as we were much in need as our water bladders were punctured and during the rolling, we lost all our freshwater. Secondly, our batteries are old and mistreated by a clueless crew named Ramon and Lotte. Luckily they weren’t the newest so it’s an acceptable loss.
What can go wrong… went wrong
We left and try to park in the little tiny harbor in Palairos.
As you can see in the picture above the quay was on our starboard and the pontoon which is ridiculously close to the quay – at least in my newbie opinion, do you agree? – on our port side.
Mutiny has a full keel, she is not made to reverse, that’s why we always park bows to.
The propeller has the tendency to turn right in forwards, which translates into the bow going to port. To anticipate the big turning circle when turning starboard, we initiate our maneuver on the port side of the “waterway”. In order to position the boat at the correct angle, we need to drive a bit past the spot.
There was a gentle breeze, while Ramon turned to starboard, I dropped the anchor from our starboard stern and ran to the bow to throw out the mooring lines (these would be fastened in the rings on the quay).
All of a sudden the boat stopped abruptly. The wind pushed us sideways. We came way too close for comfort to another parked boat…
Apparently, our stern anchor line wasn’t coiled properly… -Guess who coiled it for the last time… Yup that was me. I thought it was done perfectly- It was tangled before the fairlead. The consequence was that the anchor bit too early and held Mutiny in the middle of the waterway. Mother nature thought this was excellent timing to gust a hoolie.
The next part was the most difficult for us both… Ramon had no choice but to reverse to avoid collisions… This meant we were going to prop wrap our gorgeous, smooth, strong, colorful line to get out of there.
When parking bows to, we throw out the kedge anchor. This is a second anchor, that is attached to a 10-meter chain and 30 meters line. The chain is there to give the line more weight and only 10 meters because that’s all the chain we have.
A prop wrap means that generally a line get’s wrapped around the prop. The tension on the prop increases as the line wraps around it multiple times. The engine can’t turn the prop over anymore and dies. In the episode beneath you can see our first prop wrap.
Don’t freak out, stay calm!
Heartbroken we reversed and hoped the rope cutter would do his work. The moment the engine died we were literally strung out. The line was frayed but how severe? Would it hold us longer?
Absolutely terrified, we tried to think fast to get the hell out of this dangerous situation. My logic brain 🧠 was suffering to think straight due to the deafening alarm that roared within my skull: “SHIT!!!, SHIT!!!, SHIIIIIIITTTTTTT!!! we might sink.”
I struggled immensely to switch it off and went into the water to try and undo the prop wrap. The sky was turning black and the visibility was close to nothing. We needed goggles to see… but I couldn’t find them because the alarm kept taking hold of me. In these situations, Ramon is the captain and he gives orders. I am just running around like a headless chicken.
Fortunately, he was able to think straight after letting it all out. He dropped our bow anchor and went in and pulled the line out of the rudder and started the engine which failed. SHIT!!! Again and failed again. SHIIIIITTTTT!!! On the third attempt, we were indulged by the black fumed, melodic purring of our Perkins engine. Mmmm that sound, I’m going to tape it and make it my ring tone one day.
Full throttle forwards and YES the rope cutter did his work. Whoever said that rope cutters are worthless, we need to talk again!!! We got back out the harbor to the anchorage, dropped the Cobra and sat down to comprehend what had happened.
Back to safety, right??
The following night we were welcomed back with the lovely, violent, rolling of the ocean. We catnapped 45 min in turns. In between the naps, we checked the boat because another boat anchored extremely close to ours.
After another night filled with trippy, twilight zone states of awareness, we fell into a nice, warm, stressfree coma. Mmmm the luxury of sleep for almost 30 min…. Of course, as we say in Flemish; beautiful songs don’t last that long and definitely don’t sound like: BAM CLANG WEDOWEE. That’s how we woke up, shit, shit, shit… Someone hit our boat. Yup the neighbor that was too close hit us…
We didn’t know where but we presume that it was our solar panel against his guardrail. There wasn’t any damage. We actively displayed the mantra of hauling up and dropping down the anchor and tried to sleep, to no avail. We installed toothpicks to keep our paranoid eyes open to watch every move of all the other boats around,. Another spot came free on the quay but we didn’t push our luck this time. Our mutual wish was sent into the universe, “close our vision to the world and rest”.
It worked. The following day we jumped out of bed and parked on the quay. Our little pumping hearts were in our throats, with shivering hands I threw out the stern anchor and it bit in the right spot and our mooring lines were successfully caught. Finally all was fine and our souls were energized by safety.
We were again warmly welcomed by the fishermen, locals, and expats who make Palairos the safe haven it is.
First thing tomorrow? Go fishing for our anchor. It might not make a good meal, but I have a feeling that this “hook” will come in handy one day.
What a dick! God, seriously?? Why are people like that? Or want to come across like that?
The only intention I had was to avoid a collision with our boats. Highly reasonable right?
Yesterday Ramon and I had this stunning, brilliant, pristine divine rock inlets surrounded by the sea completely for ourselves. Well, in the late afternoon all the other boats left. This was our romantic escape after the two week delivery Ramon had done with Bobby. Curious? Click here…!
We had a barbecue on the beach followed by a swim in the bioluminescence infested bay. The latter was magical. All the ripples we created in the water lit up in this glow in the dark, fluorescent, crystalline turquoise color. Science wise, this is the defense mechanism of the algae.
Rock ‘n Roll
We were in paradise! The price we paid for paradise was undergoing yet another extreme rolly night. This time Mutiny would move from bow to stern. Ramon believed it was better than from side to side, for me it meant another sleepless night. These are regular occurrences in our daily life. We grew used to it. The only issue is that one might act in peculiar ways when suffering from sleep deprivation, mistakes are easily made.
There was one time Ramon frowned upon me, that I was incredibly grateful for. I was holding the water hose very close to the diesel tank instead of the water tank. The only cure is gaining muscle memory, as one wise woman pointed out to me a few months ago. You know who you are, and I have to admit you were more than right. With this advantage you don’t have to think about every step, you are on automatic pilot. Compare it with the mornings you find yourself in bed with a hangover and have no clue how you managed to get there.
Anyhow, the following morning we left rolly heaven to continue our journey to the following bay. We wouldn’t be there alone, unfortunately, but we wouldn’t roll, a nearly Stockstill night on the water would be a dream come true…
Another day another bay
Thirty minutes later, relying on the engine to transport Mutiny, we moored up and couldn’t resist the crystal clear blue beneath us. We dived in to surface again as reborn entities. Once in the immensely see-through liquid, we took some shots for our site and YouTube channel. It was then that we spotted fins in the water. Our first reaction was to get out of the water and on the boat. These fins moved at a high speed and made quick 45 degrees turns, every half a meter. They created a wake in the water… a predator!
Other people began to see them too. We took the kayak and were super close, we took some footage and presume it was a baby swordfish! Bloody fast, they are.
After all this excitement, the exhaustion caught up on us and we lay down. I am better with siestas than Ramon. I fell in a 1-hour coma, only to wake up and notice that the hubby was gone. I tried to get some more sleep but as usual, that window was closed and gone.
“If the wind changes, you will be slamming into us, I would like to avoid that.”
It didn’t take me long to wake up, once I met with the hubby in the cockpit. There was an SV Delos like boat (Amel super Maramu 2000, cutter rigged) way to close to ours. In this bay, you drop your anchor from the bow and reverse. Once the anchor bites, you get shorelines from the stern. -You attach these lines to the back of the boat and tie them on land around rocks or trees, whatever is easier- This prevents you from free-swinging and gives more boats the opportunity to anchor in the bay.
“This guy just mansplained me that he knew the distance and he would swing in front of us.”
Now this super Maramu, which certainly wasn’t Delos because that crew is incredibly competent, was way too close for comfort and refused using shorelines. I jumped up and leaped into the kayak half dressed -living on a boat in tropical climates motivates the urge to be naked 24/7 and believe me I wasn’t like that before-, paddling towards the threat. “Excuse me, madam! Are you staying the night or just a few hours?” I asked. She replied,: “Oh no, more like a few days.”
I told her they needed to re-anchor the boat because it would blow against ours when the wind would change from the South East to the North West. The latter being the prevailing wind, conclusion? collision unavoidable!
She called the skipper who assured me there wasn’t the slightest issue. He calculated his swinging circle and would never touch us. My reply was: “If the wind changes, you will be slamming into us, I would like to avoid that.”
Mutiny is our house, our transport, our safe haven, that guy just has way too much money and bought a sailboat which he uses for two weeks a year and he doesn’t bloody know anything about it. I mean hell,… I thought I couldn’t judge distances and I couldn’t, at least I was honest about it, but I learned. This guy just mansplained me that he knew the distance and he would just swing in front of us.
Clearly there wasn’t any room for feedback or let alone discussion in this conversation, so I went back to Mutiny.
-when I was younger I would have made a big deal about this with the necessary drama, I guess I learned it’s not worth it-
Ramon, Styx, and I just waited for the wind to change and prepared Mutiny for this collision, after all, that was the only thing we could do…
The most retarded idea ever, you slam into us once are you going to hit us twice??? Yup, there he was again not touching us but his keel (2 meters under the waterline) caught our anchor, which he also crossed of course. Now, his stern didn’t hit us but the dinghy was twisted around our chain. The woman clearly didn’t know anything about boats and wasn’t the fastest thinker or practical person. Therefore, Ramon was trying to untangle the dinghy with his toes and I boarded the kayak again.
The skipper was at the helm reversing and forwarding asking us what to do because the woman was bloody useless.
Eventually, it worked, we started giving them instructions, finally, they listened. I think we radiated: Shut it and listen! Because we were prepared for this unfortunate series of events, our boats managed to get away without damage.
At last, they were going to re-anchor. There was no thank you for your help or even sorry we didn’t listen before… Nothing… For me, the worst part was that he just didn’t listen. Is it because I am a woman? Because I was 20 years younger? Or was it just bloody arrogant ignorance? Well, screw you too then!
Five minutes later we heard our friendly neighbour urging the same stupid guy to relay his anchor because he crossed our neighbours and they would leave early in the morning. Mister arrogant his answer was:” No, I am good here.”
The next morning our neighbours had to wake him up because, as said before, he crossed their anchor and was blocking his way out…
The only guy in the middle of the bay that is free-swinging, while literally all the other boats have long lines… Stupidity? Laziness? Will these entities ever learn?
I know I get overprotective about Mutiny, now you might understand why. People acting retarded and refuse to follow the advice of others… Why all the hassle? Why don’t they accept the helping hand? Swallow your false pride and freaking take it!
Today we saw them again. Anchoring a few boat lengths away from us and not using shorelines. This time, however, they stayed well away from Mutiny and her protective crew.
Styx gave them a nasty look, Ramon was doing some chores on deck and I was writing this blog when they decided to anchor elsewhere.
Who knows, maybe we planted an educational seed or taught them a lesson about life; “you can’t swing on a hook when the surrounding boats are long-lined ashore”.