Monday, 5 March 2007

Sunshine on a rainy day

One of the real benefits of really dreadful weather is that the good weather, when it comes, is all the more dramatic and appreciated. It works like that on the boat too. Exercises and shouts (when we have them) at this time of year are mostly pretty misserable affairs. Slate grey sleaty skies and mixed up seas are the order of the day.

But in the darkest depths of winter lies hope. Spring emerges, flowers bloom, boats emerge from their winter cocoons and the fun begins. After months of gloves, mouldy oilskins, hats and drip beset necks comes the delight of the first shout in shorts and shades...........just around the corner. Last year it went like this:

Floating debris is a big problem at sea. Vessels are often caught up in old bits of rope or netting. This is exactly what happened to the 38' yacht 'White Oryx IV' 11Nm South of Peveril Ledge Buoy. They were on passage from Cherbourg to The Solent when suddenly the yacht's engine stopped. They had run over a large quantity of heavy netting. The yacht's skipper went over the side to see if he could clear the prop himself but unfortunately it was too deep for him to reach. There was absolutely no wind and the yacht was drifting West with the ebb tide at nearly 2 knots. As the yacht was disabled Portland Coastguard asked for assistance from Swanage's All Weather Lifeboat. The crew were paged and the Lifeboat launched 9 mins later, a course was plotted and best speed made towards the casualty. The lifeboat arrived alongside a little under 40 mins later. A tow line was passed across and the slow tow home began. Meanwhile crew at the lifeboat station were busily trying to find a diver to clear the yacht's prop to allow them to continue their passage. As luck would have it a local dive charter boat 'Mary Jo' was coming back into Swanage with divers onboard at about the same time as the Lifeboat and its tow. They very kindly offered to help and one of their divers soon cleared the large net allowing 'White Oryx IV' to continue on their passage to The Solent. The Lifeboat was then released to return to station.

Well there's a small boat made of china
It's going nowhere on the mantlepiece
Well do I lie like a loungeroom lizard
Or do I sing like a bird released

Everywhere you go you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go you always take the weather
Everywhere you go you always take the weather with you
Everywhere you go you always take the weather, the weather with you

(Crowded house)

No comments: