Monday, November 12, 2012

The Launch

Wednesday morning, Al told me that we were second to be launched, so I tidied up the kitchen to get ready to roll. When I heard the beeping of the winch, I was ready to jump out of the boat to take some pictures. I jumped on when Ruyam II was in water at last, but tied to the sides. After a short while, Al started the engines, and the guys let the lines go, which I coiled immediately. My biggest fear is the lines becoming tangled around the propeller, so I tend to them first.

Anyway, we started to move away from the dock to maneuver back to the side dock, when I heard Devon, one of the dock attendants, shouting that no cooling water was coming out the engines. Al killed the engines right away, but we started to drift towards the rocks on the side of the bay. Al started one of the engines briefly to get a little bit of trust and slowly steered towards the side dock, where Devon was waiting to take the lines. 

Phew! It was such a scary moment. Thankfully we were quite close to the docks. Devon expressed anger towards the mechanic, who was supposed to be at the launch, to see how the engines he worked on were performing. Apparently the mechanic had closed the water intake valve while repairing the propeller, since he was using shore water to test the engine on land. He forgot to open them after the work was over. Thanks to Devon we were spared engine damage, which would have happened in a matter of minutes!

When Al discussed the issue with Jason, he shirked off responsibility, and pointed out that skipper was supposed to check the engine water before taking off. I guess everybody learned a lesson from this near miss, especially the young mechanic.

That was early in the morning. I demanded water to be connected, in order to start the much needed deck cleaning, while the riggers put the sails up and worked on the halyard, which took them all day. 

There was no way we could move from our spot, which was the first place on a three-boat dock. All the time we had been on dry, those new docks had been empty, however almost immediately after we got there another catamaran and a mono-hull got launched and tied next to us. Al had spoken with the office earlier to reserve two nights of dock space, in order to give us time to get ready to start our short trip to the west of the island. It appears that the office had not anticipated so much demand for the place when they agreed, and could not get back on their word. When marina personnel work on the boats, being tied there is free of charge, otherwise it costs 30.00 dollars per day. As all the mooring balls were taken, staying at the vicinity is a bit hard, since anchoring on the reef at the sides is tricky. 

Jason asked if we were ready to go around at 4:00 pm, but Al would not think of it at that late hour, as well, we were waiting for our gas bottle to be filled, probably at a gas station at the small town near-by.

Next morning we did vigorous clean up all day, then sat and watched the others. Late in the afternoon a huge catamaran got launched, and was going to set anchor, but turned around and came back to the launching dock, since the boat had stated taking in water from the part that the mechanics had worked on.

The owners of that boat was kind of interesting, a young man from US, with a young girl, who appeared to be more proficient and interested about the boat than himself. He was lugging a huge camera on a tri-pod, constantly taking pictures. Al claimed that he had even taken pictures of Ruyam II during its launch. On the other hand, he left his expensive equipment at the dock unattended for a length of time, at a good vantage point to take more shots later. I said, if he were earning his living off the camera, he would take care of it a little better, so my speculation is that he is a rich kid who did not care much about material things. Anyway, Al helped them when needed, but did not have a chance to talk to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment