Sunday, August 08, 2010


Sunday has not been a good day so far. We wanted to stay an extra night and were asked to move to another berth just on the other side of the pontoon. The wind was a steady 11-12 knots blowing us back out of the berth. We reversed out OK and up to the end of the pontoon, then somehow when we tried to turn into the wind it all went wrong. In the course of going backwards and forwards we went aground on the mud two or three times. [Later note: the mud is actually full of rocks from the seawall.] The upshot was that at some point the tiller jammed completely, with no way to steer the boat at all, and it appears the rudder is bent. Bugger.

The very helpful crew of a German Halberg Rassy 29 at the end of the pontoon managed to take our lines and we are rafted alongside them. The harbourmaster will arrange for the yard to look at Kalessin tomorrow. She'll have to be hoisted out and inspected. The rudder hangs from a long steel shaft which goes straight up through the bottom of the boat, with the tiller fastened to the top. If the shaft is bent, the repair could be a long and expensive business. Luckily our insurance will cover us, but at best we'll see rather more of Breskens than we intended, and at worst we might have to go home and collect Kalessin later.

It's hard to say just when the damage occurred, but I helmed out of the berth and I lost control initially when the wind caught us. After we touched the first time, I asked Sam to see if he could turn the yacht as I was struggling, and he went aground harder. So we are probably both to blame, and all of us feel awful. Sam is currently asleep, Ben is hiding in his cabin, and I am typing this and wishing it wasn't true.

Just to make things worse, the wind is blowing from astern with waves running all the way up the marina and slapping our sugar scoop, which is very noisy, and this internet connection is nearly useless. The loo is still not flushing properly, we can't connect to shore power because we're rafted up, but on the good side it looks like we have mended the cafetière, so we can have coffee without lumps in tomorrow morning.

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