There’s Something About Port Atheni

28 Jun

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I’m of the opinion that there is a magnet on the seabed of Port Atheni. It’s not just that we keep coming back here, although that’s true enough. We’ve spent many happy days tied the shore in Seren Mor, just the two of us and with friends. Now we’re back again but this time in Desert Dream along with several other boats in quiet companionship.

No, the magnet seems to be for anything on the boat it can suck to the bottom of the water. And it stays deep even quite close to shore, deep enough for it to be an issue when something goes over the side. Last time it was a towel. A comedy of errors ensued:

“Neil is a creature of habit and likes to do things in a certain order (OCD). He likes to go for a swim before his morning cup of tea then pass me his things to hang up. Well, it didn’t work out so well today. I’d hung up the swim shorts and sort of threw the towel over the guard rail ready to peg out. Except I sort of misjudged it and sort of threw it right over. We both sort of watched it sink slowly to the bottom.

Clearly visible on the seabed, it was about ten meters below us and totally out of reach of the boathook even with Neil trying to dive down in the water. Brilliant idea – let’s try to hook it with the dinghy anchor. There should be enough rope attached. So with Neil in the water and me wrapping the rope around the winch to be sure I didn’t let go I braced myself and chucked the small anchor well clear of the boat. I then watched it sink rapidly to the seabed as the rope dangled uselessly from the winch.
Conversation: Me “You didn’t tie that on very well!”
Neil “Didn’t you check it was attached before you threw it?”
Me “It looked attached or I wouldn’t have thrown it!”

So now we have a towel and a dinghy anchor out of reach. Another idea – if we threw in the kedge anchor maybe Neil would be able to go down the chain and reach the bottom with the boathook. It took a few attempts but he managed to reach the towel. The dinghy anchor, however, did what anchors are supposed to do and dug itself in. Many more attempts later using both the boathook and the fishing net he’d managed to drag it closer to the kedge but was having no success at hooking it.

I was sincerely questioning whether all this was worth it but Neil doesn’t like to give up on anything (OCD). With the anchors now close together he decided to go down the chain and try to reach the bottom with his bare hands. He got it on his first attempt.“

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This time it was the rose end of the bathing shower. We’d been for a swim, you see, in the deep and salty water, cold enough to cool the blood but not so much to make you squeal (well, me – Neil, being all butch, just jumps in, of course). Like most AWB’s, Desi has a shower head at the back to rinse off the salt. You press a button and out comes fresh water until you release it. Except nothing.
I cautiously fiddled with the temperature control lever, not wanting to be deluged by water still hot from the engine running. I paddled into the saloon dripping as I went to check the power to the water pump was switched on. It was. Hmm. Thinking that maybe there was an air lock, I ran the water a bit in the galley. No problem there.

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Back to the shower head and more fruitess button pressing. Nothing for it, it had to be blocked. Neil was busy on the bow and, feeling all competent, modern woman, I decided not to call him and chose to investigate myself. Off came the the metal rose head with a few simple turns and a bit of pointless blowing into it followed. It was as I went to replace it that the magnet took over. It disappeared with a rather sickening plop and Competent Modern Woman disappeared with it.

The yell for Neil was all shamefaced and contrite while his response was understandably annoyed and disbelieving (he hid it well, though, as you can imagine). Being the hero that he is, he dug out snorkel and mask and attempted to search the bottom, most of each lungful of air being used up getting down. We both saw the glint at the same instant and thankfully he returned with the wandering attachment. Phew!
But still the shower wasn’t working. Sucking on the hose and investing the the other end of the hose in the stern cabin produced not a dribble. Neil wiggled the temperature control. Fresh water sprang forth!

Turns out that switch is also an on/off one. How had I forgotten that?

http://www.sailblogs.com/member/serenmor/?xjMsgID=182973 for the full page from 2011

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