The admirals great adventure

Emptying the money bank & filling the memory bank

Spain - San Javier

23 June 2014
Ian
At anchor behind the iron curtain...

The sail from Cartagena to the Mar Menor was spoilt by the inability to hoist the main, the main sail has caused me problems since it was made and has never been easy to hoist... Now it wont hoist at all.

The problem seems to be the sail slides jamming in the mast track, I have some of the old ones from the previous main sail and will try sewing them in when I have time.

So we made our way along the coast with just the head sail and mizzen hoisted in 15 knots of wind we were crawling along so had to use the engine as per usual, we rounded cabo palos and turned to head for the Mar Menor and the inland sea.

The entrance is pretty shallow , but stunning ! There is an unfinished marina at the start of the canal, the pilings are all in so its a big area with no pontoons in the way and an ideal anchorage, it would be rude not to take advantage .

We can see four other masts the other side of the steel piliings as we inch our way in slowly, this isn't on our plotter and our depth guage is suffering from split personality ... 100 meters .... 4 meters etc

The space inside feels a little tight but we anchor in four meters of water into sand and begin the reversing process in an effort to bury the anchor... Clang clang clang..... The bloody coupling has gone again, the four bolts holding it onto the gearbox flange , two have sheared, the other two have worked loose.

Iron curtain

Our anchor is only partially dug in ! , !

Ive got out the tools and spare bolts ready to drill and retap the threads in the aluminium housing of the coupling, if that doesn't work we are screwed and will have to get lifted out here , if thats the case - we will remain here for the rest of the summer as I have neither the confidence in the locals nor the enthusiasm to strip out the rudder and then the shaft PLUS the pilot book warns the boat yard is VERY expensive !

The weather forecast shows 20 knots for weds , it being Monday now, so I have 24 hours to fix this issue, my back up plan is to lay a second anchor in the direction of the expected high winds which is South West, originally we laid to an East wind.

Anchor

UPDATE: 03:00 tuesday morning and a wind shift with an electrical storm, we have now swung 180 degrees, thunder is rumbling in the distance, lightening is lighting up the whole area, the steel shuttering of the wannabe marina looks awfully close in the beam of the search light and the wind is building

This picture shows the anchor location centrally in the screen, the collection of dots to the left has been our position in relation to the anchor until the squall came through, the track of small dots is us on the move to our new position 180 degrees opposite to before, the distance to the anchor is 37 meters, so the chain is already pulled out straight and just a three meter rise

I have 40 meters of chain out in four meters of water depth, on an anchor only partially set thanks to the coupling failure, sleep eludes me, the anchor watch alarm has sounded a couple of times and I have leapt out of my skin.

The rain is pouring down, I have all the kit ready to go deploy the big kedge anchor, its as black as hell here , street lights in the distance give a small glimmer, but to seaward is nothing, just rusty steel pilings and heart ache.

Watch

Ive been on anchor watch now for the past two hours, earlier today I readied the tender with the big fortress anchor and 100 meters of chain and octoplait in preparation for the high winds on weds, .......lIm now looking at deploying it at night in an unlit anchorage if we get any closer to the pilings and then using a cockpit winch to pull us away.

UPDATE : coupling has been stripped and repaired again, I have drilled the holes deeper into the aluminium casting and tapped it all the way , im hoping by using longer bolts and deeper holes it will last a little longer, at least until winter when i can strip and replace the whole system.

Chicken and the egg ... The bracket from the rear of the gearbox to the rubber mounts has broken on the port aft side, the mounts are less than three years old, the steel brackets are the originals, god only knows how 8mm steel plate shears, but it has, so I will lift the gear box off the mount , remove the bracket and weld it up when the wind comes down.... For now I have propulsion .

I used the passerelle and a short length of rope to make a spanish tourniquet for lifting the gearbox off its mount , seemed apt considering our location !

Spanish windlass

I have deployed the massive fortress anchor, the wind is up to thirty knots gusting thirty five, passage weather has been under stating the wind strength a lot in the med, never thought this anchor would get wet, but its now set at an angle to the main bower anchor and taking the strain as we veer in the wind gusts.

Tomorrow is forecast to be windier than today ....hmmm

15:00 Weds , the wind receded this morning and allowed us to get the admiral ashore to stretch his legs and for us to top up on essential shopping items (alcohol and pizza) so now the mojito queen is happy !

MOJITO INGREDIENTS (no not the fly spray)

Mojito

The wind forecast tonight is worse than last night , i dived on both anchors this morning, the CQR IS DUG IN AND IS INVISIBLE , only the chain is showing, the fortress which is our kedge is still sat on the surface, the chain close to the anchor isn't pulled out straight even though we were swinging on it during the night - ( the vesper anchor watch shows the change in the boats arc as it swings ) 40 meters of 12 mm chain and a 60 meter length of octoplait, pulled hard all night and the forces haven't reached the anchor !


Marina

I should point out the fortress was deployed from over the side of the RIB and no attempt was made to dig it in (yacht had no propulsion) other than pulling bloody hard with the RIB as the chain went over the side, I had assumed that the work it was doing during the night would have at least pulled the tips of the flukes into the sand ...but no, so now I have used a winch to pull in 3 meters of rope , i will dive again later before it blows up to see if its gone in further, though I suspect all I have done is straighten the chain, but its as much as I, or the winch can do ! Having dived this morning I know the sea bed is sand with a covering of weed about four inches deep, but fairly thin leaves , so both anchors should go in fairly easily.







Comments
Vessel Name: Blown Away
Vessel Make/Model: Peter Ibold - Hedonist Steel ketch
Hailing Port: Bristol - UK
Crew: Admiral Horatio Nelson and motley crew
About: WARNING: MAY CONTAIN NUTS
Blown Away's Photos - Main
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