It was a short move but a long story. Rather than retype it all I'll copy paste it from my facebook account at Centaur Mystic.
Let's begin at the beginning, which was about nine months ago. That's when we bought Mystic. A beautiful boat that needs a lot of TLC. Both of us being sick, financial problems and a myriad of other issues stopped the plan right there and poor Mystic was left to wallow, waiting for us to go see her and give her a new life.
Well. that day arrived on Friday 30th June 2012.
Mcinley, our neighbour, volunteered to come with me on the loooong drive down and he was to pick me up once I reached the marina in the boat. The other bit of the plan was that the former owner was to come with me to ensure I knew where everything was and how to treat this special lady.
We arrived around 3pm, both exhausted, thirsty and ready for a rest. No such luck. The old owner wanted to be on the way now and could only take me as far as the cut into the river. "We can leave tomorrow ya know, we aren't really sorted for today" I suggested. "Noooo, I got to be somewhere at 5'30 and we're moving out tomorrow" he replied.
Sooooooo, Simon being Simon, I climbed aboard after giving Mac some directions and a couple of cigs. This was a 2 hour trip right? so no big deal.
Untied and off we set. The engine purred and we cruised sweetly down to the cut. "Ok let's get these sails up", and in a few minutes we were racing along under sail. The Centaur was never designed to be a race boat and isn't famous for it's speed, but with no big diesel to slow it down and a bowsprit added with a large genoa she set off on a broad reach like a racehorse.
After a few, we hove to and Rob got into his kayak. "You'll be fine now and I gotta go to my meeting" he said. "Erm, I haven't been on a boat in over ten year mate. I could really use you to see me down the river". With a cheery wave he left.
How hard can it be right? It's only a boat on a beautiful sunny day with a gentle breeze. Ten minutes in that breeze was picking up and fifteen minutes in there was a huge THUD !!!! as I realised I couldn't move the tiller. With no steering that huge Genny was dragging the boat wherever it wanted to go and nowhere I wanted to go.
I looked over the transom to see what the bang had been. The engine bracket had snapped in half and was pretty much hanging by one bolt and the rope winch to the transom. I was in a bit of a poo situation. But it was sunny.
I looked for some suitable rope and lashed the engine on tighter but the prop was almost under the boat hitting the rudder. I fired it up. The faster it ran the deeper it would bite down under the boat. Bit of a dilemma. By this time I'd dropped all sail and was just drifting around. I eventually got some more rope around the engine and if I kept the revs low I could gently move the tiller and steer.
So, there I were, doing about 2 knots toward the marina some miles down the river.
Time ticked along. I worked my way to the huge bridge I was using as about my middle of trip point. I gazed at it longingly and the bleeding thing never got any closer. Sloooowly I inched my way under it. "Thank fuck for that" I yelled, looking round and grinning like a prat at nobody at all. It was a milestone at least so I rewarded myself by rolling a cig. Rolling a cig or going down to look at the chart on my laptop took long enough for the boat to wander off in a totally different direction so I would slow the revs to realign and then rev back up to get going again.