Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sailing Days In Port

Rockland Harbor
Tuesday, August 8, 2006
We found a suitable dealer here in Rockport. Ocean Pursuits is a marina on the north end of the harbor.  They can handle the SSB radio, the radar, the wind instruments.  They also have a diesel mechanic.  We stayed in port yesterday to let Ocean Pursuits inspect the damage to make an estimate, and we're staying here again today to do the diesel work.  Murphy's law, no surprise, struck in that both yesterday and today look like excellent sailing days.  We could be out in the bay.  Oh well.  Hopefully it will be just as nice tomorrow.
We watched with interest yesterday as one of the big sailing schooners that take tourists out for harbor cruises appeared to be in trouble.   The schooner was in the harbor, and lying still facing into the wind . The sails were still up, or at least halfway up.  Probably something got broken or fouled.   A crewman climbed out to the end of the boom and was working on something.  That maneuver was not without risks.  On that boat the boom must be 35 feet long and the end sticks out just past the stern.  If the bow of the boat fell off the wind in those conditions the boom would swing wildly to leeward.  The man on the boom would risk being dunked in the water, and/or being catapulted into low earth orbit.  
Later in the day Libby spotted that same schooner being pushed in by a tugboat.  They must have been unable to fix the problem and they must not have an auxiliary engine.  Then Libby noticed that the schooner and the tug appeared on a collision course for us.  For some reason, the tug appeared unable to push the schooner far enough to starboard.  I don't know why.  However, I scrambled to start the engine and move us forward 100 feet.  The two boats passed just astern and the tugboat captain gave me a friendly wave of thanks.  What would have happened if we didn't move?  Would they have run over Tarwathie?  I can't say for sure.
Later, just after dark, I heard a loud engine.  I looked out and I saw a lobster boat going at high speed.  He passed much too close to us -- about 3 feet.  As I watched, he almost collided with to other sailboats at anchor or on moorings.  I suspect that the driver must have been drunk.  Some hazards are alike, ashore and afloat.

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