June 16, 2009
In an earlier blog, I opined that each of these sails seemed to embody unique experiences or adventures. Yesterday, we encountered the first one of this trip. Here’s what happened.
Yesterday afternoon, after spending time at the beautiful beach at Bol, on the south side of Brac, we headed for the port of Stari Grad on the west side of Hvar. As we made our way up the channel to Stari Grad, we noticed some really secluded bays off the main channel, which we decided to explore as a potential overnight anchorage, rather than a slip at the marina (@ $130 per night). We found one …. several actually. While the other 2 boats of the Admiral’s fleet headed on in to port, we picked a potential site, secluded in a small cove. The shoreline was not more than 100 or so feet away in 3 directions. Although close to shore, the water depth here was still substantial, like maybe 80 to 90 feet.
This made getting the anchor set both critical and tricky. ‘Important because of our proximity to shore, and tricky because of the depth. Setting the anchor required that someone, me in this case, maneuver the boat under power around the anchor to confirm the anchor was set on the bottom. Iterations of turning and backing were required, using both motors of the cat to orchestrate this.
On one of these, Cap’n John, at the anchor, directed me to turn by reversing the port engine, which I did.
Without warning, the port engine reversed, but under full throttle rather than at idle speed. The boat seemed to spin like a top along with the heads and minds of all of us, the shoreline revolving around us like a carrousel. It occurred to me that the only way to stop this was to pull the plug on both engines, which I did and which it did …. stop that is.
The long and short of it was the port engine throttle lever had some very worn gear teeth within its housing, causing it to be loose and allowing the throttle to shift and align itself in unapparent positions. This was clearly unacceptable for the remainder of the sail. But we contacted The Moorings at Marina & they had a repair boat to us within an hour. They were able to make a satisfactory temporary repair that will see us thru the rest of the sail. Although we offered the 2 repairers some of our evening meal, they wished to be on their way at about 9:30 that evening.