A sink­ing feel­ing

Yachting Monthly - - THE END - Liz Saun­ders

Our first sail of any dis­tance was to the south coast of Ire­land, hav­ing trav­elled from Cardiff Bay, mo­tor-sail­ing to Dun­more East. We were feel­ing very proud. The boat per­formed re­ally well, the en­gine had been over­hauled and was sound­ing good. All was well with the world.

Sud­denly, some­thing be­gan to vi­brate hor­ri­bly in the en­gine. Had we caught a lob­ster pot line? We shut the en­gine down just in case and an­chored. Mid­dle age had be­gun to catch up with my hus­band and don­ning a wet­suit after putting on weight took skill brute force and clouds of tal­cum pow­der. Hubby jumped into the wa­ter but floated, and couldn’t get far enough un­der the boat. A weight belt to his midriff would help. ‘Throw me a rope, I can lower my­self down,’ he said con­fi­dently. Weights at­tached and rope in hand, he dropped down into the wa­ter again. With a splash, he plunged be­neath the sur­face, clutch­ing the rope. Amid vig­or­ous but in­ef­fec­tive splash­ing, he be­gan to look oddly panic stricken. He was rapidly run­ning out of rope and, wear­ing 10 ki­los of lead, was sink­ing fast.

I con­fess that only then did I re­alise that I’d not fas­tened my end of the rope to any­thing. I just man­aged to grab the end of the rope be­fore it slith­ered over­board and made it fast. A re­lieved, ex­hausted man in wet­suit and weights clam­bered aboard whilst I tried to stop laugh­ing. As it turned out there was noth­ing wrong with the prop. An en­gine mount­ing had worked loose and my hus­band had need­lessly walked the plank. Les­son learned.

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