Well, it's been an eventful 24 hours.   At around about this same time last night I was out on the deck in blustery conditions trying to salvage what I could from the white Dory runabout - as it got repeatedly pounded and filled with water - in the appalling wind and swell that was knocking us about.   This was the scene beside the yacht.
I was able to retrieve all the things from the sinking boat - using lasso and 15' long boathook - which was amazing - and this morning it was normal again - I pumped all the water out of the Dory runabout - and apart from - smashing it's little bow rail thru it's deck - knocking a foot of paint off the side of the yacht - and tearing it's bow rubbing strip off - we survived OK.
The storm is no problem to the yacht, but 'trapped' as we are here - the 2 small boats tied alongside were being pounded to death.
The Dory runabout did not completely sink because it is foam filled - it floated just at the surface.   Also - having those inflatable plastic fenders tied all round - helped too.
None of this could occur if we were out in the open at the mooring - or at anchor - as the yacht would be bow into the wind always - and the little boats streaming safely behind.
Fortunately the winds and swell coming across the bay - eased after midnight - and this morning we were left with this situation - of a drowned dinghy - and a bit of damage.
I was able to lower down the big 240v submersible pump - on a rope from the deck - and activate it's float switch with the long boathook - and pumped all the water out in a few minutes.
So I suppose - all things considered we didn't come out of it too badly.
Today I was able to get the exhaust system completely reconnected and the outlet fitted through the hull again.   Graham the mechanic offered to help me fit up the exhaust outlet thru the hull - which had been removed for the plates to go on along that spot.   I fed the oddly bent pipe through the hole from the outside until the flange - and then I needed him to just do up the 2 bolts on the inside.   Then I can connect the muffler to this section - and the entire exhaust line will be back together - ready for us to be motoring.
I will run the engine at the next high tide tomorrow (so that we are clear of sitting in the mud at the water inlets) - just to make sure that it is pumping water through OK and there are no obvious leaks in the system.
Here's a shot I took - of the exhaust outlet and base plate - cut to fit alongside the hull plates running above there - that we had to re-install.   It's bent like that to go around and through an opening in the next wall and up - to meet the muffler gooseneck pointing down.
The little pipe on the top - is where the aft deck drains hose joins on - right at the outlet - so that the rainwater on the aft deck runs out there too.   So that was a good job out of the way.
It's been blowing quite strongly - but not extreme for most of the day - but fortunately the wind has swung around to come more from the southwest and from the land - which means that we are now quite protected and the water right here is sheltered.
But out in the bay the yachts are open to this strong breeze.
But still it came as an extraordinary surprise - this afternoon - to see that somehow during the day - and in what I would not have called very strong winds - the big yacht 'Woronora' - that I have sent photos out to you of - only a few weeks ago - had apparently dragged - it's anchor - and has ended up aground on the other side of the bay - and is heeled over badly.
The situation does not look very nice at all - and it looks like this amazing - handcrafted yacht - that the fellow took 38 years to build - is now in quite a bit of trouble.
Here is the best I can do at present for photos - taken at maximum zoom - on my camera.
I didn't go to the trouble to untie my boats and take a run out - after all the trouble I've gone to - to secure them in these winds - but I will certainly get a closer view in the next few days - if it has not been pulled out.
When this photo was taken at mid afternoon - it was about 1/2 tide and rising - and as evening drew - the yacht was almost upright again - but it didn't appear that any effort was being made to try and pull it out - as there were no other larger boats nearby.
If it spends the night there - it will lay right over at low tide - and it is probably on rocks, mud, and old oyster leases - which will make a mess of it's nice hulll.    The next high tide will be at 7.30am tomorrow - and I can't see how they can get it out under it's own power - particularly as when it blows over - it lessens it's draft - and allows it to be pushed in even shallower.
All the other yachts - on the moorings and also a number out there at anchor - including that big ex Navy boat (which is anchored too) - all had no trouble riding out these SW winds - and as I said I don't think they would have been much more than 20 knots.
I have no idea at this stage - exactly how it has happened - but this apparently 70 ton Ferro (2nd only to us) - was only on an anchor all this time - and not attached to a mooring - the elderly ownerbuilder - did not want to pay for a mooring -- believed he would be OK anchored out.   There are lessons for me in what has happened - although I have lived in the past for a number of years aboard the previous yacht - and was only EVER anchored.
There were quite a few times then - that I sat up on anchor watch for many hours - and if it looked like we were not holding - have raised anchor and moved.   It's hard to know how this big yacht could have dragged back that far - without anyone on board knowing - unless there was no-one there at the time.   But I'm sure we'll find out in coming days.
Here is one of the photos of the yacht - that I sent out to you a few weeks ago.
This is actually the direction the boats were hanging today - too - and as you can see the yacht is ahead of the navy boat when this was taken a couple of weeks ago - so it has travelled back quite a distance to end up where it is now.   Maybe the engine isn't working - who knows.
Well - our preparation continues at a comfortable pace
for 'dock departure' on Saturday morning
(Penny certainly seems quite relaxed about the whole thing)
 - and Cliff has made a point of saying today - that he had offered originally to put the Woronora on the 6 ton mooring block - that I will be going onto - but the fellow declined.
All being well - our next communication should be from
'out in the middle of the bay'.
Bye for now.
('are we going somewhere?')

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 080403 Back Soon - Dinghy sunk (again) - Woronora aground - Newsletter
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