That's alright Batman - Penny and I have got it under control.
But it's good to know you're there as a backup - if we ever need you.
Who was to know, as we slept warm and snug in our beds - hot water bottles - still hot - that when we 2 sleepy heads would get up and out a little earlier - for no apparent reason - that we would climb up to greet the new day - and be confronted with . . . . . . . . . an . . . . . . . .
that's right - a full blown - staring you in the face
And that this would go down in the annals of Rodney & Penny adventures, as . . . .
Our tale begins at the start, (oddly enough) which happened to be on Thursday, when sitting here minding our own business, we suddenly were shocked to see through the shaded window - what could have been a giant sea monster right alongside the yacht.   But of course it wasn't a real sea monster - just the biggest g.....damm crane you're ever likely to want to see in a relatively built up residential area - which is our little bay.
Who? - Why? - What? - Where? - and Oh My God! - all made an appearance - as Penny and I stood watching this gigantalithic structure inch it's way past us - and seeming to be 'arriving'.
Click on the photo to view a larger image online.
Pushed by 2 big tugboats - and with a team on board - some even wearing ties
and managerially talking into phones and radios - it presented quite a sight.
Moving very slowly in windy conditions It took them a long time to creep up between all the boats and then deploy a large anchor astern - and then another forward and using the tugs to pull the barge in different directions to 'load up' and set them.
I came back below for a few minutes and when I re-emerged - everyone was gone - the barge was abandoned and left right there in the middle of us all - and the tugboats were way off in the distance heading back towards Botany at full speed.
So there it was placed - and there it sat - towering and looming - huge in the midst of us.
Almost like a strange Trojan Horse left at our gates.
Friday, it seems, was fairly uneventful - and Batman and I had little to do.
(that's how it must have been - because there were no photos taken all day)
So that brings us to - today
and the early risers morning welcome
Well how would you like to come upstairs and be greeted by this
It's like something out of a horror movie - come to get us.
And if you haven't already worked it out
it's not supposed to be there
And it wasn't very long before I was getting calls from the other boats to see if I was alright
and if I needed help and a few minutes later Keith arrived in his dinghy.
I rang the Port Authority 24 hour Emergency Line and told the fellow what was going on
and he said he would try and track down the owners.   Peter from the Lewis Shipyard was going by over in the distance and I waved him down with a towel signal - and he changed course
and came over and alongside.   He said he would call the people who brought it here.
We all watched closely to see whether it was moving back on us, in case we had to get out of there in a hurry - but it didn't seem to be getting any closer - despite the wind and swell.
So it was at about this point that I sent out the photos in an email - which you've seen.
And no sooner had I done that - I was back outside in the wind and rain to find this.
It was no longer a question of 'would it' or not - it had and did - and was heree.
And we had to go - as soon as possible - before it made contact with the yacht.
I rang Keith and Clay again and told them it was almost on us and we had to move
and they leapt into action - and despite the appalling and cold conditions - came over.
I had already prepared the large mooring ropes for easy release.   Started the engine.
And within a few minutes Keith had dropped the ropes into the water with the float secured and we were free and under power, turning away from the mooring and the giant ominous barge.
It was raining steadily and blowing quite fiercely - and we were all getting soaked (except Peenny who had made an executive decision to remain inside at her emergency post on the fur on the sofa chair).
The barge moved back almost imperceptibly - if it hadn't been for the fact that the big mooring drum now went around the side of the barge, you would hardly know that it was continuing westward on it's unstoppable slow motion slide.   It would clearly have struck the yacht within a few minutes had we delayed and remained in it's path.   And whether we could have kept off it - or protected ourselves with tyre fenders - we didn't want to ever find out.
Fortunately the yacht is operational - and can start up and motor - on a few minutes notice - and with the turning on of the main fuel and power switches below - just turning the key in the cockpit ignition sees the big Gardner engine running and ready to be put into gear.
So despite the conditions - we were able to motor slowly around in a big circle behind the ferry and head up to the empty mooring that is owned by Sam off the Osama Trawler - and that has lain unused for some time - it's ground tackle questionable - but nevertheless it is our safest bet for a big block to hold us for a few days.
It only had light - and very old rope on it's top ring and marker - so it was necessary for my big 40mm mooring ropes to be attached to it - and that proved a difficult job in the rough and blowy rain conditions, for Clay working alone from the Jet Ski Runabout.
Eventually though - he gets the big line fed through and back up to us and the lines are fed and secured to the bollards and we are safely held.
We are now in easy throwing distance of about 6 other yachts - and not an ideal situation for a big heavy yacht like this to be - as we like to be well clear of other boats and with plenty of swinging room - but as the sayings go 'beggars can't be choosers' and 'any port in a storm'.
So we are pleased to be here and securely tied up.
And as for the barge - well - it has continued to move - but slowly - as the conditions have remained wet and gusty throughout the day - and even now.   But I doubt it will get very far - and there is no possibility of it dragging across - at that speed - as far as the bridge, which is it's next target - a mile away.
I have had calls from the shipyard - and from the Water Police - and everyone that needs to know - does know - but it seems that little can be done before Monday - and by then the weather could be a dead flat calm - and no-one will want to do anything.   Which I can readily understand - because to bring across a team of men and the 2 big tugs to reposition it - would be a very expensive exercise - and provided it's no longer doing any harm - they'll probably just want to leave it - until they're ready to move it again properly, to wherever is it's next job .
So who knows what will happen next - and when we might get back over to our mooring.
Thanks for the phone calls of concern - and the biggest thanks to Keith and Clay for their instant and valuable help - in really difficult conditions - in moving the yacht safely away.
We've had a very big day - and you thought it was just all - never-ending rest and relaxation - which seems to be mostly what it is for one particular member of the crew (you whistle and I'll point).    This was taken about 3 minutes ago - you'll recognize the scene.
And as we've said before - 'Sorry, Penny can't come to the phone right now, she's busy.'
I'll leave you with this photo sent over from friend Bill Saville this afternoon
taken using the 'Rodney binoculars method' - of the new scene.
Here first is the actual view from a shot I took the other day.
And here is Bill's shot this afternoon through the binoculars.
Pretty amazing eh.
So I'll say goodnight - and that brings to a close
Until next time - and let's hope it's peaceful sunsets and pelican kisses.