That's alright Batman - Penny and I have got it
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
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
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
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 -
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
it's not supposed to be
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
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
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
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
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
Pretty amazing eh.
So I'll say goodnight - and that brings to a
Until next time - and let's hope it's peaceful sunsets and