Friday, April 18, 2008

Successful Fiasco!

Last Sunday, our friend Anyo, Steve and I were sailing out in the bay when out of the literally beautiful blue our boat struck an underwater "historical" former pier piling! With a jolt and a (g)ripping sound, we found ourselves in the middle of what looked like a soon to be sinking boat! We were taking on water quite spurtingly. As my eyes quickly darted over to the nearby "above water" pilings looking for an escape route, I envisioned us hanging on like kuola bears waiting for a helicopter rescue team. Steve began baling water and I thought of our motor! Let's turn on the engine and motor back. Good idea. Within less than a minute, what had seemed like enough gas in our tank prior to departure was not, and we were effectively out of gas. Fortunately the wind was blowing sufficiently to send us back to our slip in just the nick of time. As soon as we stopped our forward motion though, the boat began taking on water at an even greater speed. Now that we were safe, we had to act fast to save the boat. It was going down! While Steve made several phone calls, I drove over to the Marina office and borrowed a larger pump. A neighboring boat owner came over with another. With three pumps going we were still taking on water faster than the pumps could handle. I ran over to the gas dock and filled our gas tank while Steve continued his calls for help. I ran to the marine office near our dock to see if we could get our boat lifted out of the water. "Sorry lady, all our lift drivers are gone." "What do you mean gone?" I asked. "Can't you call them and tell them it is an emergency?" I pleaded. "They're gone, he insisted, "it's Sunday evening, no one is here!" "You mean gone, as in off the planet? I asked, my ego had kicked in and I was not happy with his answers. He assured me that he had just given the names of three divers to his assistant who was on his way to our boat after talking to Steve on the phone and that was our only hope. Fifteen minutes later our diver arrived in full gear. He had been sick in bed with the flu but rose to the occasion of our emergency. Our hero! Steve had already dashed out and purchased the necessary "goo" needed to patch the tear and down under the boat with tank and all dove our diver. An hour into the endeavor to stop the leaking, the possibility seemed hopeless. It was still coming in. I made another, this time successful attempt at persuading the man in the office to give me names and phone numbers of drivers of that lift. We had to get this boat out of the water! Soon a driver was there. We put the motor back on the boat and with a full tank of gas, we tried to start the engine. It would start but it would not stay running. We realized we had put the engine down on the wrong side in our haste to get it off the boat and now the carburator was filled with oil. It was not possible to start the engine now until we cleaned out the carburator. The driver of the lift, who was charging us double time to wait while we got the engine working so we could motor over to the lift then told us he had to leave at 7 pm. We had 15 minutes. Couldn't do it. Our diver, still under water, was our only hope. Four hours later our diver Jack and Steve together devised a remedy that held! We pumped all the water out and our boat was now floating and out of danger. Anyo went home and Steve and I went out to dinner. As we were sitting in the restaurant reflecting back on the day's events, Steve looked over at me and said. "I have to say, that was kind of fun!" I grinned back at him and said, "In a weird way, it really was!" We both sat there feeling grateful and happy that we had been presented with a real life situation and handled it well. Now that's success!
About our boat, it is dry docked at the Berkeley Marina awaiting repair, new paint, and a general new look. It was about time.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Jarl, I have just come across your blog when searching for your email address to invite you to a very hot club show. Your entries are precious, and a huge meal for my soul. Keep up the writing! I am a new fan.