A Stitch in Time

So, I have a new boat. She is moored in front of my house. I have sailed her and she is a fine boat. However sailing and anxiety are joined at the hip and I worry that the carabieneri that I use to attach the anchor rode to the anchor chain is weak. It is a crappy thing that I bought 6 of for $2 in San Francisco. It was at hand when, in the euphoric delight of setting up the boat, I needed a carabieneri for the  anchor rode.

The weather has been wonderful, with calm seas and gentle zephyrs and I knew that the boat was safe at anchor even given the febrility of the carabieneri. I knew the weather would eventually change, so after work I went to the carabieneri store and bought a stout stainless steel version that I could trust in the worst of weather.

When I got home it was dark and a little rainy and high tide. I did not wade into the sea and replace the feeble carabieneri. I stayed at home, ate octopus and practiced Beethoven’s Minuet in G on my flute. Big mistake, probably.

Corrupt and honest carabieneri

Corrupt and honest carabieneri

I was awoken  at 6:00 by the un-ignorable alarm clock of howling wind and waves crashing into the shore. I leap onto the deck and stare out to sea. No boat!

In 4.3258 milliseconds I am on the shore and I spy the new boat aground on a beach very close to where Dileas hurtled to her doom. Thankfully the wind was onshore else the new boat would be in China now.

Big swells are crashing onto the beach and I use them to heave the bows into the seas as the waves lift her keel. I get her out into the water, which is mountainous, and begin to haul her back to the mooring. Once again I am up to my neck in the wild and wistful ocean at 6:15 am rescuing a boat.

I get her back to the mooring which is a big Fortress anchor. http://fortressanchors.com/

Sure enough, there is no sign of the crappy carabieneri. It must have absconded from duty at some time during the night. Do not trust the Italian police.

I then swim home to get my fins and mask as I worry that the anchor might not be holding. I dive down to the anchor with a lump hammer and batter the anchor deep into the compacted coral sand bottom. It is 6:30.

New boat back on the mooring.

New boat back on the mooring.

I make tea, shower,shave, go to the toilet, put on my suit and go to work.

Whoopee! I love it when things go wrong! I got to work feeling 110% alive. So, the question is  – should I have done the sensible thing and changed the carabieneri immediately? Or, given the fact that the boat is undamaged other than a few egratinures, did I have a more rewarding experience plunging around in the East China Sea at dawn?

I hasten to add that the East China Sea is warm. Similar activity in West Loch Tarbert at 6:00 in April would probably have killed me.

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