It’s not all blue skies, clear sea, dolphins and following winds. No, far from. We have had our fair share of heart-attack moments this year, which go a long way to reminding you that the world is boss. Enough to make your toes curl. So, in the spirit of sharing the highs AND the lows, here are all the times we sh1t ourselves!
- When a diver surfaced without warning, about 10ft from the boat, whilst we were motoring at 5kts. Yup… could have been manslaughter
- The turtle we thought was a rock whilst anchoring… twice
- When our engine broke-down at 4am, 40miles offshore, whilst we were surrounded by 190ft+ container ships
- Lightning strikes directly overhead whilst sailing with metal mast, surrounded by water
- When the ‘medicane’ (Mediterranean hurricane) hit, just as Mum flew out to help us with the 300-mile passage to Sicily… (we postponed)
- When our anchor dragged and the bow of another boat suddenly appeared in the companionway
- The time the boat smelt of bad eggs, realised our batteries had boiled and then got a little bit electrocuted whilst trying to fix them
- The time an angry fisherman told us “my friend… f**k off!” and to move the boat
- When the toilet flooded (with seawater) and the bathroom floorboards floated
- The time we had no electricity, no fridge and no toilet in 35 degrees (feels like 38) with a hangover
- When a mechanic forgot to put our fuel-lift pump gasket back and we leaked two litres of oil into the bilges
- When someone insisted on “helping” us with the above situation, despite our protestations that we were ok and then tried to charge us 95 euro for the hours’ “help”
- The time the auto-pilot had been turned on by mistake and Kath thought we’d lost steerage completely and was about to get the emergency tiller out
- When we got fog-horned by a ginormous ferry because T just, “didn’t see it” (360-degree watch-keeping then became the norm)
- When Kath took a sip of Coke Zero and a wasp went into her mouth (surprisingly the wasp and Kath survived)
- Whilst under the boat and scraping the hull of ten years of poisonous antifoul layers, someone IN the boat empties the sink… onto you.
So that’s 2018. I don’t want to tempt fate, but I do hope for less heart-attacks next year, although I’m fairly sure it is just one of the occupational hazards of sailing. Do share your stories with us and in the meantime, enjoy some footage of the above!