The best laid plans and all that! Jenny and I flew into Corfu airport Sunday the 1st of September and by midday we were sitting high and dry on Hindsight, not jet lagged but sleep starved having left our house at ‘stupid O’ clock’ (as our eldest daughter used to say, probably still does but having flown the nest we are not these days party to her early morning rants). Well Sunday the 8th we are once again high and dry and back in the boatyard, circumstances beyond our control see us flying back to England on the Monday! Whilst stripping all the canvas work off Hindsight, putting the dinghy to bed and therefore out of the sun, along with all the other deck gear that does fade in the UV, as you do I got talking to a German sailor on the next yacht (incidentally under a Dutch flag, as he reckons that to register in his fatherland there are too many regulations) who was washing all his fenders and fender socks and sun screens, told me he had fun and games the other day when a rope wound itself round his prop and that his son had spent some considerable time diving down to untangle/cut the rope from the prop and there he pointed out was the offending piece lying on the ground!
I then told him the tale(s) of how our friends Pete and Anita had got a lobster pot line round the prop of their new-to them 50ft Oyster. Was the usual story, unmarked pot with the float just under the water. Fortunately the lifeboat got to them just before they hit the rocks on the lee shore. Some years later when we were holidaying in the Ionian on their Oyster, now fitted with a rope cutter, we witnessed just how effective they are as it chewed through a rogue lazy line, however I am not sure if another of my mates, had he had a Stripperinstalled, would it have coped with an enormous, discarded, builders waste bag that we picked up exiting the last lock of Neptune’s staircase on the Caledonian canal!
When we were fitting out Hindsight one of our must have items that we considered essential to stress free sailing was a rope cutter which we duly fitted to the Yanmar saildrive. It was easy to fit took me and Andy all of twenty minutes. As for its effectiveness I am not sure if we have ever put it to the test however after a very windy sail from Sami in early May this year we were about to enter the channel to Sivota, engine was started and then into gear, when we felt a severe vibration or knocking. We immediately put her into neutral, checked over the side for trailing sheets none that we could see, no debris, so back into gear, now no problem. Had we picked up a rope and the cutter had worked? Heaven knows, however the vibration/knocking did remind me of that incident in the Caledonian canal!