Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cruise of the ‘Aziz’ a Pioneer 9 Part 4

Owers Lanby on a fine day

Unknown to me at the outset, my cruise with ‘Aziz’ would continue for 70 days. If I were to tell the story day by day restricting accounts to what actually occurred each day, we would be here for more than two months before hearing the end. Therefore I propose summarizing events, but where more interesting happenings occured I shall recount them in detail.

That brings me to Wednesday morning after having a late breakfast. I set about charging the battery and nearly killed myself doing it. Very foolishly I plugged the lead into the mains supply before entering the lazarette under the aft deck where I had previously placed the charger. I had correctly wired the terminals to the battery from the charger, but what I did not foresee was the dampness of the compartment. I was kneeling on the fibreglass hull when I plugged the charger into the socket. At that moment I received a powerful shock through my left index finger and thumb that initially immobilized me. Only by striking my left arm with my right hand was I able to release my hand. My thumb and finger were badly burned. Somehow, the plug had become damp; hence electricity, instead of being transferred to the charger, passed through my arm and body to the fibreglass hull! I was fortunate not to have been killed.

Lessons learned from the incident were that I should never plug the charger into a mains socket until all other connections have been made, and that I should never be in direct contact with the fibreglass hull. A rubber mat between me and the hull would have made all the difference. For the greatest safety, I should also have checked that that all components were free of condensation.

Cleaning out spilt oil from the bilge was a horrendous task. I spooned most of it out, but with difficulty, because I had to stretch down as far as the keelson. By soaking the remainder of the oil in tissues I was able to get rid of the residue. I finally removed smatterings by rubbing them with paraffin soaked rags and with paper towels. During the process I found the oil filler cap under the engine. I replenished the oil in the sump and tightly secured the filler cap to prevent it from coming off.

On doing a check of the internal fittings I discovered that a starboard hand stringer near the bow had slightly come adrift from the hull moulding. This I repaired with woven roving and epoxy. All in all I had a busy day.

Thursday, 3rd July was memorable for torrential rain, accompanied by a westerly Force 5. An ASDA supermarket was but a short distance from the Marina; there I bought food for the next few days. Rain continued throughout the evening, but I donned my waterproofs and took a stroll along the promenade.

You can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a westerly against you when sailing down Channel. Sure enough on the morning of 4th July it was no exception, but we couldn’t stay in Brighton forever; therefore at 0800 I started the engine and we were away. To begin with we had a jousting match with wind and rain. I got fed up with being in the rain and cut the engine for a bit of sailing so that I could leave the self-steering in charge. Later when the rain eased I tried starting the engine; however, there was no response, except for the whining of the starting motor. In no way, could I get it to fire up. Providentially, the wind veered to the northwest so I was able to make the boat sail on the starboard tack. This was the preferred tack, because it had precedence over vessels on the port tack. Our course took us towards the Owers Lanby which we passed to the north.

After rounding Selsey Bill we had a slog to windward before entering Chichester Harbour where we picked up a buoy off Hayling Island Sailing Club at 2219. By then it was a lovely clear evening, because the weather fronts that had brought rain had moved to the east.

Text for the Day

1 Corinthians 6:20 ‘For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.’


Aloft Images by Karen Gale said...

Bill, I am Karen Gale, a maritime photographer in the US, working to raise funds to restore Felicity Ann. I would appreciate your permission to use the images you have posted. If there is another entity to whom I must apply, would you kindly direct me? I would use them in the brochure, and may wish to incorporate them into my entry for the 36th Wooden Boat Festival poster themed "Tradition," also. I have a small gallery in Port Townsend, home to the WBF, next door to the non-profit Northwest Maritime Center. I live aboard a ketch in Port Hadlock, across the bay from the Wooden Boat School, where Felicity Ann now resides, on the hard. I just finished a photo documentary of her present condition. If you are interested in seeing the results, please feel free to respond. I anticipate our common interest and dialogue.

Aloft Images by Karen Gale said...

Thank you for your work on documenting Felicity Ann, Bill.

William Serjeant said...

Thank you Karen,

You are indeed engaged in a very worthwhile project, therefore I'll be in touch by email within the next day or so.


Aloft Images by Karen Gale said...

Cheers! I shall anticipate your response with enthusiasm ~ KG ~