Oh Bother, another mess up by me

Well I can’t really blame anyone else, although it is usually Kathy that reminds me to bring in my fishing line before I reverse.
I don’t really need to write anymore, do I!

I woke to a lovely morning in Pangkor today, had a bit of a lie in as it wasn’t  far to my next destination, about 35 nm, or seven hours?

Pangkor Laut, luxury resort

Pangkor Island covers the mouth of a river that heads to Lamut, a major port here and very busy. Below you can see some of the ships at anchor, presumably waiting for a pilot or a berth in Lamut. 




I left at 9:30 and arrived here abut 16:00.It was stressful at times as this area is worked by fishermen with floating surface drift nets, I don’t want to try to motor over one of these as it might not work out too well. I went well to starboard of the first one, one end has a buoy on it, the other a boat, however the buoy belonged to a different net, behind and staggered from this one, and as I approached it, I spotted the main net in front of me. I was able to turn and avoid it, then I motored for a long way to the end. By then the guardian of the nets, a team of guys in a fast fishing boat had motored up to me, almost running me over, they wanted to guide me through the nets, and there way of doing it was to put themselves between me and the nets, as I was keeping a good 100ft from the nets anyway, they came within a boats length of me, pointing the way. I did a U-turn around the end of the net, back the way I came, but now on the other side of the net, in between it and the next net. I travelled about 200 mtrs back, before I could get past the second net. The fishermen shepherded me along the route, then we all waved to each other as I headed off into the clear ocean, well clear for about 15 minutes, then another set of drift nets. This time I had a better understanding of the layout, and scooted around it easily. Not something you want to do at night, you wouldn’t have a chance.
It’s common for these guys and their nets to drift down on anchored boats at night, get wrapped around the anchor, and for arguments about compensation for the fishermen to start, so I wont sleep too easy here.
There’s nowhere within a daysail of Pangkor heading south that’s well protected. One pilot book I read suggested the open roadstead at 03°40’.40N 100°53’.62E, which is where I am now anchored. I had never heard of an open roadstead.

It’s just a bit of ocean, I don’t understand. One of the things I like about this activity is that I’m always learning new stuff, even though I have been cruising boats for over ten years now, I’m constantly feeling like a novice, and as recent events show, proving it too. “Open Roadsteads” are defined by wikipedea as
A roadstead (or roads – the earlier form) is a body of water sheltered from rip currents, spring tides or ocean swell where ships can lie reasonably safely at anchor without dragging or snatching. It can be open or natural, usually – estuary-based, or may be created artificially.
This is just ‘a bit of the coast’ but I have to say, it’s calming down nicely, the anchor set well, and “everything is going to be lovely” . To use a famous quote. I’m also hoping that lots of other boats have used this area so the fishermen keep clear, so far I haven’t seen any around here.

So everything went well, after I drop the anchor, I reverse backwards, slowly at first, this give the anchor a chance to dig in, when I see the chain go taut, I up the revs, and put more force on it. If it is holding and we are staying put, then I give it near maximum revs, I make sure the chain leaving the boat is very taut, and that it isn’t vibrating or jumping in any way, then I drop the revs, and put the engine into Neutral and let out another 10m of chain or so, just to be safe. Today went very well,  and it was while I was doing the high rev bit in reverse, that I looked over the stern to see how much turbulence my new prop setting made, when I noticed the fishing line going down under the boat. “S**T”, who left the bloody fishing line out when I’m reversing. Too late, the damage was done. I sent the GoPro camera down to have a look

The pic above is using enhanced underwater imaging software to make it look like it’s not even in the water, pretty amazing eh 😉
The main mess is in the gap between the prop and the boat, where it is wrapped around the shaft. This is normal, I had this on the baba 30, with rope and was able to pull it out by hand, but this is more difficult. I need to cut out the line. I dived down earlier, Tarzan style, holding my breath with a knife between my teeth, crocodiles in pursuit etc etc, but found I could only hold my breath long enough to get about two seconds cutting action. The waves were big too, constantly threatening to bonk the boat onto my head, plus the visibility not so good so I gave up after 20 minutes of hacking at it. I retired back to the boat to ponder, not before I tipped the dinghy upside down, bashing my head with the transom. Now if you know anything about dinghies, you will know they are 99% bouncy rubber, so how did the only hard bit, be the bit to land on my head. “Infamy, Infamy, Someones got it in for me”. this was followed by another disaster, but that can wait for another day, suffice it to say, I don’t have wind generated power anymore.
Back on the boat, I made a lovely pineapple and mango smoothie, which is just chilling in the fridge, and I’m going to make up a lovely salad with the last of the lettuce before it goes off. I have enough food on board to last several weeks, drink too, so there’s no panic. I’m working on a plan that, after consultation with my Personal Diving Consultant (Thanks Tim), may allow me to remove the fishing line.
Often its very calm at dawn here, so that’s when my plan will kick off, if all goes well, I will be on my way to a little Island near Port Dickson marina, just one hop away from the marina, where I plan to stop for a few days, and possibly visit the city of Malacca. If the plan fail, then back to the drawing board, and the start of a succession of omelettes, getting plainer each day.

Paul Collister