I’m convinced that the person who came up with the phrase “shit happens” was a sailor, or perhaps a honey truck driver. Motoring on the darkest night by far in near zero wind, the engine speed unexpectedly goes to idle. This was accompanied by a increase in vibration. Throttle back, transmission to neutral. Throttle up, no RPM, no thrust, lots of vibration. Check fuel – plenty of gas. Hmmmmm.
Humans are very adept at detecting even small changes in frequencies. Old sailors, even ones in the deepest REM, snore-filled, hula girl dream sleep are hypersensitive to these things. Skipper is on deck before I can whisper WTF? to myself. After the requisite smoke, he determined there must be some kind debris caught in the propeller and that I was to investigate in the morning. Somehow, I don’t think it was fate that this occurred on my watch. There was plenty of time for me to envision hours of painstaking 30-second snatches of work under a rolling boat with a sharp knife in my hand. As soon as I went over the side, it was clear what the problem was. A portion of fishing net lodged itself on the strut just forward of the propeller. I tugged a couple of times to no effect. Returning with a knife, the entire mass just floated free before I could wield any damage. It turns out the worst part was the anticipation. The swim itself was quite pleasant and refreshing.
Just another day on Bequia ….
As we are traversing the largest garbage patch in the Pacific, it was inevitable that we encounter some of this up close and personal.