Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When Good Jobs Go Bad, Part 2

File Part 2 of this story under "I'd rather be lucky than good any day."

Here is a single frame of my video of the 3 boat raft-up adventure, just as I attempt to implement Modified Plan A. If you remember, this was the plan that sucked wind, and the guy's chain was just reeling out of the chain locker.

This little video clip begins just before the the towline gets sucked up into the port jet.

You can listen to me and the Harbormaster discuss the situation, and towards the end of the clip, my luck changes. Somehow, the anchor line that was fouled from the 4th boat magically get un-fouled, and I was able to tow the whole mess across the channel and grab a mooring. WHEW!

I pulled the 3 boats over to me, and then jumped in the water to access the damage. The guy's anchor was hanging about 8" below the grate of my port jet, still clipped in my snap hook! The chain had all run through the snap hook, and lifted the anchor right up to the bottom of my boat. (the launch boat with the fenders all around is the Harbormaster's boat)
The owners of the sailboats all showed up about this time, and they secured their boats on separate moorings.

I learned a long time ago that a job isn't finished until the boat is ready for the next job, so once I had the 3 boats secured on moorings, I still had to get the line out of my jet. Fortunately, a good friend and colleague of ours has a mooring service boat with a 2 Ton A-Frame crane. I had Ben from Edwards Marine meet me over at the mooring boat.

We had to lift the back of the towboat up about 15" to get the jet access plate above the water line, which was easily accomplished with a bridle attached to the D rings welded to my transom.

Once up in the air, we had the tedious task of cutting and hacking countless wraps of Amsteel and 3/4" nylon from the jet drive shaft. The Amsteel we use for towline is really cool stuff, until you have to cut it. We used 3 brand new knives making about 10 slices. Here is a picture of Ben taking a turn with the knife. And here is the remains of what we cut out.

So, this adventure began as a routine job and turned to total monkey dung, but the guardian angel of tow captains was on duty, my luck turned faster than a roulette wheel, and I made it to dinner before the kitchen closed.