Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Chased By Tankers On The Way To Svendsen's... Again.

The annual pilgramidge to Svendsen's Boatworks in Alameda... It simply means the racing season is about to begin.
So, you get the boat ready and shove off.
We throw up the cruising sails and here in the U.S. these sails get a double take. It's not everyday we see DEN on the sails in The Bay.
It's almost always dead down wind to Svendsen's from the SF Marina so there is time to walk around the boat and look at stuff and take classic shots looking up the mast.
Make sure Patrick's dog, Scholan is watered a fed and has her lifevest on.
This time down we were riding the tail end of a mild ebb and decided it was best to avoid a tanker we saw at the Golden Gate and go to the north of Treasure Island and to check out the Bay Bridge building progess (Mostly, these pictures are for Lars Landen in Sweden who really really likes building bridges).

This is where the story turns into a familure one... I saw this tanker before it was under the GG Bridge and thought, that's going to be a problem later. Patrick laughed at me, but after our last experience leaving Svendsen's last Fall, he didn't laugh much.
I don't know about you, but when I see a big tanker's bow turn and face me while sailing, I get a little nervous.

And as long as it keeps turning and doesn't continue to face me, I'm OK.
But, when it keeps getting closer and closer and you try to figure out it's course and realize there aren't very many choices for this thing.... well...
OK, now that's two times the bow of this tanker has faced us... I think this is one of two reasons to have an engine... oh, by the way, I don't have, nor have I ever had an engine. I really don't even know how to use one. I think they are smelly and noisy and vibrate the boat too much.
Well, if we hug the shore they can't hit us, right?

I usually try and avoid big tankers, but lately they have been like a magnet to me and this is about as close to one as I've ever wanted to get.
When you can see the name tag on the work clothes of the guys on the tanker, you're a bit too close.
We managed to avoid getting smashed by this one and started to relax a bit.
I'm glad they didn't try to park this thing in front of the black tanker... we'd have been crushed!
Bye bye tanker, don't come back!
We put the pole back up and enjoyed the warm weather, but wait...
Now what?! The big tanker is mad at us and wants revenge. She is spinning around and making a 2nd pass at us!
Kind of a narrow gap to slip through, but I think we can make it.
These Cosco tankers have a bad reputation after the oil spill, perhaps hitting a small Folkboat will... what? Make their rep better?
Ok, now this is as close to the bow of a tanker as I'll ever want to get.
For those keeping score at home, that's 3 times the bow of this tanker has faced us.
Ha ha, even if you tried you couldn't hit us now, silly tanker.

The prop wash from the tug boats did shove us around a bit.

The dog was OK, so we sailed on.
We saw some girls rowing and they were nice, but their coach was mean. She didn't like us helping out. We did learn this... "Keep your chin level with the water!" Apparently this is part of good form and technique while rowing... they kept repeating this, so we did too.
Perfect landing, tied her off and lowered the fenders.
Took the sails down...
Removed the boom and prepared everything so the all the guys had to do was release 3 pins before removing the mast. Since I know all they guys now, it's sort of a courtesy to do this now. All boat stuff finished just before the sun went down.
A rather fast trip actually... 2 hours and 40 minutes with 5-10 knots of breeze and a beautiful day. So, we'll check out those keel bolts and get a really fast bottom paint put on and see what else need to be done while out of the water... maybe I should have those CF numbers put on so the Coast Guard doesn't board me?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about getting yourself a VHF?? Having one onboard you could have communicated with the Cosco carrier and clarified their intensions.....

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea, a handheld would do fine. You can also listen to the traffic between the ships involved. Great fun, I have one myself. Feels safe to have aboard.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know a VHF could do that?! What channel do I need to be on to hear between the ships and is it the same channel to talk directly to the ships?

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To adress the vessel you use CH16. Just make sure that there is no ongoing emergency conversation. To listen to ship-harbour conversation pls check with the harbour control or go online to find that info. Using a handheld would be just fine and I strongly recommend everyone to have one. Peter K

1:20 AM  

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