Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 2, 2010

Miki is a NUT-CASE!

30.7.10 – Friday – We went out at 0630, hoisted the main to first reef for the anticipated 20-25 knots wind, unfurled the jib (1st reef too) and headed west to Savaii. We were going fast! Surfing down waves we once reached 13.4 knots. Approaching Matautu bay we could see “Mahina Tiare” at anchor. We chose a position to their port and dropped our anchor. As we were reversing to check whether the anchor held the chain started running out uncontrollably. We succeeded in stopping the stampede and started investigating the reason.

 Opening the windlass hatch revealed that it was torn out from its base. This is the windlass I just repaired in Pago Pago! Meir drew my attention to the fact that one of the three bolts holding the machine in place was missing a nut. How did that come about? Did I put only two nuts when it came back from repair? I can’t believe it could have happened.

 I was searching my memory for a possible explanation when suddenly it hit me. A few days ago I had a new backplate made for me at a local furniture maker in Apia. To make sure he drills the right size holes I took the nut out to see which bolt fits it. Since it was my intention to put the new backplate in place, I did not put the nut back. Somehow I forgot all about it! The windlass was now held by only two good bolts and when pressure was applied it bent forward, breaking one bolt and bending the other.

It will probably be possible to repair it again, but where? Not in Savaii, certainly not in Niuatoputapu. Our only hope is Nieafu in the Vavau group in Tonga where a few charter companies keep bases. But until we get there – a little over a week from today we will have to work terribly hard every time we anchor.

I, Miki Barzam, solemnly declare that I am a scatter-brain, despicable NUT – CASE!


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