Day 6 – Holland

It's certainly been a busy day for the MBM Cruising Club crew

Brouwershaven 51° 43.60N 003° 54 96E

What a difference a day makes. After enjoying the scorching sunshine yesterday we woke this morning to rain, thunder and lighting. But we weren’t about to let that deter us from our plans; as Neale said, “It’s only a bit of rain”.

So we compromised and delayed departure by an hour, by which time the weather seemed to be clearing. Little did we know Mother Nature had other tricks up her sleeves.

By early afternoon we were cruising on the Oosterschelde, Neale and I on Blue Fin towards the back of the fleet and Claire and John, MBM’s fourth crew member, up ahead on our RIB, an XS 700,Time Flies. All was seemingly ok until the call came over the VHF from Claire that Smitten had got a rope caught around both props and was in trouble. Blue Fin sped to relieve Time Flies who were needed elsewhere to find Smitten had an industrial sized rope hanging from her stern. We towed her alongside to the next lock, Grevelingensluis, one of the busiest locks in Holland, hoping to find a suitable place to moor up while Neale donned his dry suit and tried to sort it out.

Thankfully Neale was spared from going in the water, although he may as well have done as we were caught in a torrential downpour while he was at the upper helm and I was on the bow.

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When we were in the lock our saviour appeared in the form of a friendly Dutch guy on a yacht moored on the other side of the lock, Members Only, who offered to put on his diving gear and investigate the problem. “How much?” asked Neale. “Nothing” he replied, “It is my hobby”.

And true to his word, once we were safely secure he dived under, explained that the rope was twisted and proceeded to cut through it. Moments later he emerged with a huge, green monstrosity that resembled more a sea creature than the mooring rope that it was. He refused to accept payment although Steve and Elisa on Smitten gave him a nice bottle of wine as way of a thank you and off he went.

Smitten made it to Brouwershaven without a problem, although that was not the end of the day’s adventures, Polimar II ran aground just outside the entrance. By the time Neale and I arrived at the scene, Claire and John were working hard with two other RIBs to help move her, which, thankfully they did, with no apparent damage.

Well it’s certainly been an eventful cruise up until now. Donny Rover and Castaway are now with the fleet but unfortunately Blue Diamond were not able to make it and have returned home. Tomorrow is a rest day in Brouwershaven so we’re all praying for sunshine.

Caption: Steve and Elisa on Smitten manage to find the funny side to their traumatic day


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