|Trudy and Mary Anne|
We had a lovely Saturday touring the Island with Trudy Steer - the day was sunny - we saw the castle, beautfiul vintage Morgan cars, Fenella Beach with her weathered driftwood statue and a similar Gandalf statue, we saw the setting of the Isle of Man parliament (one of the oldest in Europe) and we heard about Trudy's two tail-less Manx cats.
The trouble started as we were leaving at 0615 this morning when I untied a critical line. We then found there was no way of driving the bow of the boat out into the channel to our right. (The missing line was to have been used to spell the boat out with a motor-against-springline maneouver). We felt pressured as the Harbour Control opened the bridge and presumably traffic was waiting. We only now learned that there was more of an outflow from the river passing down through the narrow gate under the bridge than with any other tidal gate we've seen. The Captain had assumed that tidewater flowing in on the rising tide would more than compensate to carry our bow to the right. We proceeded to crash into the bridge and mar a couple of square inches of our paint job. Only by repeatedly nosing the bow into the far side of the bridge were we able to pivot the boat around and move backwards with the heavy river current under the bridge. (Luckily our bowsprit is made out of stainless steel). When Harbour Control called to ask solicitously about the condition of his bridge, we could assure him that only some ugly white paint marks were left on his dull concrete bridge. Finally, we could make an ungainly turn around to face the exit and the day which brought us (after numerous hours) to our resting place here in Stranraer, Loch Ryan, Scotland.
|Traversay on the left and the unopened bridge at low tide|