Gordian knot

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After 30 years of sailing I could write a book about extraordinary experiences on anchors and I could add another chapter after the last cruise.
Cooper Island is a wonderful spot to drop the anchor, along a beach and with the rocks at Cistern Point as a natural breakwater. The first rocks at Salt Island are only two cable lengths away which makes the passage between the two islands a very narrow one.
This results in more flow at this anchorage than normally and elsewhere in this area. In order not to be surprised by an unplanned sailing adventure during the night, we usualy use two anchors when there is a lot of wind or current. This was the case also at Cooper Island. The trade winds could not be stopped apparently, closing an eye during the particular night just like we did, and gained control over the exact mooring place of the ship.
The flow appeared not to be as consistent as the direction of the trade winds and therefore the clipper made her own trips of a 4 chain lengths range around her anchors. The next morning, not suspecting anything unusual, the anchors were heaved until a knot of chains proved to be too large to pass through the hawse pipe. The chains got ot be such a big knot that the effort to try to untangle them seemed to be less favorite than the tendency to pour Bolognese sauce over it in order to make it look like Italian food. After a four hour struggle to untangle the chains and countless opinions of 54 “unofficial” captains, the tangle came undone after a good pull by the clipper making it look like there had been no problem at all.
There was a strong urge to suppress the frustration in a Freudian manner which made Eline’s informative workshop more appreciated than ever before. Fixing white sangria …and there was no explanation needed on how to drink the sangria.

Richard Slootweg
Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam






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