Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Long weekeng of sailing and a rigging failure.

In the past 5 days we have been sailing on 4 of them! Only 2 minor glitches that marred an otherwise perfect stretch of days. On 2 of those days we sailed to anchoring points that we liked and basically picnicked on our boat all day, reading, drinking, eating and napping. It can be an easy life style to fall into.

The first glitch was that the starboard block for our jib sheet exploded! We have a multitude of spare blocks on board so it was an easy fix.

The second glitch needs a bit of background here. Here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, most of us sailors stay in the Hamilton Bay as to get out to Lake Ontario proper you have to pass under a lift bridge that open at the top of the hour and the bottom of the hour.

Earlier this year a cable snapped on the bridge, trapping a couple of lakers (Large commercial freighters) in the bay until temporary repair could be made. Repairs were made and things seemed good.

Well, one day we decided to go on the lake so we approached the lift bridge at the bottom of the hour. It didn't lift. We putted around for another half an hour, again, no lift. We tried raising them on channels 12 and 16, no response. We know our radio works, we can hear and speak on it. So, here we are in a restricted waterway, limited maneuvering room and a snotty bridge operator to boot.

On the other side of the bridge an RCMP, (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, our national police force), marine unit approaches as we miss yet another bridge raising deadline. The cops hail the bridge and the bridge answers! The bridge tells the cops what time the bridge will lift, no explanation why it is so. The cops leave.

Eventually the bridge lifts, we do our thing and repeat the process coming back many hours later. After some investigating and phone calls we find out the cable wire repair was temporary and they will only lift 1 hour after the lift bridge was lowered so as to not overheat the repair job.

The thing is, when we, or anyone else tries to contact them, we identify ourselves as SV this, or MV that. The bridge only responds to commercial vessels. Assholes, and no, there is not a multitude of vessels trying to make radio contact. They are just assholes.

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