Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Team Russia... All wrapped up

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

See the video sequence as Team Russia release themselves from the fishing net at night. “Bang bang”, loud stamping on the deck means “get your butt up here ASAP”. So, automatically, I jump out of the bunk and run on deck. The jib is being dropped, while the main is completely eased. “What’s up?” “We caught this guys net.” Mikey points to our left where on a small fishing boat we can make out a bunch of guys running around as frantically as we are.

With a torch we soon see the seriousness of the situation. It is the middle of the night, and we have come to a full stop in a net stretching more than a hundred meters. It is fully tangled around both the keel and the rudders. We have to stop the boat, that is the only way we are going to get it off.

Downwind in 12 knots of breeze getting the main down is not all that easy, as the sail gets pressed up tight against the rig. A full five man operation later the main however is down and we can now focus on getting the fishing equipment off our boat. The fishermen are still jumping up and down a lot, and it is clear we can expect very little help from their side. After assessing the situation we decide the only way to get this net of is by getting it slack and cutting it free.

“Get the swimmer of the watch bag on deck!” Oh, oh, memories of a slip of the tongue three months ago spring to mind. Something along the lines of “ I am a pretty good swimmer, I was a lifeguard.” Stupid me….Well, it is time to face the music, and moments later I jump into the pitch black water with a knife and a spare jib sheet. In the darkness it is hard to make out the net, and there is a serious risk of getting tangled up in it myself. Moreover, the main line of the net to which we want to attach the sheet is a meter under water. A few dives later however, I manage to tie the sheet to the net and get back to the boat as quick as I can. Read full report...