Saturday, before the kids started with the dinghy racing, I escaped and I took a solo sailing trip to Große Krampe. Really not enough wind, so I motored most of the way, having walked to the garage to pick up more fuel. I’ve now used up all the 2 stroke oil that I have on the boat, so I’ll need to dip into my “lifetime supply” that I got as a bargain in the garden centre. I think it’s 5 litres. Or it could be 10. You get the idea. Lots, given I need 100ml per 10l petrol.
After going all the way up to Müggelheim (no places to ashore, just private landings, people’s back gardens and a couple of sailing clubs), it was time for anchoring, lunch and naked swimming! 🙂 Everything that sailing should, at some point, be about. Magic.
After some time, and swinging round the anchor a bit, I notice a “no anchoring” sign hidden behind a tree! Really impossible to see from the direction I came in from. A wee bit further on is fine though, so, thinks I, just move and chill some more. Then I discover I’ve got a huge problem. The pull cord to start the motor is stuck, and I can’t get the top off the motor to try to fix it. Fuckity fuckity fuck. My outboard is mounted inboard, in a well, and the well has a footplate that is half way up the shaft so it can’t even be removed easily. Access at the rear is only a small gap. It puts the motor in front of the rudder – supposedly A Good Thing – but nonetheless, with no hand on the tiller, or the tiller locked off, the boat goes round in a broad anticlockwise circle. Not too not useful when you are, oh, just for example, trying to get the sails down (I’ve lost 2 bungee loops), or the fenders in/out (lost one). I can move very very fast, but still … hairy. The motor is on straight, just a prop wash thing, I guess…
Anyway, after unscrewing the “heads” mirror and using that to see and work out the outboard casing catch, I can at least look at the problem. Removing the round bit in which the starter cord lives, I found that a small steel rod was loose. I eventually worked out, (after 10 mins fiddling, and after testing it was not to do with the forward and reverse gears) that when attached, it is a lock that means you can’t pull the cord unless the engine is in exactly in neutral. So, reattach the rod, and all is good once more.
In the end, it was not at all a negative experience. There was next to zero wind, but no danger (I have a paddle) and I was happy to have had the opportunity to learn more about outboards (I know *engines* but, until now, nothing about outboard starter gear or props) and proud of myself for logically working out out (though gods know my logic abilities get enough of a daily workout in my job).
So, that meant I could move from there before the rain. But that got me just before I got back to the sailing club! I’ll go back there again, though, and anchor NOT right next to the sign. There’s a tiny beach. 🙂