Große Krampe

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. 🙂

All the posts I didn’t write

I could write about my encounter with the Wasserschutzpolizei, a wherein I gain lasting fame as the only sailing boat to collide with another in the Seddinsee 25 years (at least that the police came out to). A tale of bureaucracy, neglected licence additions, and the crazy fact that I am (until I get this piece in place) allowed to motor but not sail, despite that the only missing part is a theory test on the signs and sounds used in inland waterways – which one also needs to know when motoring.

I could amuse you with the sailing club trip to see the fireworks, and our impromptu jam session afterwards, where I played a nice acoustic, sang, and vowed to practice playing more, as that’s at least one reason to do so.

I could tell you of the mid-trial-period meeting with the management, where I’m strongly encouraged to talk to my colleagues more – but not loudly, and to let them finish sentences. The management have evidently never met my family!

I could baffle you with my adventures with the 3rd party grid control we use, or even write up my solutions on some far geekier forum for the education and entertainment of future generations.

I could let you know that I’ve spoken to some legal people about a financial affair that’s lost its glamour, and got an estimate to find out if I’ve got a case, or if I’m just gonna have to use my own low cunning and persuasive skills to bring it to successful closure.

I could let you know that I ditched the raw eating at day 20, because the insane hunger was back, and if there were going to be any mental health benefits, the opinion amongst fellow-experimenters was that they’d have shown up by now, and sticking to some mildly tedious task is something my working life, gym life and musical life have already given me plenty of practice at.

I could tell you about the mild floor flooding in the band room, the gig in Hamburg where we survived the Berlin Friday traffic jam, performed well to a modest audience, gained some nice praise, had some excellent photos taken by a new acquaintance and enjoyed an excellent proper meal at 1:30am.

I could tell you about my new Business German evening class – found, booked and started within 3 days of the idea being mentioned in conversation with my boss.

I could tell you (again) how nothing feels like anything, then add “except a few tears the other day, and the constant mild stress-ball round my solar plexus”. No excitement. No disasters. Just things going right, things going wrong, and me getting on with it all, wanting there to be a dream to work towards, but not knowing what that might be.



So… I’ve been saving this one. Longer than I expected to…. Once upon a time, or about 6 weeks ago, I found myself succumbing to a bit of Friday afternoon internet surfing, a little down about how long the work on my apartment in Berlin was taking. I spotted a bargain. A project. A boat. In Wales! I know, I know, I’ve only just (finally) sold a boat, but I’ve been vaguely on the lookout since way before then, since last year, for my one-person, shallow draft, small adventures boat. I needed strongly to be doing something. Something physical, manual, something with the flavour of escape. I don’t want to be like this, life would be simpler is I was happy idle, but I am not. I’m addicted to learning, to doing things that I have no idea how to do when I start, to achievement, to that sense of satisfaction of a job well done.

I don’t know if I will hive off the boat work to a separate journal – that would make sense, but also run the risk of me getting lost down the rabbithole of alternative blogging platforms, or writing/hosting my own and all sorts of other distractions. Which would also be learning new things, useful things… you see my issue? Maybe just another WordPress site. But I have to decide soon, or I will lose the momentum. Having to sit on this for a few weeks longer than I thought hasn’t helped.

But yeah – meet Ho-Ro – a sweet boat in need of a little (lot) of love. She’s a Trident 24, a couple of years older than me. Her name has musical connections, being something in a pre-sheet-music system of mnemonics for remembering bagpipe tunes. I bought her from a Welsh guy called Peter, who is a professional bassoonist (his wife, also pro, plays viola). Feels Meant.

I stood on her deck, in carpark under a flyover in Swansea and thought – “Yeah, this is right”. Love’s never logical.