After the night in Herm the crew of Mystere prepare for the voyage back home to Guernsey. High tide was at 08:52 (9.8m) so by about 10:00 water levels are getting a little low! However, everything is ready for the homeward journey, engine is warmed up, ropes uncoiled, sails ready to be hoisted as soon as Mystere is clear of the harbour, all that needs to be done is pulling the anchor…
The water levels are still decreasing as the simple task of pulling anchor commences. ‘Simple’ tasks never end up that way!
The evening before, the anchor had been buried in the sand to ensure that it didn’t drag during the night leaving Mystere and her crew to awake in the morning finding themselves adrift off the coast of France! This somewhat ingenious (at the time) decision soon emerged to be a more of an inconvenience as the task of pulling the anchor turned out to be ‘pulling the boat up the beach as the anchor wont budge’!
In the mean time, the tide is still going down! Much verbal disagreement later and Aidy has the short straw and takes the plunge into the Herm waters (which are freezing in the middle of summer, let alone end of September! Turns out it’s not only a short ‘straw’ he now has! – sorry Aid!!) to ‘dig’ out the anchor. The tide by this point has gone out even further and, although the anchor is up, there is no longer enough water to support the boat keeping it completely afloat! Shane now takes the plunge to assist Aidy in the ‘reversing’ of Mystere in an attempt to reach an adequate depth of water. Good plan; however, the pulling of the anchor and consequent moving forward of Mystere up the beach only further embedded her wing keel into the sand! Even with Dave sitting on the outboard and it screaming its little heart out in reverse (white froth everywhere it’s trying that hard) and two in the water pushing Mystere is in no hurry to leave! Oh dear. As a last resort one of the two in the water discover that although Mystere cannot be ‘pushed’ backwards it is possible to turn her round…maybe a 180 is possible, and it will be easier to push her bow first rather than stern first. The task begins, Mystere rotates through 90 degrees…and there she will stay, the twin rudders have now dug into the sand!! Think she is firmly planted guys!!
Defeat admitted the two clamber out of the water to the best of their numb limbs ability to dry off and warm up. Bow and stern lines are replaced for when the tide rises again 21:08 (10.0m) and underwear’s hoisted up the biggest washing line known to Herm (the mast!) in an attempt to dry them!
Dave (with a plane to catch tonight and still not packed) takes the Trident back to Guernsey and takes the one and only car home whist the other 2 sit it out in Herm with the intention of doing ‘boat repairs’. (For 9ish hours? – how much is wrong with the boat?!) Seems to me that navigation; tidal movements and anchorage would be more beneficial to revise (or read up upon for the first time!)!
Still, at least it was sand not rocks!! There is some comfort there!! (not to mention comedy for the other boat owners in Herm harbour whilst this ‘commotion’ was going on!!)!