A Limerick man's Adventure in Long Island Sound

Written by Shay Dooley

I learned to sail onrepparttar Shannon from my father Paddy Dooley; a lot of people will remember him as he used to ownrepparttar 145395 Dainty Dairy in Bedford Row and Cecil Street. He taught me well, asrepparttar 145396 lessons learned onrepparttar 145397 Shannon between Foynes and Carrigaholt stood me in good stead whenrepparttar 145398 following little adventure happened.

I thought you might be interested in this account of a trip on an old English Morecambe Bay Prawner between Annapolis Maryland, and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

On board were 3 people, Ashley Butler from Essex, England, Wendy his American girlfriend, and myself Shay Dooley from Limerick.

This all happened just over a year ago atrepparttar 145399 end of October 2001, about 6 weeks afterrepparttar 145400 horrendous attack onrepparttar 145401 World Trade Centre.

I had volunteered myself as crew on "Ziska,"repparttar 145402 old wooden gaffer belonging to Ashley Butler. The plan was to bring it from Annapolis to Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard. About 380 miles which should take 3/4 days. There were three of us onboard, Ashley, his fiancée Wendy and myself. Wendy had done no sailing. Ziska is 42' on deck, 60' with bowsprit and windvane, and weighs in at a svelte 15 tons. She is iroko on mahogany massively built. Her mast is 45' long and her boom is 21'. She did not have an engine. We had two compasses, 2 handheld vhf's, 2 GPS's, flares, an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon), lifebelts, lifelines, and kerosene lamps, both on deck and below. We had a Monitor windvane self-steering.

We got there, but not without some incident. We left Annapolis on a beautiful Sunday morning,repparttar 145403 last Sunday of October. As this boat does not have an engine, we use a pusher boat to get it out and to manoeuvre it in confined quarters. A pusher boat is basically a dinghy with an outboard, lashed tight torepparttar 145404 stern and it is surprising how effective it can be. Pointrepparttar 145405 dinghy inrepparttar 145406 direction you want to go, andrepparttar 145407 big boat slowly turns in that direction. Once we clearedrepparttar 145408 approaches to Annapolis Inner Harbour, we hoisted sail and took off on a fast reach uprepparttar 145409 Chesapeake. We averaged 6 knots all day and reachedrepparttar 145410 head ofrepparttar 145411 bay Sunday night, in time for a foul tide onrepparttar 145412 Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, so we anchored and turned in.

We were up at about 0400 and with a good flood we pushedrepparttar 145413 boat throughrepparttar 145414 canal and coveredrepparttar 145415 12 miles in just under two hours. We then enteredrepparttar 145416 Delaware River, and after an initial slow start, got down to Cape May NJ, by dark. The mouth ofrepparttar 145417 Delaware River is as big asrepparttar 145418 mouth ofrepparttar 145419 Shannon, about 15 miles wide. Our first night at sea, Monday was spent inching uprepparttar 145420 New Jersey coast. At least that was what it felt like, as it seemed to take forever to passrepparttar 145421 bright lights of Atlantic City. Donald Trumps Taj Mahal should be onrepparttar 145422 chart, as it is so prominent. Huge red lights onrepparttar 145423 roof. We were able to see it from 20 miles.

We averaged 4/5 knots all day uprepparttar 145424 New Jersey coast, Tuesday and between 1400 and 1900repparttar 145425 barometer had, dropped from 1010 to 998mb. The forecast was for a veering change torepparttar 145426 south and west fromrepparttar 145427 current easterly 2/3. The forecast changed at about 1700, sayingrepparttar 145428 wind would suddenly veer torepparttar 145429 south and west and increase to 25 knots with gusts of 30/35 with occasional gusts of 40. We decided to do 2 on and two off, to see howrepparttar 145430 night went.

I hadrepparttar 145431 2100 to 2300 watch. We were sailing in a fitful easterly, just shy of being luffed. Our course and track was about 050 m. The wind was 10 to 15 knots.

We had a Monitor wind vane, which had self-steeredrepparttar 145432 boat effortlessly. They are amazingly effective.

Ashley relieved me at 2300. At 2320, we were hit by a gust of 40 knots, which came from nowhere. Ashley said he saw a kind of black cloud. I certainly did not. The boat had full main, and jib and flying jib onrepparttar 145433 bowsprit.

Inrepparttar 145434 40-knot gust,repparttar 145435 boat went over probably 35 degrees. The main hatch was open, and Ashley saidrepparttar 145436 water on deck got to within a few inches ofrepparttar 145437 hatch.

The next few minutes were a blur. I was in my bunk, and I feltrepparttar 145438 boat go over. I heard Ashley shouting for me. I heard a loud crack, followed by a second not so loud one. I had trouble getting out of my bunk, because ofrepparttar 145439 motion, and then decided to put on my oilskins, harness, lifeline and boots. I put a torch and a knife in my pocket, and went up. The mast had broken just belowrepparttar 145440 hounds, and was inrepparttar 145441 water onrepparttar 145442 port side. The remainder ofrepparttar 145443 mast, which was keel stepped, was still there standing up like a massive toothpick, with no rigging holding it up. The mast atrepparttar 145444 deck has a diameter 18 inches. Big stick, a solid piece of Douglas fir. The rig inrepparttar 145445 water did not deadenrepparttar 145446 motion ofrepparttar 145447 boat. The wind was about 30 knots steady, sometimes 35. It was a dark night. Wendy stayed below.

We set outrepparttar 145448 sea anchor, which took some time, owing torepparttar 145449 debris inrepparttar 145450 water. Once it set, it pulledrepparttar 145451 bow more or less to weather which was NW by now. The top portion ofrepparttar 145452 spar wasrepparttar 145453 immediate problem, as it was banging intorepparttar 145454 hull about 6 feet back fromrepparttar 145455 bow onrepparttar 145456 port side. We chopped through wire, halyards, strops, and just about anything else, and managed to haul it on deck, and lash it down. At leastrepparttar 145457 hull was not so much at risk now. Thankfully we had bolt croppers.

The remainder ofrepparttar 145458 mast, gaff, and boom were still inrepparttar 145459 water, as wererepparttar 145460 sails. We next salvagedrepparttar 145461 two jibs and lashed them onrepparttar 145462 deck. We then needed to separaterepparttar 145463 gaff fromrepparttar 145464 mast, so we chopped and hacked until we had that free and on board. Separatingrepparttar 145465 jaws ofrepparttar 145466 gaff fromrepparttar 145467 mast was a game, and eventually we got that onboard too. The mainsail was still attached torepparttar 145468 boom, so we separated them and gotrepparttar 145469 boom on board. The boom was 21' long. That leftrepparttar 145470 mainsail, which we eventually got on board. That all took from 2330 to 0140. By that stage we were exhausted and I had been sick. Probably a combination of fear, seasickness and whatever.

Driving in Greece - How Bad is it?

Written by Emmanuel Mendonca

Driving in Greece, what is it really like? Generally speaking, Greek drivers are notrepparttar best in Europe, but there are worse – they know who they are!

I have been in driving in Greece for a while and have witnessed many examples of bad habits onrepparttar 145394 road, which have shocked my rapidly departing British sensibilities. It is not uncommon for drivers to hoot their horns at traffic lights, even when they are still on red and to fly through red lights. There is a reason of sorts for some ofrepparttar 145395 occasions whenrepparttar 145396 latter occurs. Traffic lights, even inrepparttar 145397 capital, are not remotely controlled at different times ofrepparttar 145398 day to allow for changes in traffic flow. Therefore in rush hour, for example, there can be dozens of cars waiting to go through a traffic light, which stays green for only ten seconds or less. This results in stressed out drivers sneaking through on red because they are tired of waiting. I have also been surprised on more than one occasion when going down a one-way street, by someone coming at speed inrepparttar 145399 opposite direction towards me. I have decided that if I ever dentrepparttar 145400 front of my car,repparttar 145401 next time I see someone drivingrepparttar 145402 wrong way up a one-way street towards me, I’ll head straight for them and letrepparttar 145403 other guy's insurance company coverrepparttar 145404 damage I did elsewhere. Sounds good in theory at least.

The Greeks seem to have a disregard for their own safety to a degree that I have not seen in northern Europe – drivers and pedestrians alike. For example, watch out for Greek grannies walking downrepparttar 145405 middle ofrepparttar 145406 road with their shopping. Ok, sorepparttar 145407 pavements in some places are so bad that you have to walk inrepparttar 145408 road, but it is really necessary for pedestrians to go head to head withrepparttar 145409 traffic? Seatbelts are rarely worn even thoughrepparttar 145410 law says they must be worn inrepparttar 145411 front. Children can often be seen jumping up and down onrepparttar 145412 back seat, as though they were playing in their rooms, or wedged between two adults on a motorbike. There is very much an “it will never happen to me” mentality, butrepparttar 145413 statistics show that unfortunately it does happen, every day. I always wear a seatbelt, whether I am driving or I am in someone elses car. It often raises a strange look from taxi drivers, as though you are somehow questioning their ability to drive.

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