Well that was an interesting sail

geem

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Sailing South from Antigua for the 42nm trip to Guadeloupe we ran over a fishing pot line. We were sailing in 2.2m, 7s interval seas and 25kts of breeze. White horses everywhere and no chance of spotting the 3 tiny white markers on the line 10nm offshore!
We had deployed our Duogen (towed generator) so that caught the line. We had two reefs in the main, mizzen and blade jib doing about 8kts when we hit it the rope. I was down below when the Mrs shouted. I ran up on deck and we dropped all sail. We were caught by the Duogen, putting tremendous pressure on it.
I managed to get the line off the Duogen but the yoke that holds the prop is badly bent. The problem was the line went around the prop in the process of unwrapping the Duogen. I had to go over the side with a serrated knife to clear the prop. That was an experience in the bumpy seas. With a rope around my waist, fins and mask on. It was quite a job to clear the prop. Took about 6 goes diving down to clear enough rope to run the engine. Its a tricky thing to do. You run the risk of tangling in the rope around the prop and in your own safety line. A got hooked up a couple of times. The boat was moving at about 1kt so we must have been dragging the fishing gear with us. Trying to hold on to the boarding ladder even in 1kt is quite hard. I then had to swim hard to grap the rudder then the skeg, then the prop. Once holding on to the prop with one hand, i could cut away the line. There is still a bit of rope around the shaft between the prop and cutlass bearing that I couldn't shift. A job for today.
The serrated knife was super effective. Its not your normal bread knife. A retired diver we met gave them away as gifts to everybody he met. It's a Victronox kitchen knife that is incredibly sharp. They used them as safety knifes as proffessional divers as they are so effective at cutting rope. I now fully appreciate why
 

GHA

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all bit exciting - nice bar story though, always a silver lining! 😊

Note for the checklist - only ever deploy the towed gen when well off the shelf...

About €130 was very well spent on the boat for a stanley oil free compressor now hardwired to the invertor. Plus about €25 for a regulator off amazon. Makes *such* a difference cleaning the prop or hull when you can breathe down there.
 

geem

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all bit exciting - nice bar story though, always a silver lining! 😊

Note for the checklist - only ever deploy the towed gen when well off the shelf...

About €130 was very well spent on the boat for a stanley oil free compressor now hardwired to the invertor. Plus about €25 for a regulator off amazon. Makes *such* a difference cleaning the prop or hull when you can breathe down there.
We have a hookah. We could have used that. We debated afterwards if it would have helped. It may have but current/drift rate made it hard to swim. I got tangled in the lines including the one I was wearing. It was possibly just another thing to get tangled in. The water pressure on the hose may have just pulled the reg from rom my mouth. Without current/drift rate, i am sure it would have helped. I think the fact that I had to swim hard, just to get to the tangled prop was the biggest surprise of the whole event.
 

geem

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A pony bottle is ideal in those circumstances. A recent nylon bag wrap we had would have made clearance much easier.

Must have been a tough one for you. BZ!!
We have two full sets of dive gear onboard. It's just the time it takes to get it all out and rig it all up.
 

geem

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I suppose you have to weigh up the risk and trouble versus the cost of the duogen.
The Duogen is repairable. It needs the yoke straightening. I will get heat on it and straighten it tomorrow. If it won't straighten, I will order a new one. We have an Atlantic crossing in May. The Duogen is great at providing loads of power in water mode. It typically makes 240Ah/ day on a good fast trip where we average over 7kts.
 

rogerthebodger

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We have two full sets of dive gear onboard. It's just the time it takes to get it all out and rig it all up.

I also have a scuba et on board but I fitted am extra long pipe from tank to 2 nd regulator so I don't have to fully kit up to check prop of any under hull fittings
 

BobnLesley

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Sailing South from Antigua for the 42nm trip to Guadeloupe we ran over a fishing pot line. We were sailing in 2.2m, 7s interval seas and 25kts of breeze. White horses everywhere and no chance of spotting the 3 tiny white markers on the line 10nm offshore!...
Have you considered that the crew on the fishing boat might well have considered affixing bigger/brighter/better markers to that pot line and ultimately decided: 'Nah, not on a day like this; any yotty with the sense he was born with will either sat in the bar or sailing within the lee of the islands.'
 

geem

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I also have a scuba et on board but I fitted am extra long pipe from tank to 2 nd regulator so I don't have to fully kit up to check prop of any under hull fittings
As I said in an earlier post, we have a hookah. It runs from a small compressor on the boat. We can run out up to 60ft of air breathing hose. The risk when diving under a boat drifting at about a knot is tangling. I had to fin hard to get to the prop. With my safety line, the lines in the water I was trying to cut and an air breathing hose, it may have been too much to allow me to fin as hard as I needed to. Getting tangled with everything was a real issue.
 

geem

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Have you considered that the crew on the fishing boat might well have considered affixing bigger/brighter/better markers to that pot line and ultimately decided: 'Nah, not on a day like this; any yotty with the sense he was born with will either sat in the bar or sailing within the lee of the islands.'
It's pretty normal conditions for the Caribbean. It was a nice direction for the trip. A great sail apart from the little hiccup withe the floating line🙂
It's blowing hard all this week around Guadeloupe and Antigua. We also have rain today
 

BobnLesley

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A Builders or Climbers saftey helmet is a worthwile accessary.
Cycle helmets arn't so good as they float!
I think those all might float. During the last few years that we were cruising I carried a cycle helmet aboard for such tasks; it likely saved my life when I chose (at the wrong moment) to go over the side and effect a repair in mid Pacific.
 

WannabePirate

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Whilst I may be a newer sailor, I've got about 20 years of extremely relevant diving experience to this. Most of my diving is in very rough conditions and wearing a helmet. I regularly dive with cylinders sized from 1L to 20L as my main cylinders and use all sorts of rebreathers, all attached in a multitude of ways.

A few things on this thread I feel my contributions worthwhile on:

- Most helmets are crap for diving. Old kayak helmets are popular as they do not have a foam lining and are low profile, though I think the impact protection is terrible so wouldn't use one. Builders helmets are good, but you need to drill holes to get the bubbles out and put a fair amount of thought into how you are going to make a good harness to hold it secure. There's a few climbing and industrial helmets made of hard plastic, with a good harness, no foam, and ventilation holes. These are the winner.
- Helmets are also good and easy places to mount lights, even temporarily. Water can be dark and I'm sure geem will attest you already need many hands in this situation. Few loops of bungees on the side through the ventilation holees, and your waterproof torches will slide right in. You can clip them to a piece of cord on the back to ensure they dont fall out and get lost if you're worried.
- Helmet harness goes over the mask straps, trust me.
- Small bottles are great. A 3L pony I think is perfect for this kind of thing (and many other boat tasks properly utilised) and in this scenario can literally be clipped onto a belt, or a sling made across it and slung over the shoulder. No need to mess about with the whole get up in most cases.
- Fast flowing water will rip a regulator out your mouth. 1knot is about 30m/min which is a fast, but not unheard of, speed for a diver. This should be quite managable. Up above 60m/min or 2knots is where I find its more common to encounter this problem. It is normally countered with something called a "gag". If I need to start explaining that though you probably shouldn't be getting in the water in those conditions.
 

geem

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Whilst I may be a newer sailor, I've got about 20 years of extremely relevant diving experience to this. Most of my diving is in very rough conditions and wearing a helmet. I regularly dive with cylinders sized from 1L to 20L as my main cylinders and use all sorts of rebreathers, all attached in a multitude of ways.

A few things on this thread I feel my contributions worthwhile on:

- Most helmets are crap for diving. Old kayak helmets are popular as they do not have a foam lining and are low profile, though I think the impact protection is terrible so wouldn't use one. Builders helmets are good, but you need to drill holes to get the bubbles out and put a fair amount of thought into how you are going to make a good harness to hold it secure. There's a few climbing and industrial helmets made of hard plastic, with a good harness, no foam, and ventilation holes. These are the winner.
- Helmets are also good and easy places to mount lights, even temporarily. Water can be dark and I'm sure geem will attest you already need many hands in this situation. Few loops of bungees on the side through the ventilation holees, and your waterproof torches will slide right in. You can clip them to a piece of cord on the back to ensure they dont fall out and get lost if you're worried.
- Helmet harness goes over the mask straps, trust me.
- Small bottles are great. A 3L pony I think is perfect for this kind of thing (and many other boat tasks properly utilised) and in this scenario can literally be clipped onto a belt, or a sling made across it and slung over the shoulder. No need to mess about with the whole get up in most cases.
- Fast flowing water will rip a regulator out your mouth. 1knot is about 30m/min which is a fast, but not unheard of, speed for a diver. This should be quite managable. Up above 60m/min or 2knots is where I find its more common to encounter this problem. It is normally countered with something called a "gag". If I need to start explaining that though you probably shouldn't be getting in the water in those conditions.
I didn't even think of a helmet until somebody mentioned it on here. As it turned out, I didn't need one. The shape of the stern to our boat is not flat like on many production boats. The hull rises more steeply. I didn't have any issues with being bumped on the head. The water was crystal clear. There was no visibility problem. If this had happened at night, it would have been a totally different situation.
 

davethedog

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We have two full sets of dive gear onboard. It's just the time it takes to get it all out and rig it all up.
We have a full dive set but also have a dedicated pony bottle set up that is easily accessible and is just a cylinder with a first and second stage on it attached to a backpack. No need for weights or BCD etc as only used for situations like you had. Something to think about....
 

geem

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We have a full dive set but also have a dedicated pony bottle set up that is easily accessible and is just a cylinder with a first and second stage on it attached to a backpack. No need for weights or BCD etc as only used for situations like you had. Something to think about....
As I said in my earlier post. We have options to use full dive gear or our hookah. I chose to not use either. I went with a knife in my teeth and mask and fins.
Swimming under the hull with anything on my back would have made the job more difficult and increased the risk of entanglement. If I was in the UK or it was dark, i probably wouldn't have attempted to clear the prop in the seastate we had. If opportunity was there, I would have sailed to a safe anchorage and tackled the fouled prop in daylight the next day.
 
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