Thursday Oct 28. My Fiume Dolorosa?

Written by Jack van Ommen on October 29th, 2010

It was a beautiful crisp clear day. Saw White Pelicans. But the day ended very badly. Around 4.30 p.m. I had reached my intended anchorage at k.m. 647 the entrance to Vadim on the Bulgarian shore. The book had warned of shallows, so, I very slowly searched my way in. But the depth dropped too fast and the current pushed me further into trouble. I backed off right away but made hardly any back way. Then the shaft spun loose from the transmission, or worse, the transmission from the engine.

Fortunately there were hardly any waves andthe water was relatively calm. I called a MayDay. Back and forth with the Romanians and the Bulgarians. In the end the Harbor Master launch from Swistov, about 10 k.m. up river, came to the rescue. But they, just like my experience the night before Calafat, were not very expereinced in boat handling. And by coming alongside on the up current they pushed me even higher on the shallows. It was a jet boat, without a prop, thank God but they would have wrapped the tow rope around their prop, but very difficult to maneuver in the current. Then they would swing around in an enormous spurt and take a hard jerk on the tow line. The fair lead broke right off, my bow pulpit took a beating. I need todo a second check on the keel bolts that they are not seeping.

I just phoned the dealer of the new engine. I hope that there is no major repair job involved. I probably have to remove the transmission, right a way. It is a cold day, frost on the ground this morning. No heat in the boat. But it is sunny and dry. I can dress for that.


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