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Huw Gibby owns up to his sailing sin

My mate Pete asked if I’d help him free a mooring rope around his prop, and I agreed.

The mooring was a mile upriver in a muddy creek which dries, so we went in another friend’s dinghy an hour before high water.

We couldn’t free the rope by turning the engine over, nor with a boat hook – the muddy water with zero visibility didn’t help.

I suggested I use my weight on the bow to raise the prop out of the water.

Pete agreed and asked me to keep an eye on the fast dropping tide while he hung over the stern.

Continues below…

It took an age to free the prop, and sitting on the pulpit watching Pete in his attempts to free it,

I totally forgot about the dropping tide!

Celebrations were short-lived as we were high and dry.

‘Quick, jump in the dinghy before it’s too late!’ It was too late.

We tried to row through the mud with the water three or four dinghy lengths away – but failed.

Panicking that we couldn’t return to the boat, we hauled on a mooring chain to pull us back – phew!

We then spent an uncomfortable night on a 20ft yacht with no bunk cushions and no food.

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