Monday, January 31, 2011

Deep Sea Repairs

The nearest place we could find for me to stay south of Ostia was Anzia.  Too far to make it on a Friday in time for the Sabbath so I stayed in Ostia.  I read that there was a synagogue in Ostia, so on Saturday I set out to find it.  It was in the old city, which was separated from where I was staying by an hour and a half walk which included a section of non pedestrian friendly highway.  Had I known I wouldn't have gone, but by the time I was walking along the edge of a highway I was almost there.  As it turned out, the synagogue, being an archaeological ruin from the first century, was on a dig site that required an admission fee, so no services for me.  Oh well.

Saturday night the club was throwing a party for the president.  He had just returned from an attempt to cross from Africa to America on an extremely small double hulled sailing boat, no cabin.  Had he succeeded he would have been the first, but far out in 30 knot winds his boat went over and his mast broke.  He activated his EPIRB and was picked up by a freighter.

Sunday was a bad weather day.

Day 59 (Monday):

Today I paddled to Anzia.  The vice president of the club came to see me off.  While making my beach launch I waited for a lull in the waves, and then put my boat down so that I would be taken out to sea when the waves picked up again.   Hopefully by then I would have my sprayskirt on and be ready, but it was not to be.  The VP, noticing that I was sitting in my boat on the sand messing around with my skirt thought that I needed a hand and gave me a shove off.  It was nice of him to try to be helpful, but without my skirt ready I took on a bunch of water while pushing through the breaking waves.  Oh well.

Once out I tried to lower my rudder.   It wouldn't come down, sand must have gotten stuck in it.  I paddle fine without a rudder, but I paddle faster with one.  There were twenty miles ahead of me, I wanted it down.  Not excited about the prospect of another beach landing and takeoff, I sat and thought.  With the sun shining wonderfully I decided it was perfect weather for deep sea style repairs.

I set up my paddle float and began inching my way onto my rear deck towards the very end.  While the extra stability from my paddle float was enough to support my shenanigans in the center of the kayak, as I got to the end, the deck of the boat began to drop below the surface of the water and the kayak began to take some water into the cockpit as the bungees failed to sufficiently hold the makeshift outrigger in place.

In other words, as such, my plan wasn't working.  I rolled off the deck into the water.  It was cold, but not unbearably so.  If all went well I'd be back in my boat in no time.  I positioned myself next to the rudder and tried to pull it down.  It wouldn't move.

I don't keep much gear on my deck, but I do have pliers and I put them to use.  The rudder was down in a moment and I climbed back into my boat.  Lessons learned, inflate both sides of the paddle float and not just one, attempt to wedge the paddle under the non bungee deck lines, and extend the paddle to its maximum length for best results.

Back on my way I was cold, but soon warmed up with the exertion of paddling.

Late in the afternoon I passed some ancient ruins.  I think I'm learning to distinguish between middle age ruins and Roman ruins, but I'm not sure.  Anyway I thought that these were Roman.  Aside from some dilapidated structures, there were large caves through a peninsula cliff, allowing one to look through it to the other side.  It was cool.

As I entered the port in the evening I passed the usual group of fishermen.  I couldn't help but think bad thoughts at them, which probably makes me a bad person since it is unlikely that these are the same fishermen as the dozens of others who have done me harm on this trip.

Tonight I'm staying with the welcoming LNI here in Anzio.


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