We motored into the outer harbour as fast a I dared with the wind blowing us over to the right and the shallows - but at least there we would have a little less bumping around I hoped. I really didn't care at this point if we went up on the shingle beach there or not such was the dodgyness of our plight. But then the seas flattened a tad, Eve took the steering stick and I 'leapt' up onto the front bit grabbing the furling thing that had fallen off and tied it roughly to the fore-rail bit, the anchor whatsit with whatever rope came to hand all the time the sail whacking me round the mush with a ferocity Leonard Lewis would have been proud off. The boat pirouetted a few times as Eve tried to bring the thing under control with the propeller-bit wildly paddling the air with my great lump sat on the front of the boat. Now all was tied in a right tangle at the front I 'leapt' back to the steering stick, gunned the MPD and set off with Eve now cuddling the mess at the front of the boat getting a right battering from the blanket thing and a good soaking too. We were going right against the wind, the front of the wee boatee was swinging here and there because of the flappy thing at the front but twas impossible to contain it and I didn't was Eve falling off and polluting the harbour anyway.
Then I noticed I could see the bottom of the flippin harbour - not a good thing trust me - and I swung quickly round with Eve hanging on for dear life at the front. Luckily I think the coastguard must have been having a cup of tea at this point as we motored past their windows with everything askew and Eve draped over the front bit.
Still, to cut a short story long, we got over to where the offending Isle of Lewis ferry was parked, the seas flattened and we went straight round to the marina to park - eschewing our swinging mooring. Crashing into the pontoon was a delight. I didn't care about the gin-palace stares as this battered tub came blundering into 'their' patch [even though it's not officially opened yet ]. Murti - the lifeboat coxswain came out to help us lower the wobbling pole [many thanks Sir] then we stayed and sorted it all out. The mast is now off as we need to replace the clevis pins [no idea - I read it somewhere] and the bent mast bolt and I might just add a secondary bit of string at the front of the boat to add security should the thing ever happen again.
Mr Harbour man was very nice too [Thanks Sir]. Let us mess wif the tub on the nice new pontoon, helped us carry the big pole onto the land and everything. We took the boat, sans big pole back out to the swinging mooring to leave room for another gin-palace that came in soon after. In doing that we managed to glance a light blow off something hanging off the back of a petite palais [sorry and all that], me get on foot on the pontoon and the other on a wandering boat deck resulting in an incongruous grovelling on a pontoon tangled in big string. [I laughed - what else could I do?]. We got out to the mooring relived nothing else had fallen off. Missed the mooring pickup first time, then once the tub was tied up we noticed the dingy had floated off across the harbour. Un-moored the tub and collected the dingy. We got in at the end. The green tea celebration was grand.
Still, I might remember this birthday trip!