You have to love guys that drive boats. 


I just met a guy who told me "Well, you're in Europe now and you can't be putting out 50 meters of chain because it won't leave room for other boaters..."


Which begs me to relate the story of the German "Tiger"...and then the omniscient Frenchman from the vessel Jambo - (though, I already think I don't care Habari Yaku).


As to Tiger's starts when we were in Palma...for far too long...waiting for a few repairs to be completed. 


We were told the repairs would be completed by Friday! and we were ecstatic.  Right on schedule.  Well, Thursday came and the parts had not arrived. We were then told "Friday", and it would be a 20 minute job to complete the installation of our new Alternator...Did I mention our 2AM arrival in Formentara, our first stop in the Balearics after an over-nighter from Spain...(which is why we needed the alternator revision in the first place)..when we lost our dinghy...(another story for a different time)....) anyway, for those that missed it, Formentara:

{In response to the viewing of a 50+ ft cigarette, moored to, both hull-and-sole-together, a tree....(75 yards inland)}


Or, dumber than a box of rocks!

As we were headed into Formentara the other morning at 2AM after a 20 hour+
sail I brought the boat into the harbor and looked around for a place to dock.
There was a guy motioning to come into a slip, stern-too. The wind was
blowing 15-20 across the slip.  I tried moving the boat into the
slip, at a nice slow pace.  Each time, however, the bow was pushed off by the wind. 

The result was that and I had then had to turn the boat around (there were only about 3 boat

lengths to play with to make the turn at this slow speed docking maneuver) and try again.

After the fourth try... I started contemplating the running start.

On the firth try I gave up on the slow approach.  Having seen Leopard of
London (see yachts on the web site) put it into reverse from out in the
middle of the harbor, and back it up at a steady but solid pace right to the
dock - and then pop it in forward... I thought...,  Right, brilliant, that's
how I'll do it!.  To accommodate the maneuver I needed to take Delphinus into the short 150 yard
channel alongside the boats that I was going to rest against, get some speed
up, and do my "Leopard" maneuver.  Deb hated these guys, even before I

attempted the maneuver, because they kept us up  All Night in Horta upon their arrival from Antigua.

I didn't hate them because I knew someone else's spouse was hating Delphinus (and Pat Gardner and Chris Abbot specifically ) as we (they) had kept said spouse up all night just a week earlier upon our arrival (not another story! certainly not a Limerick!...)

Anyway, said maneuver works great, unless, when you get about 75 yards into the harbor (that
you've never seen before and it's 2AM), throw her into reverse....and
the engine just quits.............hummm..........@..........@.....................  It was a very

very long 20 seconds and a few frustrating key turns, to no avail!  Finally, as you I'm sure
anticipated, the silver-glow kicked in (I'm told I'm lucky!) and the engine started with less than
3 boat lengths to go...  Obviously I nailed the landing...sort of, well, maybe the
nerves were a bit shot at this point, though, the girls managed to hold us off
the dock, (as well as the boat to starboard), until we could get the "mooring tail-line"
taut....what I can say now is, the dram of rum imbibed tasted especially fine that...morning!

Clearly that power boater was unlucky!


Sooo, it think this points clearly to the need for an alternator configuration revision ...The revision would enable the ships' service batteries to be powered under motor (so we wouldn't need to run the generator and burn more fuel), The new alternator wouldn't bend the prop shaft over time, it wouldn't tear through new 2 new belts every two to three days ($12/belt) of running (thank you MPS for the original configuration that was 5 mm off and improperly designed...) - while at the same time it would not get us into any new Formentara debacles ...


Soo, Tiger...we were sitting in Palma Friday AM waiting for Malcom (from Sea Independence) to arrive and plug in the new alternator...oops...the alternator would be arriving Tuesday...apparently the order wasn't actually submitted...


Fine, I say, we'll head off to Isla de Illette (how do you even interpret, let alone pronounce, this name).  A pretty little harbor that is FREE to stay at and has bars, restaurants and a beautiful cove or two with lazy beaches for any point of wind....!   This is going to be great.  The girls are going to love this and we can all relax a bit after sitting at a dock finishing up with the final repairs, upgrades, and maintenance we need before we head off to Spain, Italy, the Greek Islands and Turkey where I'm told nothing exists in the manner of services or parts for yachts like ours.


So, anyway, on to Tiger! He's actually not a person.  (though one of my best friends brothers is named Tiger and I must say he does the name proud!  It's all in the execution... I guess)), it's the name of a ...pig...well stink-pot of the first order...Don't get me wrong, Mr. Parks' Trident was one magnificent yacht. Great lines, well kept, and run like a proper ship - Kenny Hodgkins did it proud ...but, to Tiger's story?!......No?  not yet?


Apparently, the alternator configuration required that the fuel filter be moved to a new bracket, which was to be fastened After we had installed the new alternator...which hadn't guess I'd better look at the engine room and screw in the fuel filter and take off the new alternator belts that were draped around the engine pulleys awaiting the new alternator..which hadn't been ordered yet, but which was surely arriving on Tuesday...(do I sound like Wimpy from Popeye?) ...So I fixed that and closed up the engine room (no small task but who's complaining...). And we were off to Isla de Illetta (looks like three l's doesn't it - confused me for the longest time...couldn't even say the word, though now it seems so obvious)...It was a pretty little sail (you don't actually sail anywhere in the Med because which ever way you point your vessel either there is no wind or there is a screaming gale or slight gale..though every country and region has there own name for the same damn wind).  So we motored to Isla de Illeta (it really does still look like 3 l's!) and being the first time at the port I have a bit of the countenance of a dog.  I circle the place once or twice, scratch myself once or twice, looking for just the right spot before I plunk myself down for the evening and then anchor.  I was at the tail end of my circling and scratching and had actually come to conclusion about my resting spot and was doggedly (a bit thick?) heading toward the spot I wanted to drop the anchor (for at least 50 yards!).  Deb was on the bow and ready with the windlass and then I spied him, this ...this ...powerboat headed in our general direction.  Within seconds I noticed that he increased speed and changed direction toward the anchoring spot my course had dictated as my own!.  I mean by this the skipper saw where I was headed, thought he could get there first, and was hell bent on beating me to it!  I had 100 yards to go and he increased speed attempting to gain on me (I heard rumors that the Med crowd was slippery and I wasn't going to give any satisfaction) I tweaked the throttle and beat him to the MY spot.  I throttled back put it in reverse and wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of a nod when he gesticulated to me (plainly) that I should move along?!  Crushed silk button down shirt open to his solar plexus, hair dirty-white Einstein electric, shorts not even half way down his thighs and he's motioning to me to move along.  I motioned to him I was here first (I can't tell you how but he knew, he knew).  I gave the order to drop anchor.  He wasn't going to move and I wanted to be about 10 meters windward but I was sideways to the wind and if I didn't drop anchor he was going to slip in and take the spot from me regardless of whether it was mine by right or not...ask Deb...I was completely within my rights and this guy was being a jerk!.  I could only let out 3:1 scope and I wasn't too happy and frankly I was hoping that "tiger" would try to save face and just move on to another spot.  He didn't.  he had a boat windward, and me to leeward, leaving him with no more than a 2:1 scope and he actually dropped anchor! 


For those of you who have cruised the NE coast, the Caribbean or just about anywhere in the Western Atlantic a 5:1 ratio of chain to depth is recommended.  The American Merchant Seaman's Manual (seventh edition) recommends 5:1 to 7:1 normally and as much as 10:1 or 12:1 (chapter 8 pg 18) - and this is from the hawser vs. the water line which is a fact little understood by most! 


I was astounded, I was disappointed and I was angry.  Tiger had just done the unconscionable.  I'd sailed over 5,000 miles in a multitude of territories (American, British, French, Spanish, etc.) and have never had an experience like this one.  Tiger was an abstinent fool who was endangering himself and his passenger and now us!  O.K. so maybe the threat wasn't that great.  We were in <Mallorca in Palma Harbor and, while the wind was coming on-shore, it was only 5-10 kts with a slight swell.  But Tiger was being a jerk.  I came out on deck and said that I thought he was too close.  And then things got ugly.  He gave me back the Gallic shrug!  I am a guest in Europe and (frighteningly) and, as we are flying the American Flag, an ambassador.  So I couldn't return him a well known gesticulation, or even shout or scream, or stamp my feet!  All I could do was wait and maintain watch...I mean I only had out 3:1 scope and Delphinus was a 38 ton yacht only a few hundred feet from the beach and rock.  I was stuck and he knew it.  He left his engines running - this sea cucumber had two exhaust holes about a foot diameter each.  It looked like an over filled Clorox bottle in ivory and it stank.


At about this time a boat guy from one of the restaurants came buy in his 12 ft Novarraina.  Nigel was his name and we immediately like him.  He was Danish, blond, about 45, tanned skin and bones and comfortable. His job was to introduce us to the fact that there was a disco bar (actually the entire establishment was quite chic with an actual cave with late night dancing and an outdoor patio overlooking the sea where drinks and snacks or dinner were served).  After introducing himself and going through the drill he said that he'd seen the entire thing and that Tiger had also demanded of him a table for 10.  Nigel said he told him that there were no more reservations and Tiger demanded to see the owner, who's name he knew...Nigel looked at Deb and I with a knowing glance and said something like "he doesn't have a big enough boat to pull that one off!...another nail in the coffin.  I now truly despised the guy and yet I was stuck at the helm for more minutes until I felt comfortable with our status at anchor.  Well Nigel went back to Tiger and spent about 15 minutes off-loading most of his passengers into the launch to be transported ashore...I couldn't believe it.   The guy was going into the beach and bar.  He was going to be laughing at me as I manned the helm....I felt like such a schmuck.  He'd beaten me by playing unfairly, and gotten away with it.  I hadn't been in Europe for more than a few weeks and I felt like I'd just had sand kicked in my face.  Suggah!  Deb brought up some great tasting heated vegetable roll-ups and a drink and the kids played in the water off the boat.  I stayed at my post and sulked....and then the wind picked up, just a bit, and then just a bit more...and slowly, the seas built.  Now I really felt like I needed to stay at the helm to ensure that if they kept building we wouldn't drag.  Tiger was ashore with his entourage having a great time and Palma was kicking me again.  And then...Tiger began to move.  At first I was the only one who noticed.  It was a very gradual thing.  The waves had gotten to 4 feet and as the crest raised the bow she inched back toward the shore.  The wind was such that he was going to slide right by me by about 3 feet.  I waited to see when those left ashore would notice.  There was an early 50ish white haired dude in short shorts, about 6-3 with a big beer belly, and two young women.  One in her late 20's and one in her late 30's.  They were all on the foredeck chatting and hadn't noticed a thing, then the big guy looked around after a big swell, noticed nothing and went back trying to make time.  10 minutes later he was on deck waving his arms for Tiger.  He didn't know how to run the boat!  The girls actually looked frightened.  Tiger (the stink-pot) was now about even with Delphinus and sliding back toward the beach.  And then the cockles of my heart were warmed - I saw Tiger frantically running along the beach toward the landing area where he had to find Nigel to give him a ride back!  Tiger weighed anchor, we weighed anchor too as he was going to need to maneuver in our vicinity and I didn't want to give him another opportunity to hit us.  The seas continued to build and we waited to see what Tiger would do.  Well he couldn't decide and to my astonishment when I came around to set up for my new anchorage he actually headed in our direction.  I motioned to him that the bay was his and headed to the other side of the island (which was actually better protected from the wind and sea.  I circled around, checked the place out, scratched a bit and dropped anchor.  I was content!