21 Oct 2010

Yarrrgh – we be boarded … by the police!?

8 Comments Sailing

As I had my head in the engine compartment Tom Cruise and his bureausexual partner in crime turn up on a black sphincter shaped rib of bureaucratic passion.

You see Mr Jones and friend had been speeding along the coast, to the tune of Danger Zone enjoying the tussle of the wind in their hair when we stumbled into their path. Taking on the role of the Marine Police and looking suitable convincing with their Ray-Ban glasses and hip mounted firearms we took on the role of drug traffickers and Dave having no ID whatsoever and a darker shade of black assumed the pat down position.

Rewind …

We had been on the boat for 24 hours some great sailing as we started heading south towards the Algrave, when suddenly we round a headland and all signs of the wind just vanish. It’s always disappointing when you have to start the motor but we are on a strict timetable and if wind won’t oblige then there is no shame in burning some hydrocarbons.

As the engine is started and the throttle extended the unmistakable sound of gears not meshing together shudders through the 4.5 tonne structure draining all blood from previously excited extensions of my body. The clutch wouldn’t engage correctly as such there was no forward drive ….. did I mention there was no wind!!

We were 5 miles from our destination and tried to motor backwards … that was never going to work, the long keel simply would not allow us to motor backwards that distance.

I was worried, Dave was only concerned that we would run out of cake if we drifted for 2 days.

At this point da Police turn up and offer us no help.

…. long story cut short. The declining economy of Portugal requires any extra source of income, enter the Marine Police who under the guise of intercepting drug traffickers frollick up and down the coast in expensive ribs and levy out fines to sailors who have a hair out of place. The list of things they can get you for is insane and I will write a post regarding this at a later date when I understand the laws myself.

….. we told them of our plight, they offered to get us a tow for £1700. Their rib was not to be used for towing their boss informed them, no matter they said, they would wait for us until we got into port where they would inspect the vessel. The wind picked up and we made 1.4 kn, it would take ~5 hours to travel to the nearest port during this time these public servants did NOTHING but follow us.

How can any job justify 5 hours of idleness …. don’t worry they weren’t idle, they had called the previous owner the IRS, immigration and Kermit the frog. When we finally got to port they were proud to explain to us what they had accomplished in the 5 hours and that due to our fire extinguishers being 2 months out of service a fine would be on it’s way …. oh and we would have to wait until noon the following day to see the Marina Captain who would return our passports and inspect our boat to ensure it was repaired and no doubt issue another fine for his time.

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8 Responses to “Yarrrgh – we be boarded … by the police!?”

  1. Reply JT says:

    Rofl, have they released your papers or you still under boat arrest?

  2. Reply Slots Oasis says:

    Been Lurking for a bit, nice job here!

  3. Reply Ron Tedwater says:

    Really nice post,thank you

  4. Reply Mustn't get it wrong with hunt. says:

    Haha, this is epic!

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