Trip on Pantalaimon starting 2015-09-01 in BSASep15
Long Weekend to Tréguier and Back – report by Alan Howells
Boat: Bavaria 36 ‘Pantalaimon’ from Liberty Yachts, QAB, Plymouth
Five of us left Plymouth Thursday evening on Pantalaimon in a light North Westerly and a smooth sea. We were able to sail some of the way but had to resort to motor for the rest. As planned we were navigating without GPS. Hurd Deep appeared as expected and later good visibility enabled us to spot both Les Héaux and Roches Douvres giving a good fix for final approach to Port Blanc. The tide was such that we would not be able to get into the marina at Tréguier until about 23:00. The crossing was notable for more shipping than I have seen for years and a fishing fleet.
The wind enabled us a have a good night sail from Port Blanc until well into the entrance channel requiring good inshore navigation and then pilotage up the river.
The final approach to the marina was windless and there appeared to be almost no tide in the marina though it had turned further out in the river. The finger pontoons are much better than they used to be but still taper to very narrow at the end (used to be shorter and narrow all along). Rather than wait until we were further along the pontoon a crew member went for the narrow end of the pontoon and fell in. In doing so he somehow managed to dislocate his shoulder and came up hanging on to the end of the pontoon with his good arm and indicating that he was in extreme pain from his now useless other arm. Seconds later another crew member managed to go into the narrow gap between the yacht and the pontoon so there were two crew in the water with one disabled. We went astern to avoid the danger of crushing the second one between the yacht and the pontoon. We then kept the yacht a little away from them but in a position to catch them if they had let go. The initial plan was for the uninjured crew member to climb out and get hold of the injured crew member to secure him before the rest of us brought the yacht in and then help the injured crew member onto the pontoon. The injured crew member had a manual lifejacket and was obviously not going to let go with his good hand to trigger it. There are no safely ladders in the marina so it proved impossible for the fit crew member to climb out and we had to bring the yacht in on another finger to sort everything out. This was not without risk as it meant moving and mooring the ‘rescue’ vessel at a time when the injured crew member could have let go and gone drifting down the river into the darkness without a lifejacket or light. By the means of lowering the swim ladder on another yacht all were safely recovered.
By chance two firemen were drinking in a nearby bar and arranged an ambulance to pick up our injured crew member and take him to hospital where his shoulder was put back under general anaesthetic and he returned to us in the morning.
Relaxed day and evening in Tréguier and civilised leaving time of 13:00 enabled us to sail a little at first in a light North Easterly after which we had to motor. Again there was an unusual amount of traffic and a fishing fleet in the Channel. Start Point and the Eddystone gave us a good fix leading to a trip up the Yealm for breakfast. A light breeze enabled a bit of MOB practice and sailing on to a buoy before refuelling and returning the yacht to Liberty.