Barry's Blog #109 - Never let the truth get in the way of a good story


Greek philosopher Aristotle

A popular folk tale tells of Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, who became so confounded at his inability to calculate the frequency of the constantly changing tides which flow under the old bridge at Chalkis, he threw himself off the bridge and drowned. In truth he died of a stomach illness in 322 BC.

As well as the irregular tides there are also unusual water flow speeds which can be as much as 7.8 knots (14.5km/h - 9mph). Put these two things together and figuring out when the bridge will open to allow passage is a kind of guessing game.

When we registered and paid for our bridge passage we were told to be ready sometime between 10.00pm and 1.00am. We got lucky and were radioed through at 10.30pm on Monday evening. We decided that rather than head off into the darkness to find an anchorage once we'd passed through the bridge, it would be wiser to simply tie off for the night alongside at the north quay on the other side. As it was quite late in the year there were only 2 other yachts with the same plan so there was plenty of space. I'm sure it's a very different story in the height of summer.

Full details of the paperwork process, including a map of where to register and pay for the bridge passage, are in this week's YouTube video #099.

The accident

Tying off at the quay was easily done with Aannsha stepping off at the amidships gate and securing the bow line, then walking aft to grab the stern line to pass through a steel ring and pass it back to me at the helm.

The lines we used are quite long because they're also the lines that are used when we do a stern to med mooring and we need to keep some distance between the quay and the back end of the boat. As I always do I threw the long unused end of the line onto the cockpit bench seat, in front of the helm, for tidying up later once A B Sea was properly secured.

As Aannsha came back on board she gave me a high five to acknowledge that we'd successfully negotiated the bridge and safely tied off without incident and she simply wasn't looking where she was putting her feet as she stepped back into the cockpit. Her left foot landed on the very end of the line which rolled and she slipped badly causing much pain in the foot and ankle area.

A week later when we got an opportunity to visit a doctor, an x-ray showed a hairline fracture of a foot bone and signs of ligament damage. She would be wearing a moon boot for the next 6 to 8 weeks.

The final hops