Hamburg, Constellation Rescue

I know you just read the title of this post, and probably think I've gone and broken down, sunk, or otherwise put poor little Constellation in trouble - But you'd be wrong! Constellation was in fact the rescuer, not the one in need of help! Last night, after spending too much time at the Ketch Rigger at Hamble Point, waiting for laundry to dry, I came back to boatyard ready to go read, or go to sleep. Friends drove me to and from the yard, and as I was heading back to my boat, another friend had decided the world was too much, and was 'just going' on his yacht. He was in a bad state, all electrics out, and throttle with only two settings (fast, or stall). He managed his way out of the marina at low water, and we watched his mast curl up the river, turn around and crash into a pontoon. Not sure what to do, we ran up towards Constellation, started up and chased him up the river, only to find him another 500metres up, run aground on and ebbing tide.

Our boats were of a similar size, and coming in too close would have set us in mud, so we turned around, borrowed an outboard and dinghy, and motored back with the small boat in tow. I ran in circles for 15minutes, while Karin and Rob boarded the stranded boat from the dinghy, and attached ropes as high up on the mast as possible, with a second rope tied down onto a cleat. Karin motored back to Constellation, and cleated on. As the stranded yacht went into full reverse throttle, I motored at full forward throttle, heeling the the other yacht, trying to free the keel. I was somewhat concerned about throwing the prop, or fouling it with a slack line, but I reduced throttle, went backwards several metres for a 'run up'. Powering forward again under full power, we succesfully freed her.

Constellation is no tug boat, with only 9hp, but she was brilliant, and more than likely performed her first rescue tow!

In other equally exciting news, Hamburg is all on. Johannes has a bus booked for London, arriving in early August with liferaft, tiller pilot and other assorted pieces, ready for the trip back to Germany. Constellation is getting closer to being ready, with stanchions and lifelines almost installed, however I still need to climb the mast (again) to replace the VHF aerial, and while I'm up there, I've got an LED mast light to install. There are other small jobs everywhere, but I'm confident she'll be ready.

As to what happens once I'm in Hamburg, I have absolutely no idea.