More Cleaning Up the Mess in Lipari

Yesterday, we woke up to dark gray skies and heavy rain. The combination of the ugly day and the inability to open the doors and windows made for yet another depressing day. It was also really cold out, meaning we needed long pants, sweaters and jackets. Louis had asked us for a statement for his insurance, so Christi spent the majority of the day doing laundry and writing the blog post for the volcano/emergency rescue and gave the post to Louis as our official statement of events. That was one long story and took pretty much all day to write.

Eric spent the day cleaning the engine room and flushing it with fresh water. He cleaned out the manual bilge pump and the high water bilge pump. Both were clogged with pieces of a small cardboard box that had gotten wet and disintegrated into the bilge. We normally keep cardboard out of the engine room. This was a relatively small box of rubber gloves Eric uses for changing oil and fuel filters. It had just gone empty. So it was tucked between two oil buckets waiting to be thrown in the trash. Instead that small box clogged two bilge pumps and caused no end of trouble. The third bilge pump turned out to be clogged with sawdust. We have purposely flooded our bilge to clean out sawdust, but never quite got the water as high as it got this time. We view the saw dust removal as another silver lining. While we were terrified, it turned out the situation wasn’t dangerous once the portholes were shut. Now the bilge is more cleared out so hopefully the bilge pumps won’t get clogged should a genuine leak develop.

Eric also set up the emergency bilge pump in Continue reading More Cleaning Up the Mess in Lipari

Flood Aftermath and Touring Lipari

We all woke up feeling like total zombies. Despite excessive amounts of sleep last night, we were all tired. Probably more emotionally than physically, we suppose. We were also worried about getting sick from the combination of freezing up on the volcano and the long, stressful night. Christi thinks she has found at least a dozen new gray hairs.

Tai went shopping for souvenirs. Eric went to the coast guard station to file an official report. He met the coast guard commander, the English speaker, and had a good chat with him about the events. After he finished with the coast guard, he got to work on the boat. He opened up the generator through hull, checked the generator to make sure all looked OK, then fired her up. Then he started cleaning up in the engine room.

Christi stripped the linens off the mattress, moved the mattress off the base of the bed, then started cleaning out the storage space under the mattress. Everything was Continue reading Flood Aftermath and Touring Lipari

Boats in Danger and Emergency Rescues – Part 3 of 3

Continued from yesterday… Now that the coast guard was done, the police said Tai, Christi and Elizabeth could finally go to bed. The rest of Louis’s crew had checked into a hotel and already gone to bed, leaving Elizabeth as the group representative. It was 0300. The police told Tai and Christi the first ferry was at 0500. Elizabeth went to the hotel, but with only two hours until the ferry, it seemed pointless for Tai and Christi to check into a hotel. Christi and Tai laid down on a couple of concrete benches located near the bar. Tai passed out. Christi was freezing. Remember it was windy and cold, with light intermittent rain. She went to various corners of the outdoor bar in hopes of finding a spot sheltered by the wind. She finally settled on the front stoop of a nearby apartment, terrified they would open the door and freak out that a vagabond was lying in front of their door.

On board Louis’s boat, Senza Freni (which, incidentally literally translates to “without brakes”, and figuratively to “unstoppable”, yet another omen)”¦ Louis reached the anchorage at about 0315 and dropped anchor. This is where the story really becomes unbelievable. The anchorage had poor holding and 20 minutes after Louis anchored, his boat dragged and hit a rock. The rudder made a huge crunch and was destroyed. Louis said it was a sickening sound. He could only go forwards and backwards, he could not steer side to side at all. The boat was zigzagging backwards. At 0430, Louis spotted a boat in the distance and hailed it on the radio.

On board Kosmos”¦ it had been about 45 minutes since Eric had turned around. Eric hears someone on the radio calling a ship passing from Point Chiappe. Eric thought it sounded like Louis, but knew by now Louis would be anchored and sound asleep. Then Eric realized he was the ship being called. He got on the radio and said “Louis???”. Louis replied “Eric??? I was calling the ship passing me.” Eric replied “I am the ship passing you.” Louis had thought Eric was tied up in Scari. They decided the best plan of action was for Eric to tow Louis into Lipari. Louis prepared a line and Continue reading Boats in Danger and Emergency Rescues – Part 3 of 3

Boats in Danger and Emergency Rescues – Part 2 of 3

Continued from yesterday… Once Eric climbed aboard, he noticed that things in the cockpit were sliding out under the door. We lost a plastic mat we keep back there, but Eric was able to save the shoes that were back there, bringing them inside. He opened the back door and turned on the light switch. He knew power was still working, since the anchor light and little red LED courtesy lights were on around the outside of the boat. He first noticed the hallway refrigerator had come open and almost every single thing inside it had fallen out and smashed on the floor. Lots of stuff that had been sitting out had been thrown to new places. The good news was that Eric didn’t hear any sounds of the bottom crunching against the rocks. He went into the pilot house and saw both bilge pumps were running. Oh no. Eric turned on the engine, and then ran downstairs. The whole engine room was flooded with about a foot of water. It was now about 2145.

Eric ran back upstairs and showed Louis how to use the manual bilge pump located in the starboard aft locker. Louis pumped away. Eric turned on Continue reading Boats in Danger and Emergency Rescues – Part 2 of 3