Confessions of a Flotilla Engineer...

»«Sunday 13th January 2013

With experience as a car mechanic and sailing instructor, Andy Ramsey reckoned 1999 was a good year to try his hand at being a flotilla engineer, so with the lure of blue skies and and the open sea, found himself at Nidri, in charge of a dozen yachts and their holiday-making crews...

To make sure his audience of Corinthian members and friends knew the locations of his adventures, we started with a quick geography lesson. Our collective experiences helped to identify the Peloponnese, the Gulf of Corinth, the Aegean and, of course, Nidri on the map of Ramsey projection.

The professional team on these cruises consists of the lead skipper, the engineer and the hostess, whose tasks included the paperwork and the inventories. These poor souls wasted much time on ship's documents, missing teaspoons and the mysteries of corkscrews that wandered from boat to boat!

The secret of a smooth season, from the engineer's point of view, was good preparation in the fitting-out before the season started so that all the engines ran smoothly and the sinks and marine toilets filled and emptied at the flick of a button or press of a pump. And with all that behind him, Andy the engineer looked forward to leaving harbour for his first cruise.

Then he met Herman the German who explained he had had a little problem of identification and had filled the fuel tank with the water hose...

All too soon we were motoring through the Corinth Canal, two boats side by side, trying to steer with a heavy wash bouncing of the steep sides of the canal, cut through the solid rock.

It was lunch time but in the dining room not the taverna, alas!

Wendy Eagling