A new problem emerged. The marina in Estepona has got a broken crane, so they cannot lift us until it is repaired. I finally got all the papers signed and we have nowhere to go! I have been working only on this since morning. I have ideas and solutions; the problem is that permissions need so many stamps and signatures.
Evening news: Yes. She flows but we are still pumping out a lot of water. The keel is ripped off (but we knew that). The divers are still in the water and try to lessen the leakage into the ship with planks and foils. We have not won yet but keep moving forward!
Midday news: They stopped digging – it could be deep enough on the starboard. Now they are covering all the windows with plywood. I assume that the divers will install the balloons from the starboard and in the afternoon they will try to turn the ship over to the other side. I cannot see more from the beach – I’m going there.
Afternoon news: We did not find any damage in the part of the hull that we had dug out. They will go on digging non-stop. We want the ship to leave on Monday.
The latest news in short: the boat has withstood all the bad weather big push. The hull has withstood. The boat has shown us that she has the right to live! I said that and promised to the boat. An I will keep to my promise as the captain of the boat. Although the damage of the boat are enormous and repairs may be more expensive than building a new one, I decided and already signed, that we are going to repair it. I adore the boat and I would do anything to save it (as you probably know), but if you want really know what made me decide this way (and not to get the money and disappear), I will tell you. It is thanks to you – the solidarity from the Czech Republic was so enormous that La Grace must go on living. Thanks to all of you who sent text and facebook massages, emails, and even money to the account “Save La Grace”. You saved her life and she will pay you back soon. Thanks for her… Pepa.
P.S. I wish that every household in the Czech Republic could experience the same feeling like they did at the cape Canaveral, when after hours of waiting they could hear “We have got you, Houston”. Well, hands up, let’s have a party!!! But there are still many things to do and many things can happen during the rescue works. It won’t be easy…
Today, around midday, the rescue ship has finally arrived. They could not come earlier. During the last couple of day there was a storm on the sea. Just realize that it took them two days from Cadiz (200NM). It is a ship they use to dig up sand. Today we also got the last permission signed (and there very many of permissions to be signed). What is the plan? The rescue works are following: the rescue vessel will anchor next to La Grace and dig three meters deep hole on the starboard of La Grace. Then the rescue workers will install four bags (each with a displacement of 5 tons) on that side. The divers will make holes bellow the keel and lead carrying straps through them to the other side. We will turn La Grace over to the other side and install the bags also on the port side. Then we will dig a hole around our boat, something like a swimming pool. In it we can try if La Grace flows. Another reason for the swimming pool is that we have to get to the keel, which has been ripped off, from below. The rescue workers have got some mass with which they will try to fill gaps between the ribs. They will also put some rubber down the hole and nail it down with a plank from bellow. I am looking forward to this one because I can remember the fun when we were doing the same below water with Honza in Porto Rico. And then we will start digging a canal (which will close itself after the boat passes) through which La Grace will get to the open see tugged by the vessel. Then it will get to a marina where we will start the repairs.
The rescue team has arrived to Marbella. The ship ELMAR DOS is now harboured in the marina of La Bajadilla Marbella and awaits the orders for the rescue works on La Grace. We still have the paperwork to be done
The decision will not be taken now. The wind is calm now but the waves coming from the sea are big – maybe bigger than yesterday. It is not possible to get safely to the boat, either to dive next to it because of the whirling water with sand – there will be zero visibility. As long as we can see the ship keeps alive, she does not give up…
The storm hit Marbella at night. 13:00 – The ship stays alive despite being up to 80% bellow the waves. We cannot see any damage from the shore, only bits and pieces are being washed up. 16:00 – Good news: the boat survived and the wind and waves are calming down. The storm only broke the door to the main hall. The hull seems to be unchanged, seeing from the distance. When the storm calms down I will go and check on the extent of damage. 21:30 – The storms is calming down, the waves and wind are acceptable. If it is save tomorrow, we will all gather on the beach in the morning: the owner, the insurance company, rescue team, and the divers. We will see the extent of damage and decide about the final solution. To save or to liquidate what has been left. As for the owner, I say that if it is in a kind of repairable state, we will go for it and repair it. And if it is not possible we will save all the usable parts and use them to build a new boat. We will simply build a new boat and the old La Grace will live within it…
An hour ago we got a notice that a board was found on the beach approximately 1km far from us. And that the board could be from our boat. We immediately run that direction and found the lost steering wheel. Unfortunately, somebody already managed to steel all metal fittings from it.