Catafjord: Wonderful encounter with a powerfully motorized joker

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“Far be it from me to consider that an individual driving a motor boat is intrinsically a worse person than one helming a sailing boat. However, it must be said that when an individual who gets around in a boat with twice two hundred and fifty horsepower on the back puts his mitt on the throttle lever, he inevitably feels like someone important. Hence the temptation to press on a bit. Alas, the laws of naval architecture being what they are, our bold ‘marinus légitimus motorisaë’ finds himself, despite everything, in a situation where he is breaking the law, as soon as he leaves the open sea. Explanation. When you enter a channel, the maximum speed permitted is often around five knots. And the two propellers driven by the overabundant horsepower will not generally allow you to drop down to these ridiculous speeds. What’s more, on this type of vessel, once the driver parks his posterior on the seat, his field of vision forward is cut by a zone of several tens of meters. If he has unfortunately kept up some speed, but not enough to plane, then his vessel will rear up like a stubborn horse, increasing still further this famous blind spot. To put it more clearly: the guy can’t see anything a hundred meters in front of him! And this is exactly what has just happened to us. Every day, my wife and I enjoy going for a paddle aboard our kayak. This morning, some powerful propeller-driven predators were criss-crossing the stretch of water. I couldn’t stop myself observing them attentively, just in case – you never know. And as it happened, I couldn’t see anyone’s head aboard this blue catamaran, about seven meters long, which was speeding towards us. “Accelerate a bit,” I said to Malou, “the blue boat over there, to our left, has got me worried.” In fact a few seconds later, the machine, propelled by its two black outboards, skimmed by us a couple of feet away! He hadn’t seen us! I insulted the driver loudly, and in return he threw me this wonderful reply: “Well, you’re in the middle of the road!” No comment!

Dominique, author of ‘Mamilou et Grand-Père en short autour du monde’.”

Boat: Catafjord, aluminum catamaran ketch
Who: Malou & Dominique
Where: Guadeloupe, West Indies

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