Big hole? or just tipped over?
Stood on a valve getting in and broke the outer part off. Leaking slowly, we decided to continue out to Silkie and proceed with the mission - Escape From Clachan Sound - but the skipper soon became concerned that we were venting excessively, and turned back to shore. Instructed to get my enormous bulk off the leaking tube, I moved to the centre only to inadvertantly press on the now exposed valve stem. We were now in the same situation as the Titanic when the fifth watertight compartment flooded. Had the designer of the Avon Redcrest been aboard he would no doubt have told us it was only a matter of time.
The remains of the valve were, it transpired, only being held against the inside of the tube by air pressure. Once the valve fell inside the tube the denouement was rapid. The skipper of the doomed craft moved forward to the still inflated half, paddliong furiously and leaving me floundering in a semi-swimming position as the rear tube filled with water. Operating a paddle from a supine position was proving ineffective, so I swung myself over the now sunken gunwhale searching for the bottom, only to discover that we were in the only part of Clachan Sound that is not at walking depth.
To cut a long story short we ended up at the pub in a very damp condition. Phoning the Balvicar emergency services for rescue, we repaired to Webcraft Towers, then to Fairwinds to procure an alternative Avon. This was then transported up to Donnie Campbell's garden and inflated, and Silkie's skipper went aboard for dry clothes and to switch off the entertainment system and other electronic devices.
A second retreat to the Trousers was made, where we chatted with a nice couple off a Jeanneau 39 (their 'starter boat', we gathered). We drank the Tradewinds.
Tomorrow, Escape from Clachan Sound - Part Deux.