15 April 2012
Sunday, April 15, 12
Saturday afternoon was nearly windless, but rainy, so we collected a good deal of rainwater for our tanks with our water catchment system. As predicted the winds picked up in the evening, and by 10pm were blowing 20. We were fine as we went to bed, but periodically thru the night both Jim and were up checking our surroundings.
Jim woke up just after 6am and as he is getting his coffee ready he discovered a boat bearing down on us! This boat layed out 2 anchors, unfortunately neither held which you could clearly see in the water dragging in front of the boat,. He grabbed the air horn and proceeded to sound and sound in an attempt to wake the occupants of the dragging vessel who were nowhere to be seen. This boat passed mere feet from our bow and Jim was convinced they would hit us. But then, by an amazing miracle, the boat shifted and passed off our starboard beam, between us and the boat anchored that direction, which is only about 60 feet away from us, hitting neither. Finally the owners wake and take control of the vessel, and they manage to steer a course around the anchored boats, without clipping any of them however they are still dragging TWO anchors in the water and the situation is critical. The owner calls for help, and since our dingy is hoisted we wave down the neighbor jumping in his dingy and Jim jumps in to go over and assist. The anchor seems to catch and the boat comes to rest just off our port. Several guys from the boats around us all step up to give assistance, and eventually they manage to unwind the two twisted anchors, and raise them both. They manage to move over to the open space just north of us, and re-anchor the boat. Shortly after, Jim is returned by his new Slovakian friend from Civetta II, and all seems well…for a while, until shortly we hear the sound of another air horn blowing!
Unfortunately, the anchor has given way again, and the loose boat is drifting quickly toward the break wall surrounding the airport…Back in the dingy for the boys, Civetta II & Fair Profit, and back they go to lend a hand. Wind Shephed joins them as well and this time they attach a second anchor to the same chain hoping the extra weight does the trick. Turns out this is a new boat for the owner, a retired charter boat with limited equipment, and their ground tackle just will not hold in these winds. After making several attempts with no success, they proceed to plan Q, and call in to one of the marinas to take a berth. The boys help move the boat over to the Marina, and get her tied up in a tight berth. Fenders and docklines deployed and finally the unfortunate sailors are tight to a dock and secure for the duration.
This was one of 3 boats in our immediate vicinity that had problems over night. Fortunately for this boat it happened in daylight. Not so for one other boat who ended up rafted to a boat on a mooring overnight when his anchor let go at 11pm. They are also re-anchoring this morning with assistance from another boat. The third ended up fouled with a long piece of chain left on the bottom, and needed two guys in a dingy to unravel the comingled chains before they could resituate themselves.
As we live this life we continually ask God for his wisdom, direction and protection. Today’s experience highlights for us the clear hand of God’s protection on all of us. It also reinforces the fact that these types of situations could easily happen to any one of us at any time. The fact that 4 different boats lent assistance clearly shows the sense of community that we all feel toward fellow boaters. And finally it also answers the question of “What do you do all day?” as it was near 11am when Jim returned, without much energy left to do too much else.