The Cruising Community

Yesterday was quite an eventful day. The wind and current were opposing when we awoke and the boats were ahead on their anchors. Some of the boats had to haul anchor and re-set further away as the vessels came close enough to pass coffee cups across.

The wind died out completely before lunch and a dive expedition was arranged. Many dinghies were zooming around, checking out the reefs and looking for fish. We saw some beautiful reefs but no fish for the freezer. The balance of the afternoon was spent relaxing and reading.

About 4:00 pm, Murray noticed that the sky had become very dark and threatening. Quickly we took down our big shade awning, just in case the wind blew hard. It was a good thing that we did. Not 10 minutes later, the wind came up from the north west and blew 25 plus knots. Our boat and Kotcha seemed a little closer than we would like for this much wind. Both boats worked at putting out a second anchor, which pulled us apart more. Checking vessels around us, we notice one dragging through the anchorage. That was The Office. They hauled anchor and re-located between the Majors. Another vessel, Windsong, seemed to be sideways to the wind and had water splashing against their side. A radio call confirmed our fears – they were aground. And the tide was still falling. Dinghies from 3 boats converged on Windsong and helped set another anchor to prevent them going further aground. Now, all they could do was wait for higher tide. Their engine had overheated as the water pickup was not in the water, so they had no means of propulsion. The rain had started to fall and the night was very dark by the time the tide had risen enough to maybe get them free. Murray, Mort from Meteor, Pete from The Office,and Jay from Kotcha all headed over to help. By hauling in on the anchors and re-setting them with dinghies as needed, they managed to pull Windsong off of the sandbar and into deeper water.

It was eleven pm by the time that job was done. Soaked to the skin and chilled but exuberant, the guys returned to their own boats and checked in with each other to ensure safe arrival in the dark night.

The cruising community is a wondrous thing. Strangers work together to help each other out here, with mechanical problems or, as last night, weather-created problems. It is so much the way life used to be in “the old days”, I think. As Pete said last night ” It is like a bank into which you make deposits, to be utilized someday in the future when you have a problem”. And we all have a problem eventually.

Today, the wind continues to blow and the rain continues to fall. Not too much to do but write e-mails, read books, bake muffins and chat on the radio. That is life aboard.

Hugs to all, Murray & Heather