Date: 5 August 2014. Three Miles Out
Coast south of the Big Bend tends to be long stretches of
desolation. You can well imagine yourself the only human on
earth -- or at least in the region. I rather like it, but then again
I am a fan of Jean Auel's
The Earth's Children
series. Afloat I can almost picture the world in the days of
As I was
saying... I left Steinhatchee in the rain but soon enough the
up. Visibility was
good, the NOAA forecast called for one to two foot seas. That
is what I was seeing. Turning south I was running a course of
160 degrees approximately three miles
from the coast.
Off Pepperfish Keys I spotted a
sailboat heading toward me. How exciting!
Company at last and yes, I
did hail the boat on the radio. Alas, no answer to my calls on VHF
Channel 16. Sometimes there is a reason and sometimes not but
still it would have been nice to say hello to another cruiser.
Just left of center at the
horizon is the boat. Yes, it can be mighty lonesome out here.
I took a
couple of pictures and again tried hailing the boat on the VHF. Few
of us have pictures of our boat underway -- after all, we're inside
and so I was going to offer to take a nice picture for them. Alas,
no response on Channel 16.
I moved in a
bit closer to the Three Mile Limit line and met the WestSail32 near
the Red Star.
As I came closer I eye-balled them
with my binoculars. That's when I noticed a boy on deck waving --
and not one of those "hi, how 'ya doing?" waves either! This
was both arms in motion as in "help please" so I motored over close.
In the meantime Thursday's Child,
a Westsail32 with Bear and Drew aboard anchored and I pulled along side
in their lee. Their
engine had failed and without power they could not restart the
Perkins-108. It was easy enough for me to raft up to their starboard
side. Bear had plenty of fenders.
He even gave me three -- two small
ones for Algae and a larger one for Seaweed. I had given one of my big
ones away in January, then lost a second one. Oops. Out here buying
fenders does not work with my budget. Though I have found a few (and
passed them along) this was a real treat for me: to be on the
receiving end is nice as can be.
Bear's son Drew is quite the deck
hand. He came aboard and
visited while I ran a power cord from my boat to the WetSnail32.* In
the meantime his dad (Bear) was in the holy place, aka engine room/bilge.
Drew and I watched a DVD while Bear worked on his Thursday's Child. Popcorn was
*WetSnail is a semi-true nickname
for the Westsail32. They are big, beamy, heavy boats and
stable too. However, they do tend to have a wet helm and do not go as
fast as the sleeker, lighter weight Clorox bottles. Westsail's
have circumnavigated and are well-regarded. Many have teak
Drew and I watched a movie.
The movie showing on my TV/DVD player is
Search of the Castaways.
I also sent over my Third Edition
Calder's Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual so Bear could see if it had
any ideas for him. In the meantime I shut down my refrigerator so
all the power from my solar panels could be used to recharge the
batteries on Thursday's Child.
He was pulling 20 amps an hour
initially for his battery charger, then ten and finally down to two
amps. Incoming I was seeing in the low teens (13 amps) so there
was not much of a take down on my status though I did watch
carefully. When the sun started down I "pulled the plug" and
shut down my inverter that had been providing power to Thursday's
While watching the movie with Drew
I guessed that cooking would probably not be the first thing on
Bear's mind after spending hours in the holy space so I fixed a clam
specialty (alas, without shrimp) for us. Nothing fancy -- and Barry
(aka Bear) made Drew's favorite garlic bread. We needed the food and
Leftovers were not an issue, and Drew is
that was some amazing garlic bread his dad made.
Alas, the engine on Thursday's Child did
not start -- not even with a fully charged battery bank. About dusk I
untied and drifted back from the fellows to anchor. We had intended to
get back together in the morning so I could retrieve my spare anchor light
I had let them borrow but that did not happen. Winds and waves had picked up
and getting close was not possible.
That is life on the water. You meet
folks, give them a hand if possible and then pass along to the next stop.
It is nice to be able to help though I did wish so much that the power
would have enabled Thursday's Child's engine (a Perkins 108) to work
I'd lost a bit of my weather window but
the forecast was for 1-2' seas in the upcoming three days so I felt
confident that the decision to help was a wise one. I should have known
better. I am glad I tried to help and would do the same again -- but the NOAA
weather forecaster can kiss my transom.
Have you ever run into someone in the middle of nowhere
who needed assistance?
What did they need and were you able to help?
Regarding the Comments Section,
found at the end of every article:
Before you type in each block be
sure to hit the backspace key. Coding inserts a space in every box.
Your email address will come back as malformed unless you remove
that space. (You don't have to include your email address.)
The capcha is case sensitive.
© 2014, 2023
DVDs and CDs,
Pet Poop Primer (it's not horrid!) ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Budget Spice Shelf (costs less than $1)