Excerpt from This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 1 people, and 1 boat
Intro: As we made way for La Paz, Mexico on our sailboat Pyewacket, throughout the last night before landfall we towed a sailboat (Windsong) that required assistance…
With immense relief, dawn tinted the sky a light blue, and at a critical moment in the clutches of gusting wind and the narrowest part of the canal, the tow line parted. Engulfed with fatigue, the nervous energy galvanised me into action.
The dawn turned grey as if angry with the fracas beneath it. The unforgiving currents picked up Windsong and guided them, side on, to the quintessence of jagged rocks. Meanwhile, opposing winds lifted the flowing currents, turning a placid passageway into an angry, frothing nightmare.
With no time for a text book tow, we leaped into action.
‘I’ll tie a fender to the end of this line,’ I yelled into the whipping wind, while putting my knot training to good use. ‘We can drag the line off our stern to see if they can pick it up with their boat hook’
‘Good work,’ Noel agreed, while concentrating on the safety of our own vessel.
With winds strong enough to lift and twist our boats sideways and the solid, bumpy waves bashing against the hull, we had to manoeuvre far enough away from Windsong for safety, but drive close enough so they could pick up the line.
Fenders float; therefore, it kept the line on the surface of the water. When boats’ propellers rotate, they can easily suck lines in and around the propeller shaft, stalling the engine and potentially causing expensive damage. Many possibilities and dangers existed and had to be considered and accounted for.
‘I’ll come around again,’ Noel called out while the wind viciously whipped away his words. ‘Haul in the line for a minute.’
‘Okay,’ I yelled back, and Pyewacket bumped and heaved in a circle, while I prepared the line to sweep it past their bow once again.
We watched the crew of Windsong valiantly try and fail to retrieve their life-line as we swept by their bow, time after time. Their taut faces matched those of an athlete, poised for the starter’s gun. On board Pyewacket, our concerns for our own safety deepened; the engine strained against its mounts as we asked for the almost impossible. As Windsong slid closer to the awaiting rocks, we had no choice but to keep our distance. We couldn’t risk our boat and us.
We stood by helplessly, watching a fine boat surely become dashed on unforgiving boulders.
For more great pictures and stories look here
Our current boat is a 1920s Dutch Barge – would you like to look around (she’s for sale!) – look here
Author blog: www.jackieparry.com
Travel blog: www.noelandjackiesjourneys.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00OT9CWV8
Amazon book links
A Standard Journey: viewBook.at/astandardjourney
Of Foreign Build: viewBook.at/OfForeignBuild
Cruisers’ AA (accumulated acumen): viewBook.at/cruisersaa
This Is It: viewBook.at/thisisit
Audio Excerpt Of Foreign Build: http://goo.gl/AnsKRr
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113148478675680852619/posts/p/pub
Photo album of A Standard Journey: http://goo.gl/1QgMp2
Photo album of Of Foreign Build: https://jackieparry.com/of-foreign-build-photo-album/
Photo album of Cruisers’AA: https://jackieparry.com/pics/
Photo album of This Is It: https://jackieparry.com/photos-this-is-it/
A Standard Journey FB Page: https://goo.gl/uV7NGY
Cruisers’ AA FB Page: https://goo.gl/2vEnkB
Of Foreign Build FB Page: https://goo.gl/VvLT3M
Listen to me chat to Carol Graham (Never Ever Give Up) about sailing, pirates, adopting horses, and surviving life! http://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/69073/41215218
May 17, 2016 at 3:06 pm
Love your stories and pictures! Really brings back memories. I sailed the “Prince of Tides” from Hawaii to Florida in 1992. It was a Colvin steel hull ketch and we had no electronics (except a VHF radio), and a 5 month old little boy (Adam) onboard. He’s in his 20’s now and doesn’t remember any of it. Very nice memories of Cabo and southern Baja. I haven’t been to sea, in a serious way, in years, but I miss it every single day. Keep it coming! Thanks
May 19, 2016 at 10:35 am
Hi Larry, thanks for stopping by. A Hawaii trip sounds wonderful – well done getting out there and doing it! AND with 5 month old Adam – what fun, I admire you for doing that. Does Adam have ‘the ocean and sailing’ in his bones? Maybe it had an effect in other ways…
We miss sailing too. As you may know we are on a Dutch barge in European canals (it is for sale!). Canals are quite different from sailing in lots of ways, but it has been fun. Time for something new for us (again) – well, actually a revisit maybe of our horse trail riding escapades! I feel that is unfinished business. We still talk about another sailboat and have not written it off yet – or maybe a delivery back to Australia… we shall see.
Once the ocean and sailing has gotten under your skin – it never goes does it!
So glad to have you along for the ride.