Well, I sense a certain smug schadenfreude
on the part of the assembled company -- shame on you all. How skillful I am -- you all think with glee -- compared to that bozo on the beautiful 50-footer.
I also don't believe that anyone was really interested in the question to help or not -- it was just a good excuse to tell the story and laugh at someone else's expense, plus to show how gracious you were in actually helping them out of their trouble.
I remember years ago, I was sailing a cat for the first (and thank God, last) time, in the Windward Islands
. The boat was anchored in Saltwhistle Bay and everyone was on land having dinner at a restaurant. A sudden and vicious squall blew up, and I could see that the boat was dragging. My crew and I ran as fast as we could and jumped in the dink, and raced over just before the boat went onto the coral
reef on the western end of the bay. Cranked up the engines and got away.
Meanwhile it's blowing about 40 knots and rain is coming horizontally. We try and try to anchor
, but we can't get it to dig in. Moreover, I can't maneuver for some reason. The boat pulls hard to port and doesn't obey the rudder
. We can hardly see, and every time we circle around we are at risk of hitting the coral
reef barely below the surface. We are getting tired.
Out of the blowing rain, a dinghy
full of cheerful (although very wet) English
sailors comes at us with a line attached to some mooring buoy, and quickly the situation is resolved.
No word or gesture suggested the slightest hint of the kind of disdain which is dripping out of the original post in this thread, although we must have looked like a bunch of complete idiots. No one knew at that point, including me, that the gearbox
of the port engine
had come apart, which was why the boat wouldn't maneuver (one of about a dozen mechanical failures on that cruise
, including a prop falling off, and that was my last charter
And I'm sure they didn't put up a smug post on a forum the next day. I did, however, send them over my last bottle of single
malt the next morning.
On the odd chance anyone is actually interested in the question -- to help or not --
We consider it a sacred obligation to always help, no matter how much trouble it is, other sailors who need it. There but for the grace of God go I -- I always think -- and I am just grateful to have the skills or the gear
to be able to help. All of us are amateurs with various degrees of clumsiness, compared to a real professional mariner. It's not really good to laugh at other amateurs' clumsiness. As skillful as we may think we are, we look even worse, to a real professional mariner (who call us WAFI's, did you know? wind-assisted f*cking idiots).