Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dramatic Episode #2

23  April 2015

Shortly after leaving the Dry Tortugas for the Marquesas a VHF call from Fiesta sounded rather dire.  Fuel was spurting from a fuel line.  It took us all (Fiesta, Annie C and us) a moment to digest this information and think about the ramifications and options.  Here we are all out in very choppy water 4-6 ft seas, Fiesta bobbing around with no engine and no winds for sailing. Jim had some “Rescue Tape” which is designed for just this kind of thing and so we offered to get it to them.  They were hesitant to have us delay our departure because our timing was tight for getting to the Marquesas before dark.  However, we were not comfortable leaving them with no engine and a terrible wind situation (not much and from the wrong direction) So Fiesta hove to (a method of adjusting sails to stabilize the boat and minimize any forward movement).   Jim found the tape, put it in a waterproof bag and tied that and a crab buoy together on the end of a long line.  While he stood on the deck, I maneuvered the boat as close as I thought safe so he could throw his package. (hard to guess the distance, but it was probably 15-20 ft between the boats - maybe a little less) The seas were rather confused and at first I didn’t think about tall masts rocking back and forth and the potential of them meeting at the top.  (Luckily they didn’t!)

Admittedly a reenactment photo
The first pass, Jim’s throw was short.  The second, the line got tangled.  But the third was video worthy, Jim threw, they hooked the line in the water and pulled it all aboard.  We went on our way with the understanding that they would try to catch up with us.  Fifteen minutes later we got that wonderful call that it was all fixed, no leaking and they were on their way.  And catch up with us they did in time to anchor together at the Marquesas!  

For another perspective on this event, check out Fiesta's blog at 

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