susys running away to sea

"The rigors (sic) of an expeditionary lifestyle"

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Mariners in distress

Boaters are, more often than not, a friendly crowd. People wave to each other as they pass. Even the fishermen (and one solo fisherwoman)raise a busy hand as they dart here and there among the pot markers.

So, when I spot someone perched in the bows of a passing sailing giving us a wave, I wave back. Obviously, he didn't see me, because he waves again, a bit more vigorously. Not wishing to disappoint, I stand up and wave one arm above my head. Maybe he still hasn't seen me, because now he has something - a hat? - in one hand, waving his arm way up, way down, against the background of the genoa. And he keeps on waving. The penny drops eventually. We motor across the still sea towards them.

'Have you any water?' There are two men on board, out of Long Island, engine gone, four nights drifting in these light winds across the Gulf of Maine, bound eastwards. We have a fellow feeling, having done Canso on the northern tip of Nova Scotia, to Halifax NS under similar circumstances. So we hand over a couple of gallon jugs and ask if we can do anything else.

'Do you smoke?' For once, I am sad to say no. They have 12 miles to go, which could easily take the rest of the day, but decide they will carry on - no tow, no radio for assistance from us. As we leave them astern, sails barely drawing, I hope - and it's likely - their journey has a safe conclusion. I treasure this camaraderie at sea.


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