Monday, November 17, 2014

Boating In The Caribbean

Hi All
As we pull out of Leeward, we go to channel 72 on our marine radio to hear Bob from Southside Marina give us the Cruiser's weather forecast. He warns of a stiff wind from  the East building during the day. He gives the tides, wave heights and various other nautical information as well as greeting to anyone who's listening and wants to radio in a "hello". After all the pertinent information, he does a quick ad for his marina, telling us they have showers, will give rides to the local market and have slips available!
We head out circling Grace Bay with hopes of finding JoJo before the waves pick up. On our second lap past 7 Stars Resort a dark form shoots under our boat. It's JoJo. There is no doubt in my mind that he now knows we are in the new boat Spy Hop, which was a concern when I decided to upgrade to a bigger boat. He wanted to give us a quick greeting but apparently had other things on his "To Do" list.
As we are looking for him to surface, we notice two old geezers (probably my age!!) sailing a very small Hobie Cat built for one person. They are having a great time! We can hear peels of laughter as they try to sail in the mounting wind. Clearly this is not their forte as tacking seems to be a mystery for them. This does not bode well, so we decide to keep an eye on them.
We motor off to chase down an inflatable toy which has gotten away from some child and is heading out to the reef. We snag it before it heads out to become a menace for marine life. Sure enough on our way in, we see the giggling old men now hanging onto the edge of their flipped over Hobie. They are trying to right it with no luck. We're not sure if the issue is with righting the boat in large waves or if they're just laughing so hard they can't move! As we pull up to try to help, so does the Beaches' rescue boat and a few other sail boats wondering what's going on. The man from Beaches determines that one pontoon has filled up with water and the boat will need to be towed in. He says he can't do it because he needs to get back to the people from his own resort. He tells the old men, they need to get their resort to come get them. This news is met with more merriment. Whatever they are on, I want some. By now all the curiosity seekers have disappeared and if it weren't for us they would be all alone with the  ever mounting wind pushing them further out to sea.  We ask them what hotel they are from so we can try to get a rescue boat to come get them. They said Wind Song but weren't too sure which building it was from the many hotels that line the shore. We head off to figure it out and try to get help. They were perfectly happy staying with their over turned Hobie, joking with one another the whole time. John drops me off at the hotel they pointed at which of course isn't the right one. I start running down the beach asking where Wind Song is. I get to Coral Gardens which I am familiar with and ask the beach attendant if he knows where Wind Song is and he has no idea. I go into the restaurant and the lady says its next door (can someone really not to know what hotel is right next door???) I head over and find the water sports guy who says they are sending a rescue boat. I decide to swim way out to a buoy and signal to John to pick me up once the guys are rescued. As I'm treading water and watching, I see a kayak approach John and the old men but no rescue boat. After what seems like hours, I decide to swim back in to see what happened to the rescue boat. When I reach the guy at the beach, he now tells me the rescue boat is broken and points up past the dune.
I look out to see that John is towing the kayak and the Hobie with one old guy sitting up front in Spy Hop like a boat ornament with a big grin. On the way in, John asked him where they were  from. He said, "From England. You know - you know land of  the sailors" and broke into hysterical laughter.
As I swim out to meet them, I can hear the other old guy laughing happily holding onto the mast as it drags him through the water. Apparently the kayak was the rescue boat!  The captain of the rescue kayak jumps off Spy Hop and starts to drag the Hobie and the kayak ashore. He's very eager to shake my hand. He seems to know all about our relationship with JoJo. The old guys say thank you and that they are enjoying their adventure (why I'm not sure).
As I get in Spy Hop John, tells me the nice guy from Wind Song in the kayak didn't know how to swim! It turns out that a plug wasn't properly installed before the boat was launched causing it to fill with water. If it had been, the result would have been different, perhaps not better but different! We can hear the old geezers howling with laughter at their adventure (near miss with death if you ask me) as we motor off  into the building waves.

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