Aug. 25, 2017

Testing Faith

JULY 29TH, 2017

The day dawned with such promise. Windfinder showed 15-17 knots. Tides were perfect. Robert and I made haste for the Marina, thrilled with the prospect of a day of blissful sailing. The summer has been disapointing. More talking about sailing and thinking about sailing than actual sailing...hot, no wind, a lot of rain, and plagued by small nuisance issues. Fuel pump,electronics, air in fuel lines. ..

But we are still in love. Our hearts beat faster every time we approach the boat. She appears perfect in every way- Oh, we know she has her little flaws. We shove those under the rug. She is beautiful. She makes us so happy.

Oh, we know she is costing more than we ever imagined. Oh, we have felt the pain of her shortcomings. The heat of no air conditioning. The discomfort of no hot showers. The lack of storage. The smells we never thought our love would produce. We forget this every time we get under way....under sail, she is bathed in the limelight of our infatuation ...

And those flaws? We can change those...those smells are just adorable...aren't they? It's her imperfections that make her so unique!

But getting back to that Saturday....we toss the lines- We are really looking forward to this day on the water. And it's breezy...(remember this for later in the story...)

Robert did his usual precheck and I am at the helm. As we pull out, I notice a distinct vibration and a thump thump thump...we get as far as the exit of the marina and Robert says, I think we better turn around-because NeverLand is in obvious distress.

At the part of the exit where we usually wave at the folks at the restaurant and hum "I'm on a Boat" to ourselves....we turn her around.... but we only make it a few more feet before we have absolutely no control of her anymore- we are screwed. 

Realizing we are in trouble, my legs turn to jelly- I do not handle these situations as I feel I should and as I know Robert needs me to. I am freaking out. I am literally screaming, what do I do? I dont know what to do ....

Robert is of course, less than impressed with this behavior, and I still, weeks later, do not know what to do. But the current turned the boat sideways and literally took over any decision making on our part. We drifted sideways in the Marina and towards the pilings in back of another vessel.

A Pontoon boat. Now this is where you believe that, despite the grimness of the situation, someone is looking out for you- Pontoon boats are flat in front and this one ended just in back of the pilings. Had it been a sailboat- we would have hit it, and damaged both boats in the process. So we were able to tie off behind it without doing damage to ANYTHING. AMAZING.

We try to get help from the local residents at the Marina, but found no one with the capability of towing- of course, we have Boat US and I call them and they tell us someone will be there in 30-40 minutes. So we wait. Nervous. Sweating. 

And while we wait, I am getting mad.  You stupid boat! Look at you! I thought you were perfect. ...you have been waiting to do this all along, pretending to be grand...why was I such a fool in love with you? I start having feelings of betrayal.  I glare at the boat and call it nasty names.

The tow boat arrives and we think we are out of the woods....after all, they are Professionals, right?

It's windy, there's a current,  we draft six feet ...and it's a little tow boat..It's not a good combination...

The only way I can describe the next hour or so,  is 60 minutes of terror. The boat is swinging all over a marina full of very expensive vessels. Picture me with a boathook, running around the boat pushing us off of boats, pilings, docks, and the tow boat itself! I would compare it to hitting a patch of ice in a pickup truck,  except for, also picture that it's 100 degrees.....

All of a sudden we hear a loud, CRASH!! As I am preoccupied with not hitting a sailboat at the time,  It takes a few seconds to realize what has happened- the tow boat has hit the boat next to us and smashed his own windshield! 

All this time, a crowd is gathering on our dock in anticipating us getting anywhere near our slip so we can throw the lines and get helped in- 15-20 people have gathered to try to help. We are putting on quite the show, too bad we could not sell tickets and popcorn, as we have a sickening feeling that this is going to be EXPENSIVE.

One- two- three- times an approach is made, but the boat will not cooperate-the weight, the wind, and the current, are fighting us having any control... and I have to frankly say I have doubts of the competency of the tow boat captain. Finally, we are almost close enough, and the lines get thrown. It takes a few tries, but finally, our friends and neighbors pull us into the slip, and we begin tying off.

Meanwhile, the owner of the boat the towboat hit earlier arrives, and there is more drama as we check for damage over there- It seems the windshield is the only casualty.

The crowd moves on, and we are left to try to figure out what comes next.

Our wonderful sailing day has dissolved into the worst afternoon ever.

Robert is checking the lines and repositioning some of the knots that were hastily thrown on. I am just sitting on the dock, my legs still shaking and my head spinning. He joins me and says- "I feel dizzy. "

I'm so glad it isn't only me!!, I tell him I also do not feel well- We walk down to the grille on wobbly legs, and eat a bite and drink about a gallon of water each- we realize we have been under the hot sun for three hours with no water and under high stress. Robert looks at me, and says,  what do you want to do now?

I say " Let's go to the Movies"

To the boat...I silently say

The Honeymoon is over 

You're not pretty

I want my ID bracelet back 

But I still love you