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Walkabout - Walkabout - Responding to Another Seafarer in Need... Day12 (cont) Mindelo to Grenada

The Life Saving Club was called out of their bunk this morning at 0245 (Walkabout Time - UST-3), following the call from Tiramisu.

We shortened sail (dropping the main turned into bit of a pickle) to slow down and altered course to rendezvous at daybreak. As it was becoming light, Tiramisu’s lights appeared few miles to port. We had regular radio comms to work out a plan of what was required from us, and what he may be able to do safely.

The sea state was pretty ugly, and as soon as we turned into the wind to slow the boats it was obvious that getting into the water to try to sort out the problem was a non-starter.
Tiramisu can’t use it’s engine because of whatever is underneath, so she ran very close hauled with 2 reefs in the main, whilst we motored about 100m from her port side. We could clearly see a large buoy just below the waterline amidships. Jan (the skipper) got a boat hook on it, but it was clearly stuck fast beneath the boat. We had further comms, and he decided that he would have to proceed as is, and if the sea state gets any better then he could have another go at removing the problem. At least he knew that the banging was only a buoy, and not something more solid that could damage the hull.

After about an hour together, we went our separate ways. In a subsequent call with Jan, he said he had found another buoy on the other side, all connected with fishing net and cable. A right mess. I wonder how long and how far that stuff has drifted in the ocean before Jan was unfortunate to get wrapped in it.

Really interesting - He is a Norwegian yacht, and so he called the Norwegian Coast Guard to seek assistance on his Sat phone. They were able to identify that we were the nearest vessel, and gave him directions to get within contact range, then we arranged the rendezvous. All of this - over 500 miles from the nearest land. We have Falmouth Coast Guard in our Sat phone for the same reason.

We have found on this venture what a close knit and supportive group sailors are. This shows that this doesn’t just happen around the marina, it happens in the middle of the ocean.

We are back up and running now - AND HEADING TO GRENADA!!! BWR is up and flying. The sea state remains challenging, but we are making 7-8knots.
Just had a close pass with ‘Earwen Solosailor’ - had a chat with him - he is racing to Martinique - huge spinnaker and absolutely flying.

The Narcolepsy Society is currently slumped around the cockpit table. We were both tired from the night before, and we both got about 2 hours sleep last night. Time for bed…


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