That's what Friends are for!

Dave & Becky Werrett
Sat 6 Dec 2008 22:51
Position 15.11N 42.32W
What a great day!!! After the soul searching feelings of despiar over the last few days - today has been another day I will always remember. As I mentioned in the blog earlier we have been having some power problems on the boat and we had been reduced to just enough battery power to drive autohelm and nav equipment. As soon as we knew we had problems we sent emails to the other boats we know well, and also raised the issue on the daily ARC net. We had alot of advice offered butour good friends from Windancer believed they had a part that would solve a considerbale number of problems so we gareed to both change course, and a suggested rendevous wa sproposed - their email read " Based upon the position you provided at 0944 (14.33N 39.28W) I forecast the we can rendezvous at 15deg 15' N  042deg 10'W at 1400 UTC tomorrow 6 Dec.  This will require about a 135 nm day for you and 125nm day for us.  Will await your agreement, please call via sat phone to confirm and then check on VHF as we get close."
In the end, given the wind and the need to avoid a number of big squalls we met at around 15.13N and 42.07W at approx 5.00pm utc Ity was absolutley fantasticx to see them - they were all on deck waving and cheering, we also sang Happy Birthday to Jenny, their daughter who is on baord and who is 10 tomorrow. They came alongside us and after 3 attempts they successfulyl landed a throwing line on our deck. We opulled the line and a bag arrived containg 4 ice cold beers, a packet of ICE!! and a bag of parts - it was like christmas - only may be better! (Sorry mum!) In return - we threw back the line and I sent back a bag of cheese, meat and chorizo thjat was on the turn! It had beem defrosting for several days! Well what else could I send! we puilled away promising lots of dribks and hugs in St Lucia - I can not tell you how good it was to see them. We wne timmediately below and Dave eagerly tore open the package with the parts he needed. It didn't solve the whole problem but we now have almost everything back and functioning excpet water maker and freezer - both I can live without for a ferw days. We were absolutley over the moon, we drank the cold beers to celebrate and  contacted Windancer on the VHF to let them know of the success - there was lots of cheering on both sides. I have attached a photo of them arriving alongside us on the arc blog page.
We realised today just how much support we had from the people we have met - you meet alot of people along the way - some you know briefly and others you may get to know well - but your relationships are almost hot housed  - in Las Palmas and Lanzarote in particular we got to know probably 5 boats well and 2/3 more than well. You end up eating with them everynight, and getting to know each other much more quickly than you would in the normal course of events. In addition I guess when you do something like this, when your lives could literally depend on each other, then the bond is different. They do not replace the old friends you have, in fact having Dave W and his son Sam on board was probably the best decison we made about this trip, Dave has been a rock and has remained constantly cheerful & upbeat, but they compliment them, offering support where often exisitng friends are not able to do so. Sailing is a huge leveller and brings many people together who under nornal circumstances would never have met or got on, it also creates a huge sense of camaraderie that I have rarely witnessed in other parts of my life.  Over the last few days therefore we have had support from the other boats, including an email from Mikado who had a brain storming session on board and sent us lots of suggestions, he also called on the Sat phone tonight to check up, we had a good chat with Sophistikate on the SSB earlier who had engaged the radio net controller on our behalf and was making sure we were OK, (she couldn't offer any parts but had plenty of wipes as I was not showering! ) They plan to stay close to us for the remainder of the journey. We even made contact with Karel from Bombardino (they did our very first crossing with us from Dartmouth to Brest)  who called us on the Sat phone - so we feel very blessed to have met such great people! Finally, the best support of all, as I write in the dark now I am looking out and on my starboard beam is a little twinkling light that I know is WindancerIV, it is so good to know you are not alone.
PS The ice they sent was above and beyond! My V&T when the problem was fixed was the best I have ever had!!