Sea Rescue and Dolphins

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Sat 13 Jun 2009 15:00
Sat 13th June 2009

We had loads of rain last night and more still first thing this morning.  We've been collecting it of course and have now filled all our water containers plus we've topped up the aft tank about 90 litres in total we reckon.  Carl & Gertrude were out in their dinghy later trying to locate their stern anchor.  They lost it overboard yesterday.  I donned my scuba gear to help but couldn't find it.  I did locate an old rusty thing but didn't retrieve it as I was too low on air and it was a bit deep, having already been deeper and then into the shallows, to go back down again.  Daren't take a risk here.  Oh well. I tried.

So, it's a fond farewell to St Vincent again and at 10.45am we were off, Joseph having retrieved our stern anchor for us.  Bequia is just 20 miles away so we have plenty of time to get there before dark.  It wasn't the most comfortable sail we've ever had as the seas were a bit choppy and the wind, at about 15 to 18 knots, was coming from exactly where we wanted to go - again!  We were just beginning to cross the channel between St Vincent and Bequia when Jon spotted what he thought was a boat, but couldn't be sure as it was a really weird shape.  As we got closer we could make out that it looked like a capsized boat but it wasn't until we got the binoculars out that we realised that it was a capsized Hoby Cat and one of the floats was actually pointing into the air which was what made it look so strange.  I could definitely see one person in the water too.  We quickly dropped the main as it was still quite windy; we were already motor sailing and had furled away the headsail earlier, and made our way over to the Hoby.  There were two guys in the water.  They didn't seem too distressed but they were pretty knackered from trying to right the Hoby in the strong gusts.  Jon was really cool and took total control of the situation.  He was steering so I did as he instructed and attached a line to our winch throwing the other end to one of the guys when we got close enough in.  At first they tied the rope to the middle underside of the Hoby which even I knew wouldn't work as there wouldn't be enough leverage so I shouted over to them to tie it to the float that was out of the water.  This was done and Jon accelerated away until the Hoby was pulled upright.  Success.  We hung around to make sure that the Hoby was still sailable.  I also grabbed their cold box with the boat hook as it was floating away and they said they'd see us later in Bequia to retrieve it and buy us a beer.  Once we were happy that they were ok we left them.  In fact one of the guys said to Jon that they'd race us there!  They followed for a while and then seemed to turn and head towards St Vincent.  We guessed that there must have been a problem with the Hoby after all and that they'd decided St Vincent was the better bet as it was closer, only a couple of miles away, and also downwind.  Jon was trying to get me to take a photo of them during the 'rescue' but I just couldn't do it.  If it had been me in distress like that I would have been really p***ed off. 

So we set off again for Bequia, just 9 miles away now.  As we were now almost in the middle of the channel we actually had a better wind angle and could now make the course, so up went the sails again!  As if we haven't had enough excitement for one day, about an hour out of Bequia we were surrounded again by dolphins.  Even more than yesterday.  How cool is that!  They stayed with us for ages swimming around the boat performing great acrobatics.  It was fabulous.  The photos this time are a little better but still, they are so damn quick it's really difficult to get any good ones.  Big respect for the professional wild life photographers.



By 16.00 we were securely anchored in Admiralty Bay just off Princess Margaret Beach.  We kept a look out all evening for the Hoby Cat boys but they didn't come in.  Hope they're ok.  Nunki arrived a good while later and dropped anchor a little behind us.  We're having sundowners with them this evening.