Monday, March 3, 2008

Galliot Cut for Emerald Bay

April 3rd 2007 Galliot Cut for Emerald Bay

0630hrs. Randy went over to UNWIND and listened to Chris Parker on SSB. Then he and Derek went in the dinghy to check out the cut.“ Looks good enough to go!!” Rand states.

0910hrs. We’ve pulled up anchor. Two boats have left just before us. As we are getting close to the cut entrance I was a little hesitant. The two boats we saw go through looked like they were being bounced helter-skelter. Randy said we’d travel for about an hour, if we didn’t like it we’d turn around. (We of coarse were anxious to leave Galliot Cut after being stalled for two weeks, but I was so apprehensive. ) A couple of miles off shore it wasn’t too bad. The problem was the seas were coming at us off our port and the wind was on our nose. We were in for a bumpy ride. It turned out with the main and jib reefed we were lucky to be traveling 4 knots. In fact many hours we were under 3 knots so we knew we were in for a long day as Emerald Bay Marina was about 25 nm away. We’d be lucky to get there by 1600hrs.

By late afternoon we got a call from UNWIND. Their auxiliary motor had stopped. They asked us to follow them. The long and short of the day was by 1910hrs we were about 30 minutes from Emerald Bay. The sun was setting and the moon had not risen. We had tried repeatedly to call the marina and couldn’t make contact. When we did finally make contact they asked us to wait until we were closer to the marina and they would confirm spaces for us. I explained UNWIND had no motor and needed assistance. We were asked to stand by. Finally we were advised by the marina that they were not aloud to send anyone out to help because it was dark. The only thing we could do they recommended was tow UNWIND in ourselves.

We took down our sails. We could not find the entrance to the Marina. The entrance did not match up with our charts or GPS. (It had turned out the entrance has been changed). The Dock Master was fabulous. He went out onto the break water and started flashing a light towards us. UNWIND still had its sails up. Randy told them to have their anchor ready for an emergency slow down. We attached one our 50 foot spring lines to our stern cleat. Randy steered HIGH STATES as close to UNWIND as was safe. I took over the steering so Randy could throw Derek the line. Derek attached the line to UNWINDS bow. It looked like UNWIND was going to crash into HIGH STATES . Randy yelled at me to run and get a sharp knife. The line was not long enough. With the strong winds and high seas Randy yelled to Derek to get another piece of line and told me to be ready to cut the line if need be. Derek managed to tie the lines together and our next challenge was about to begin. (At this point we understand Derek probably cracked a couple of ribs)
We had to find the entrance to the Marina. Glen Roy (the Harbor Master) continued to guide us in and finally I could see the first set of small navigation buoys. We were in constant contact with Glen Roy. He would shine his flash light on each green marker. I was on the bow, VHF in hand running back and forth to mid-ship to guide Randy in. He had to swing really wide in order to keep UNWIND and HIGH STATES from hitting the rocks. Slowly but surely we towed UNWIND to a dock where Glen Roy had another employee shine a light to guide us in. Thank God the dock was 200 feet long and was empty. Once everyone caught UNWINDS dock lines Randy had me untie the tow line and we got ourselves ready to dock.

We are so thankful the Dock Master was there for us. He said he normally worked from 0700hrs. - 1700hrs. Tonight by the time we went up to the office it was 2300hrs. We received big hugs from Derek, Evelyn and Caylin. What an incredibly exhausting day; one none of us will ever forget. Personally we could not believe both our handheld VHF’s held their charge to keep us in communication throughout the whole day and night. This was a first and we thank our lucky stars.

Even though we were all exhausted we were starving, probably existing on adrenaline. Glen Roy found us a cab and lent us $50.00 to go and get a snack at a place called “Big D’s”. What an amazing man!! Thank you Glen Roy!!!

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